A new year is upon us. Time to hit reset.
The start of a new year is the perfect time to revisit everything that worked for us last year and everything we have to admit was more of a not so much. Don't let this be another year of coulda, woulda, shoulda. Here are some of our top tips for getting the most out of our events and all of the others you'll do this year. Let's go!
1) STAND UP FOR YOUR BUSINESS
Just say NO to chairs in 2016
We know, we know... you need a place to sit during a long day, right? The problem is, it's just too tempting to sit down and completely disengage from potential customers. It's all about the body language, and if you're sitting (or otherwise distracted or disengaged... cell phone junkies, you know who you are) you can't connect. Grab some stools and gel mats instead. The stools keep you up and approachable, the gel mats help take some of the burden off of your back.
2) MAKE SURE SUPPLY MEETS DEMAND
Stock enough product
We've seen it more times than we can count. It's 3pm, the event goes until 8pm, and you've sold out. Now what?! Can you pack up and head home? No! It's hard to gauge how much product to prep and bring, but selling out can be detrimental to your performance at an event. "We truly just didn't have enough product and weren't prepared for the crowds. If we had more product to sell, we would have made much more money." That's a direct quote from one of our 2015 Holiday Market vendors. Which brings us to Number 3.
3) AWAYS HAVE A PLAN B
Sometimes even the best made plans don't always work out. If it looks like you're going to sell out, be sure to hold back enough product to maintain samples and take pre-orders. This way you can still engage with people new to your product all day long and you wont lose opportunities for more sales throughout the day.
4) MAKE ROOM FOR MARKETING
Sales are icing on the cake
In a traditional business plan, events are a marketing line item. Make sure you frame your events in the right light. Marketing doesn't always equal on site sales, but it does mean an opportunity to expose your brand to the market. What would happen if you viewed each event as an opportunity to expand your reach to the thousands of people at every event that had never heard of you? What if the person who took a card and walked away was a buyer or stockist? Would you focus more on sampling and getting people on your mailing list? Would you give out recipe cards? Would you spend more time engaged and sharing your story? Think about it and go for it!
5) SEE THE FOREST FOR THE TREES
Create opportunities for longterm reach after the event
Don't let potential customers walk away empty handed. Handing out cards with promo codes for after the event can help give potential customers an incentive to circle back and make a purchase even if they didn't the day of the event and gives you a surefire way to track ROI beyond day of event sales. It can also get potential customers onto your website and visiting you on social media which can have high impact.