How to Get Permission to Be a Vendor at Events


Festivals, concerts, art shows and other events provide excellent opportunities for vendors to sell their goods. Whether you are peddling food and beverages, offering handmade crafts, or promoting a retail business, follow these steps to receive permission to be a vendor at different events.

  • Search for events. Chambers of Commerce, downtown organizations and visitor centers keep calendars of events with contact information for potential vendors. Many magazines and online event directories offer details on events around the country.

  • Prepare an application. Many festivals and events have Web pages with vendor applications online so you can download, print, prepare and submit them. For those who do not have online information, call or email the event contact person and request a vendor application be emailed or mailed to you.

  • Review guidelines. Rules for vendors are typically included on vendor applications. Review the guidelines to determine if you are required to produce a copy of any type of business or professional license with your application. If you are a food vendor, you will likely need a food safety certificate or other registration provided by the agency in your state that regulates food handling and restaurants. If you are an artist, some festivals require sample photos of your work before granting permission for you to be a vendor.

  • Pay the vendor fee. Events vary on vendor fees. Some request a flat rate and others may require a percentage of sales. In rare cases, an event may have no vendor fee. Check the vendor application to find the rate that applies to your booth type, then submit the fee before the deadline.

Tips & Warnings

  • Even if you run into problems at an event, be tactful when dealing with event organizers. The friendlier you are working with festival officials, the greater chance you have of gaining vendor permission for next year's event.

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