As an event planner, I am immersed in the world of vending.  The contact list on my phone is filled with business partners who’ve brought their products and services to promote at my natural hair events.  Many are new to the scene and as I’ve grown as an organizer, I’ve developed tips to help create a successful experience for them and the attendees.

Vending at events to promote your products or services is just a smart step to take for your business if you do it right.  It allows you to expand your reach with a captive audience who wants to know more about what you do.  You can also increase brand awareness by showing attendees your vision and your message.  People who step into your booth space step into your world for a few minutes and get to experience your company firsthand.

So how do you master vending?  You have to be prepared, you have to create an unforgettable experience and you have to SELL (get them to take some sort of action).

Be Prepared

I tell everyone in business that they must have an ideal customer/client in their mind to build their efforts around.  Gone are the days where one size fits all.  Your customer wants to feel special and you can’t accomplish that if you’re trying to appeal to everybody.  It’s also not cost effective.  Think about your ideal client and be prepared to engage her with your display, your materials, your product and your approach.

Create an Unforgettable Experience

Your entire team of workers at the booth need to be trained to create an experience for your potential client when they arrive at your space.  Determine up front how you want them to feel, what you want them to think and what you’d like them to do.  Then go to work doing everything in your power to manifest that vision.  Is it music, treats, marketing material, merchandise, key words, questions or the display that has to be finely tuned?  Whatever it is, think it through and make that happen.  You will only have one opportunity to do this right.  It is too easy for someone to avoid your table and tell others around them not to visit your table.

Move them to take Action

What is the end goal?  What do you want Attendees to DO once they’re in your space?  Know this and share it with your team of workers.  This is your ROI – Return on Investment.  Are there sales goals?  Is it lead generation?  Whatever it is, have multiple levels of engagement.  If a potential client isn’t ready to buy today then what?  Can you encourage them to enter a drawing?  Sign up for an email newsletter? If you’ve created the right environment, each person who visits your table should be comfortable taking some kind of action with you.  If they don’t, examine your approach.

Choosing to vend at events can be a phenomenally simple way to build your business, if done right.  Be clear about your expectations and end goals to ensure you receive a good return for your time.

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