Vendor events are a fantastic way to get outside of your own circle of contacts, make sales, and build leads for potential customers and hostesses.
Once you book your event, then be sure you’re following these 10 etiquette tips, to being a good Direct Sales Vendor.
1. BEFRIEND THE EVENT COORDINATOR
The event coordinator is an invaluable resource. They may assist with booth assignments (and give preference to good relationships or requests), and keep you informed of other upcoming events for priority registration. Be sure to check-in with the event coordinator upon arrival and departure. Follow-up with a thank you email, and a brief summary of how your sales were at their event.
2. ARRIVE EARLY
Arrive early for your event. You will have more time for unloading and booth setup, less problems with parking, and also manage good impressions with the event coordinator (see #1). Arriving early will also allow you time to walk the event before it starts, have a snack or beverage, see other vendors (see #6), and assess any competitors.
3. STAY FOR THE WHOLE EVENT
Do not ever leave your event early, even if it’s slow. Some vendor contracts indicate that if you leave early, you forfeit the right to return to that event. It is simply bad form to be packing up and leaving, while customers may still be browsing other booths. You never know who might stop by, and the end of events is often the time that vendors network and with other vendors. (See #6).
4. DO NOT EAT OR DRINK IN YOUR BOOTH
While you are in your booth, you are the face of your business. Unless you are selling food, do not eat or drink in front of customers, or if you must, keep it discrete and out of view. No one wants to see you talking to customers with your mouth full…. especially, your customers.
5. STAND WHEN POSSIBLE
Like #4, first impressions are lasting impressions. Remain standing if possible, for the best opportunity to engage with your customers. Move about your booth freely, and present the best possible positive experience. This will also allow you to pull product more easily, or direct to various display pieces that might be of interest.
6. NETWORK WITH OTHER VENDORS
Vendors often refer events to other vendor friends. Network with those around you. You may or may not gain customers, but at least you’ll gain relationships that may yield future event leads. Networking with other vendors is a great thing to do when the event traffic is slow. Have extra business cards or goodie bags for this purpose.
7. STAY IN YOUR OWN SPACE
Do not encroach on your neighbor’s booth. There is nothing more annoying that having another vendor’s display overflow into my space, or having a neighbor’s customers overflow into my space. Be conscious of your borders and corners, both in your display and how people flow. Invite your customers INTO your booth, to avoid awkward conversations with your neighbors.
8. ENGAGE WITH CUSTOMERS
While this may be obvious since it’s the whole reason you’re at your event, but how many times have you seen a vendor sitting behind their booth (#5), eating (#4), and staring at their phone (#10), and NOT engaging with their customers? Create an open booth environment by greeting each passerby, and inviting them in to view your product and display.
9. OFFER A WAY TO COLLECT CUSTOMER INFORMATION
You will want to follow-up with your prospects, since a primary objective of vendor events is hostess, customer, and team member leads. Offer a raffle entry or a drawing where all your leads can enter and provide their contact information. People like the chance to win. Then, be sure to follow-up with those leads within a reasonable amount of time.
10. STAY OFF TECHNOLOGY
Stay off your technology, unless it’s directly related to a business purpose (such as using for customer checkout). Unless there is a lull, you should not be staring at your smart phone or surfing Facebook during your event. If your eyes are down on your phone, they are not up looking for your next customers. Being focused on your technology makes you appear disinterested in what’s going on around you.
Vendor etiquette is critical to building relationships and reputation in your event community. Become known as someone who is respectful, reliable, and relational, and you will soon build a network of coordinators and other vendors who invite you to participate in future events. You can ROCK your vendor events, just by being a good vendor!