6 Things You Can Do to have a Successful Origami Owl Vendor Event

Vendor events are incredibly beneficial for your Origami Owl business and you want to make sure that you take full advantage of these opportunities! Think about it: Why do we attend vendor events? To help new people tell their stories? Showcase new jewelry? Connect with new hostesses? Meet new Designers? Sure, but don’t leave the results up to fate! There are behaviors and business practices that you can (and should) do that will set you up for successful Origami Owl vendor event.

1. Prepare and practice the week before.

This is especially important if you have a new product display or have never participated in an event before. Pull out a table or mock up your jewelry display on the floor or kitchen counter. You’ll be able to see exactly how everything will look the day-of. You can make changes or additions to your set up during this practice run. You’ll also feel a bit more confident, organized, and mentally prepared. I like to take pictures of my mock-up and use them once I get onsite the day-of. Set-up is so much easier! I also suggest organizing other supplies needed at your event in advance so you’re prepared for anything that could arise.

2. Arrive early.

Show up as early as you possibly can to set up for the vendor event. This will allow you ample time to set up and get organized. There is nothing worse than arriving late and having to set up when customers arrive. You’ll be frazzled and stressed before the event starts. Arrive early, set up your beautiful booth or table, and be prepared to succeed.

3. Smile and say hello.

Smile and make eye contact with everyone that comes within visible range of you. More than likely, they’ll return the smile. First impressions only happen once so make sure the first impression people have of you is a good one. Verbally greet everyone that comes within five feet of you. This will feel approachable. Plus, people generally want to engage with others who are friendly and nice. When appropriate, introduce yourself along with our Origami Owl brand. Be genuine and authentic.

4. Stay out in front.

This was the biggest lesson I’ve learned from participating in vendor events: Always stand out in front of your display tables.  You will appear inviting and friendly. Do not sit in a chair behind the table. This is not a swap meet or a garage sale. Stand with confidence in front of your display and be ready to talk to people as they approach. Of course, don’t be creepy or aggressive and scare them off. Stand in your booth and stay engaged with your beautiful jewelry. You can organize, straighten, or clean pieces of your display. Do not hide behind the table. Don’t text or talk on your phone. Do not eat while potential customers are coming through. You are there to interact and engage with your shoppers. Be ready for them.

5. Visit other vendors, but remember this is not your social event.

Networking is a huge part of a successful vendor event. You should work with your fellow vendors, not against them. Greet everyone with a smile and a hello (see #1) and introduce yourself, especially to your neighbors. Speaking of neighbors, keep your products and display within your designated area and do not encroach upon your neighbor’s space. Be kind and friendly. Other vendors may be well-connect and are often your greatest source for information about upcoming events. Of course, fellow vendors may stop by to chat about what you’re offering. Do not spend too much time socializing as you don’t want to miss an interaction with a customer, but also remember that your fellow vendors might be shoppers, too. Some may even be looking for a career opportunity. You never know. Be open, honest, and willing to help anyone that takes the time to stop by.

6. It’s not over until its over (and your space is clean).

If you’ve committed to an event, stay until it has ended. Do not pack up early. Even if sales are slow, you have committed to the event and you need to uphold you’re end of the deal. Also, you never know who might stop by at the very end. Some of the biggest purchases often come from the last customers to move through the event (or fellow vendors before closing time). Also, ALWAYS leave your event space cleaner than you found it. This suggestion comes from my childhood experience as a Girl Scout. Pick up all trash and debris from the ground. Intentionally leave the space better than when you arrived. You are a guest and it is the polite thing to do. Plus, if you want to be invited back to the event in the future, staying until the end and cleaning up after yourself are two ways to end on a positive note with the event coordinator.

I hope you find these tips useful for your next Origami Owl vendor event. I wish you much success! If you’d like to add your experiences and ideas, please do so in the comments below.

Direct Sales Vendor Event Supplies

A list of everything you’ll need!

You signed up for a vendor event with your direct sales business – yay! This is wonderful and such a great opportunity. You’re ready to pack up your beautiful product and get your show on the road, but wait! There are some things you need to take with you to make your experience as a vendor run as smooth as possible. This will also make the experience more fun and successful. The list below contains my top supplies for direct sales vendor events. Here’s everything I like to bring with me:

Product

This sounds obvious, but I have to include it right? Bring your latest and greatest.  Bring the newest, most fresh and beautiful product you have on-hand. You want it to sparkle and shine from your vendor booth. Showcase your goods so your customers can look at, touch, and try on everything! In addition, bring anything you might need to clean or polish your pieces, just in case. You want everything to look PERFECT! You may also consider bringing extra inventory to restock with.

