So, You Want to Become a Vendor? “Fashion Forward” By Meicka “J”

Meicka1Soon the season will change into Spring and there will be more opportunities to become an outdoor vendor. You can vendor anytime during the year, but outdoor vendors favor warmer weather and frequent bazaars, charitable events, flea markets, and festivals. I have been an independent vendor for the past four years and being an independent vendor gives me the opportunity to talk with customers and build relationships.

What is a vendor?

A supplier/seller of goods or services to individual or company.

How do I find vendor events?

By word of mouth, social media, and checking #vendorsneeded and #vendorswanted.

What can I expect as a vendor?

Please make sure you are the only consultant from your company. Usually, the contact person for the event will let you know. Please do your research by checking how many people have attended and how well it’s being advertised. Others things to consider—are tables provided; is a permit needed; indoors or outdoors.

How much does it cost?

Cost varies with the venue. For some events there may be thousands of people in attendance and it may cost $200-$1500 for a booth. If a venue is not that large, or new, pricing could be $40 per booth. I’ve hosted Sip & Shop events for as little as $25 per booth. It would be a bummer to spend hundreds of dollars on a booth and attendance is low. You may also find another vendor to split the cost of a booth.

The BIG Event? Here are some suggested tips:

1. Vendors should have business cards, shopping bags, plenty of cash to make change, mirror, credit card reader, receipt booklet and tablecloths.

2. Please have a positive attitude and engage with customers. Remember, every person that walks past your booth is a potential customer.

3. Vendors are usually responsible for their own set up and tear down.

4. Vendors should keep track of inventory as most venues are not responsible for damage or theft.

5. Vendors keep all profits earned. Vendors should not have to donate a percentage of profits since the booth fee has already been paid, unless something has been discussed with the host previously.

Perfect Venue:

If you are interested in hosting a vendor event, it’s best to look into places that have a high traffic volume. In the past, I’ve hosted vendor events at hotels. It’s best to advertise at least 30 days prior to the event so that the word spreads. Flyers are helpful and small business owners will usually support you and display them.

Offer food and beverages to your vendors as events can last up to eight hours. It also shows your appreciation. Hosts should make sure that cell phone reception is good because this may affect credit card processing. Please be sure that outlets are plentiful for vendors. As the host, you have primary responsibility for event promotion not your vendors. Good luck and happy event planning!

*Follow Meicka J. for upcoming vendor events @www.facebook.com/explicit.boutique