How To Stand Out and Get More Sales as a Vendor at a Festival
Without ever having set up shop at a multi day event, I decided to apply to be a vendor at the second annual Homestead Festival in Columbia, TN June 2-3, 2023. I had been to the first one in 2022 and knew that it could be a good fit for me and that I would enjoy going back. I think it's a great idea if you can to go to an event before being a vendor at it to get a good feel for what its like beforehand. The Homestead Festival is an event where people who are interested in growing food, raising animals, homeschooling and hand crafting come together to learn in the workshops and demonstrations that happen over two days. There is also a marketplace where people can buy from makers, find real estate, get homestead equipment and tools and so much more. There are concerts at the end of each day featuring well known and up and coming singers showcasing their talent, sort of like The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville.
I was accepted to the event and was blessed with a first row, corner spot right in front of one of the learning tents. Why was this a great spot? It was on the row coming from the entrance which meant every person coming into the event had a chance to see my booth. Secondly, it was a corner spot meaning I could use the front and side to showcase my items like I did here:
(BTW I do recommend making sure your walls fit your awning before going to an event. These look terrible, but luckily this was during setup and we were enclosing it to leave for the day) Third, I was in front of the entrance to a learning tent where people would be coming into and out of and walking right by my shop. What we all want as small business vendors is to stand out and draw people in. Here are a few things I did to make my booth stand out:
1. I used quilts on the table to attract peoples eyes with pattern and bright colors. Plus, people love quilts.
2. I used several heights to display products which keeps peoples eyes traveling all over and studying each thing.
3. I added decor that was bright and cheerful and was cohesive with my brand that wasn't for sale. Flowers are a good choice because they are brightly colored and will catch peoples eyes.
4. I constantly rotated and fixed products to make my booth seem fuller and more inviting.
5. I displayed products I knew would sell fast front and center (stickers and T-shirts)
6. I hung bandanas from the roof that were for sale and they flapped in the wind, motion also catches peoples eyes, all the bandanas sold after that.
7. I created a private resting place behind the tables with pegboard, it definitely helped people linger longer because they were not being stared at by me. I then watch and read people to see if they are buyers or browsers.
8. I have my sign prominently displayed with all my social links and website displayed, a lot of people took pictures of it rather than asking for a card. People will lose cards after an event anyway, a photo is going to be seen again int their phones.
9. I brought a variety of wholesale products that meshed well with my embroidery kits so I could sell more.
10. I made sure my color palette and mood was cohesive throughout my display. I go for bright and cheerful colors + cute stuff + useful stuff.
Overall, I sold really well and learned a lot from this event. It gave me a great boost of confidence and I am back in my studio filled with new ideas and energy. Thanks for reading and good luck at your next event!!