The first presentation you offer to your clients for vendor fairs is not really to your direct customers, but to the people running events. How you apply to be a vendor somewhere is significantly important because that is your initial impression which can actually better or worsen your chances of being selected.
Who to Contact
If you’re unsure who to contact for a vendor event, start with the most logical place. For example, if an event is run by a school, you should contact the PTA President, the Parent Coordinator, or even the Principal. If it’s run by a religious organization, you can contact the rectory, or main house. When you make contact and you’re unsure, always kindly ask to have the message directed to the right place. Start with an email and follow-up with a phone call in a few days if you do not receive an answer. If the event explains who to contact, they also usually state how to contact them. The choices are usually by email or phone.
If the contact information is clear, do not make up your own rules about contact – for example, if it asks you to send an email, that does not mean to send a Facebook message. If it asks for a phone call, then that is not the same as an email. Respect what is being asked of you.
How to Contact
Before sending your contact emails, check your spelling and grammar, and send a polite, semi-formal request. It does not have to follow extreme rules, but it should express your questions clearly, your contact information clearly, with a polite and formal tone. For example:
Good afternoon [Mr./Ms. Person’s Name],
My business is [Business Name], and I sell [list items/services]. I am interested in bringing my business to [Event Name] on [event date]. I am inquiring to see if you have any spaces available for my business?
If you are not the correct contact person for [Event Name], would you kindly forward this message to the right person, or please contact me with the correct information, so I may properly address this request?
Thank you for your time and consideration.
You can adjust this note to inquire more information such as price to vend, how big the space is, if there will be electricity, or any other inquiry best suited for your own business.
If you’re making a phone call, use the same formal tone and be clear about who you are and your business.
When to Contact
It is best to contact the person in charge of an event as soon as you learn about it, but if you know of a steady event (perhaps one that happens yearly), go ahead and initially contact them two-to-three months in advance, depending on the popularity of the event.
If an event is particularly popular, you will want to contact those people as soon as possible within a reasonable time. Holiday fairs can get quite saturated, so if there is one you want to join and you’re sure of it, it’s recommended you start making those contacts in early September.
Most well-organized events will offer more information as the event draws closer, but if not, use the same contact information to follow-up from five to seven days before the event to ask for any clarifying details. Always confirm that the event is still being held, and if there are any specifics you need about organization for the day of (for example: parking, set-up time, break-down time, internet, etc.).