Are you preparing a booth or table for an event this holiday season? These shopping extravaganzas bring a captive, eager audience to your brand, but you’ll be one of many to choose from. You have to stand out.
Need some ideas? I gathered advice from some expert sellers (whose humility alone outshines their keen knowledge and past successes) and here’s what they said.
What You Sell…
Let’s start here, shall we? If you sell one thing, then I guess your choices are simple. Just start packing up, but if you’re trying to decide among various items that you sell, Robyn says to go with “Needs over Wants.” In other words, consider those impulse buys. What’s going to make people pull out their wallets? Have items on hand that make them say “Oh I definitely need that (and can’t leave here without it)” rather than “Oh that’s nice.”
Focus on what’s in, especially with your particular audience. Big trends right now include organics and naturals, cottons and real fabrics, vintage and heirloom quality, retro and midcentury mod. The most innovative, clever, or new always “wins” at markets and bazaars. Sometimes your most popular sellers online are the items that have been hot for a while. Leave those at home, because everyone “else” will have those… and bring out the newest, hottest stuff.
Don’t forget to be true to where the event is! “People always love things unique to the area, state prints, or local images are always fun,” reminds Diane.
How You Sell…
Of course it’s not just about What, but also about How. “It’s more about creating a space that is true to your brand,” Diane says.
“Your display and over all esthetic are definitely what make people come to your booth or not,” says Chelsea.
All three recommended using tablecloths, banners and backdrops to personalize your space… and to hide the clutter. Guys, it’s real. It takes a lot of “stuff” to set up a booth or table, but Chelsea warns your shoppers don’t want to see all that. Drape a tablecloth beautifully and put all the “stuff” away. “Having a professional looking setup is key,” Chelsea explains, admitting the key to that is lots of solid tablecloths. She also recommends ordering a banner with your logo on it.
Diane recommends open space for mingling and interacting with your items – and dropped the most brilliant idea. Macramé is everything in the handmade world this year – so find a way to hang those planters and fill them with your products.
As much as you get things up and off the table, the better, Robyn says.
This is where the stress comes in sometimes, but never fear. Sit down with a to-do list and check off items as you go.
Here are some little things my experts say not to forget!
Gift giving – Diane recommends displaying and packaging items as stocking stuffers and holiday gifts. “Make it easy to see how to gift,” she explains.
Payment details – “Most people won’t ask what the price of an item is even if they’re interested,” Chelsea warns. Eeek! Label every item with a price. Don’t make ‘em ask or search for a price. … Oh and accept credit cards. So many places make that easy now. Don’t lose a sale because of cash.
Expectations – It’s hard to know if an event is worth it beforehand or successful at the end of a tiring day. “Manage unrealistic expectations,” Robyn says, explaining that you probably aren’t going to make staggering numbers of sales. Make sure you have business cards on hand, a newsletter signup, order sheets, social media tie ins and more to encourage on-going sales and allow for greater success from this event.