I have received several phone calls this week about becoming vendors for our Springtime Shopping in the Vine event and second annual Holiday Shopping at the Hilton event. I am always grateful and honored that people are trying so desperately to become vendors at our events – that tells me we’re doing something right! In seriousness, I, along with my team, have worked and continue to work incredibly hard at building powerful events that are well-advertised and draw a crowd. Our events are organized, beautiful, and run smoothly. We have earned the respect of our vendors.
I believe in business transparency, so I decided I would make this post to be clear about our expectations for vendors. This is what we’re looking for to become a vendor at one of our events:
The Order of Priorities
- We give first priority to our network members who were previously vendors at our events.
- We offer invitations to those vendors who respected our rules and created an aesthetically pleasing display.
- Second priority goes to members of our network.
- If we still did not fill up our spaces with our own network members, our third priority will be for vendors who are not members of our network.
The Expectations – This is precisely what we’re looking for.
- We love unique items! While we cherish and respect our MLM (multi-level marketing) vendors, we’re always looking for something different. Whether it’s handmade or just something we’ve never seen before, we prefer vendors who offer a special something that shoppers cannot get anywhere else.
- We expect you to read our contracts thoroughly. If you ask us questions that can clearly be answered by the contract, we know you haven’t read it. We spend time writing a meticulous contract to ensure that we’re clear and transparent. We only want to work with vendors who display the same level of professionalism that we are by creating a contract.
- With that being said, there are several parts to our application – including sending display photos. If you don’t send these, we don’t consider you.
- Your display needs to be aesthetically on-point. Our customers expect a high-end event and that means a carefully curated display that is beautiful and organized. This is why we ask for photos.
- We need you to be internet-savvy. We work 100% digitally because that is our organizational process. We need you to be on-board with that because it will maintain our level of workflow.
- We don’t make exceptions. If you start your application asking for exceptions, we’re not likely going to consider you. Honestly, we have hundreds of applicants for 50 spaces, we respect the people who follow our restrictions (because often it’s a restriction passed down to us from the venue).
- We do not take more than one from any company or more than three from any type. This is why we may have space, but not accepting any more jewelry, or bath & body, etc. We aim to keep a diverse pool of products and we do that by limiting product categories.
- We take into consideration longstanding members of our network. We call it seniority.
- We need you to be a legitimate company. We are not okay with you trying to skirt taxes or regulations. If something goes wrong, it’s a poor reflection on us, and we can minimize this by only working with people who are serious about their business.
- We do not accept food vendors for our hotel events. I know this is disappointing, but we are not allowed to bring in outside food as per the hotel regulations.
- Did you fill out your application correctly? If you mistype your own name or email address, we’re not going to chase after you. Attention to detail is important.
- Your behavior and demeanor at previous events. There are times when we don’t invite back certain vendors and it could be because of how you acted. If you were a misanthrope, late to set-up, early to leave, pushy, crabby, rude to customers/other vendors, or we received complaints about you, we will not invite you back.
- *We also pay attention to how you are at events not sponsored by us.
The main point to understand is that we have established our reputation as a premier vendor network offering the highest quality small business professionals and events in the local market. In order to continue to provide champion service to our vendors and customers, we need to be meticulous in how we run our programs.