How to Sell Vendor Booths

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A big event like a parade or speaking engagement is about to occur in a location large enough to make some extra income. Your company wants to sell vendor booths to other business people who want to reach your audience. But what steps must you take to set up the contracts, fee amounts and supplies the vendors will need to make this a successful event?

  • Calculate how much it will cost the organization to create an event in the vendor location. Initial costs include renting an allotted amount of space, parking lot fees, permits and food and beverage costs.

  • Decide on how much each vendor will pay, making sure to either make a profit or come out even. Be wary of being too greedy with this amount for the vendors. If your amount is too high, you'll risk less vendors and pay for too much space.

  • Decide on whether you'll supply the chairs, tables or tents that the vendors need. If you do, calculate that in the price in Step 1. Let vendors know how many of each item you'll supply them with. If a vendor brings a friend to help her sell items but only one chair is supplied, then someone has to stand unnecessarily or go off to find chairs. If you are not supplying anything, let them know that. If mishandled, simple things like these can make the organization look irresponsible, annoy the vendors and make your events look unprofessional. If the organization is concerned about having their equipment returned, make the vendors pay a deposit fee and refund it as long as all equipment is still usable.

  • Pay attention to the quality and diversity in the food for vendors who want a food stand. Nothing can ruin a festival or event like a customer getting food poisoning or not being able to find anything they can eat. Encourage vendors to bring different types of items (for example, vegetarian dishes at one booth and meat dishes at another). If someone is bringing food, either the organization will have to supply a food license or the vendor will. Verify this when getting your event permit. The types of items they sell can also help sell tickets for your event. For example, if you're having a Caribbean festival and jerk chicken is served, this can make some customers want to come. Try to keep the food related to the event.

  • Promote your event on personal websites and other networking sites like MySpace and Twitter.com. Leave enough information about the event to make consumers interested. Include a printable file for vendors to access. If the vendor has to do too much searching around to figure out how to become a vendor, he may just give up.

  • Be professional and humble in your approach dealing with vendors, even if there is a long list of people who are interested. Never make a vendor feel like she should be bowing down to you for the opportunity to be a part of your event. If the vendor feels like she's working with someone who will make her company look good, she'll be more likely to also recommend your company to a friend or be a repeat customer for future events. This type of professionalism also includes giving accurate contact information like email addresses, fax numbers and mailing addresses. If the vendor can't find the person to give her information to, then both the organization and vendor lose out.

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