Business Supplies

Set yourself up for smooth and successful purchases. Bring the items that you need for conducting a transaction at your booth. This may include:

  • Order forms: stamped, labeled, and prepped in advance
  • Clipboard (or another solid writing surface)
  • Pens
  • Calculator for totaling – This looks so much more professional than your phone.
  • Point of Sale Product – If you’re not using pen and paper to process transactions, be sure to bring your product for processing your sales (If WIFI is needed, be sure you inquire about this or establish your plan before the event)
  • Business cards
  • Current catalogs: labeled and ready
  • Cash and coin for making change: If you ware accepting cash payments, bring small bills (lots of $1 bills) and coins for making change. Be sure to keep this money secured and out of sight.
  • Shopping bags and to-go packaging: This is important if you are performing cash ‘n’ carry transactions. Bonus: Use bags that stand out and showcase your brand. This will draw attention to your customers as they walk around with their beautiful purchases.
  • Small “business table”: I always bring a small card table or TV tray to events to go behind my display tables. This provides me with a small space to keep my paperwork, order forms, calculator, etc.
  • Tablecloths: Clean, pressed and branded tablecloths for your tabletops. You may also want an extra tablecloth for your small business table.

Shopping Experience Enhancers

What can you add to your booth or table to make it stand out just a little bit more or to attract shoppers? How can you make the shopping experience that much better or easier? Consider the following:

  • Mirrors: a necessity if you sell jewelry (like me!) or clothing.
  • Bed Lifts: Yes! You read that right   B E D   L I F T S.  Bed lifts can be placed under the feet of your table and will bring your product closer to eye level. This is so important when you have small product on your table that shoppers have to bend down to see. Lifts will make the shopping experience so much easier as shoppers won’t break their backs leaning over to see your small products.
  • Magnifying Glass: Again, something for customers to use to make it easier to see small pieces on your table.
  • Seasonal Decor: Fresh flowers or holiday decorations are great for freshening up your display and making it standout and “pop” against the others around you.
  • Raffle Tickets/Entry Forms and a Container: If your brand permits it, consider a bowl or jar for raffle drawings. Collect customer information and add their name to the container to win a prize. These contact forms are priceless as they allow you to follow up with all that entered.

Back-up or “Just in Case” Materials

I bring a ziplock bag that contains items that I “might” need. I call this my “Emergency Toolbox.” I may not need everything at every event, but it is always a good idea to have them on-hand, just in case:

  • Sharpies or thick markers
  • Extra Pens
  • Scissors
  • Masking tape
  • Scotch tape
  • Fishing line (this might sound so weird, but it seriously can work wonders)
  • Notepad
  • Small pliers

Some items may or may not be provided by your actual vendor event. Read your contract carefully and understand what you are responsible for providing. Also, some items may require permission. Be sure to check with your event coordinator to understand your limitations and requirements. You may need or want to bring:

  • Table(s): Some events provide them and some do not. You’ll want to confirm this in advance
  • Pop-up tent, canopy, E-Z up to protect against weather: this may be part of your regular outdoor set and may or may not be permitted by your event.
  • Chairs: For you or your assistant to take a break in (though I do not recommend sitting down during the event)
  • Lights/lighting: Some product requires extra lighting to ensure visibility.
  • Generator or power source
  • Extension cords

The more organized and prepared you are for your event, the more success you’ll have! Get your supplies together and be prepared to succeed.

I’d love to hear what you bring along to make your events the ultimate success! What most important direct sales vendor event supplies?

Benefits of Vendor Event Participation for Direct Sellers

benefits of vendor events for direct sellersVendor events are an amazing opportunity for your direct sales business.  The possibility might sound intimidating and a little outside of your comfort zone, but the simple act of participating in a vendor event offers so many benefits! Here are my thoughts:

Vendor events provide exposure.

The most minimal benefit of participating in vendor events is that people will see you and they will see your product. Think about it, you’re putting yourself in front of a new audience. People will attend the event and walk by your setup.   This could be their first introduction to you and your product. You have the unique ability to create a first impression and “plant the seed” about your product. They may ask for a catalog, business card, or more information. This may transition into the next benefit…

New relationships form at vendor events.

There are two types of people that you will meet at vendor events, shoppers and fellow vendors. Let’s talk about the shoppers first. The shoppers have obviously come to shop and want to know what you’ve got to offer to them.  Ask questions, learn their name, and get to know them as best as possible. Most importantly, listen to them. Listen to what they might be looking for. This unique, window of opportunity is only provided at events.  You also have the ability to interact with and form relationships with fellow vendors. This is critical to your direct sales business because it allows you to network. Keep in mind that the relationships you form with other vendor can be incredibly beneficial to your direct sales business.  Fellow vendors also tend to shop with you. They may also be able to refer you to future events. They may also know someone who is looking for your product.

Vendor events provide an avenue for cash ‘n’ carry purchases.

Wishing you could circulate some of your product? Do you have too many of one piece? Are you thinking about ways to offer a personal sale or discount? Vendor events are just the place! Shoppers often prefer to take what they make at vendor events. This provides you with the perfect opportunity to sell your display items or any surplus that you have on-hand. Of course, your want to ensure that your product quality is not compromised and everything is packaged to your brand’s standards. Creating a small “sale” section or “last chance” area at your booth is another way to move product, entice passersby, and create new relationships.

There are many benefits to participating in vendor events. Consider the opportunity the next time it is presented. You never know how it will positively impact your business!

Do you have more thoughts about the benefits of  participating in vendor events? Share your opinions and tips below.