The night before a major event last year I was incredibly stuffed, my head was pounding, my ears were aching, my eyes were leaking, my throat was on fire; I felt absolutely dreadful. All I wanted to do was crawl into a hole and sleep for eternity, but I already paid the expensive table fee for the two-day event, and more importantly, I make thousands during that weekend! I prep for months for this show, I wasn’t about to let death-by-sinuses get the best of me!

While I’m all about resting when you feel sick and always suggest you go seek the help of a medical professional if you’re not feeling well, there are times when we’re not feeling quite as bad as I was and could just use a little help to make it through the event.

  1. Get a Director’s Chair.  I found this chair *on Amazon after being introduced to it from a conversation in the Indie Business Network group.  What is amazing about this chair, especially if you’re not feeling well, is that you don’t have to get up from it and you still seem approachable. Since you’re not hiding behind your table, you’re above it, you’re still able to have the conversation and make the connection with your customers.
  2. Hire Some Help. If you’re just not feeling up to a show, but you know it’s worth your time to be there, consider hiring someone on the side for some help. Are there any high school or college students in your family who could use a day’s pay? Check with your local high school and college for their Career Development Center (you may even get an awesome long-term intern!). You can even hire someone on-demand through TaskRabbit* to help you for the day.
  3. Get A Customer to Be Your Rep. Think about your absolute best customers. Consider offering free products in exchange for any customer who would be willing to come to your show and speak about your products. You can do this by the hour, by the half-day, the day, or whatever fits everyone’s schedule. In exchange for their work, you give them lots of free goodies (maybe a future gift certificate or coupon, too) and feature them all over your social media.
  4. Bring Only the Necessities. There’s so much to lug around when you’re working the vendor circuit, and the whole packing/unpacking scene is sometimes the most exhausting aspect of it. If you’re not feeling well, consider lightening your load by only bringing your absolute best-selling products. Direct customers who visit your table to your website for your full selection.  Another option would be to just bring one of everything and show customers how to order directly from your website. Offer them free shipping in exchange for placing the order (since you’re not offering cash-and-carry).
  5. Hydrate and Make Friends with Neighbors. When you’re feeling ill, hot liquids help to clear your sinuses, and liquids with caffeine will help you power through the day. Drink lots of hot tea and water (hot water with lemon is a great choice) and be sure to make friends with your vendor neighbors. Introduce yourself and be willing to cover their table if they need to run to the restroom, then don’t be afraid if you need to take them up on that same favor throughout the day.

Trying to work when you’re sick stinks, and overall, I don’t recommend it, but if you must power-through the vendor event, be sure to get plenty of rest the night before, take your vitamins, meditate, and maintain a positive outlook and attitude for the day.

*These are affiliate links.

Kristen Fusaro-PizzoPresident

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