Crickets. The sound of the wind blowing through your tent. Poking your head up every few minutes to see if life has come through the door.

Anyone who has had a table at a vendor event, show, fair, or expo has experienced this scenario at least once.  The scene where you’ve created a beautiful display, but there simply is no traffic.

Before you start getting angry at the event organizer and/or questioning his/her marketing campaign (which there is time for, later), utilize the time you have at the show productively. I know it’s very easy to be completely annoyed at the circumstance, but the negative attitude does not serve your business at all.

Here are five tips you can use to make the most of an empty-traffic situation:

  1. Create a Brand Portfolio. While you’re at this show, take photos of your complete table. Take close-ups of your products utilizing different positioning and lighting. Take photos of your goods from different angles – get artistic!  Use these photos for future social media posts, for your brand portfolio in case a venue asks to see photos of your display. (You can also utilize these photos as a way to critique your own table!)
  2. Go Live! Use Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, etc. to pop-on and go live in your account. This is a great way to drum up awareness about the event happening so if anyone is local, they may be inspired to come by. In the video, talk about the event, but also talk about your products/services. Pick one or two things to really highlight. (You can always use this video later as part of a blog or content focus on your business.)
  3. Network with Other Vendors. Do you know who loves to support small business by shopping small business? Other small business owners.  Approach the other vendors in a friendly manner, ask them about their business, DO NOT be a salesman (remember, they’re there to make money, too).  DO have some of your business cards on hand and offer to connect on social media.
  4. Make Product/Plan Inventory. If you’re a maker and have the ability to create while you’re sitting there, awesome, you should definitely do that. It also draws attention to your table. If you’re in direct sales or you’re a maker who does not have the ability to craft your products anywhere, use this time to plan your inventory. Take a look at what you have, take note of what does sell at shows, decide what you need to make/order more of.  Use data to validate your business inventory decisions.
  5. Make Personal Contact with Customers. We usually have a hard time finding the time to make personal contact with each of our customers, but if you’re not doing much and watching grass grow, this is a great time to go that extra step. Bring post-cards or thank you notes with you to write out, send out individualized emails, send a text or make a phone call. Keep a list of customers who you haven’t heard from in a while and start with them, then move on to your best customers (people always love to be appreciated).

What tips do you have for events that just aren’t drawing the traffic in?

Kristen Fusaro-PizzoPresident

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