Friday, May 31, 2013

Festival Lessons

I recently attended Territory Days in Colorado Springs with my company. There are things I will do differently and things I will do the same at my next event.

My Top Changes:
1) Get a white tent and make my own walls. A blue top is nice for shade but uninviting for customers as it lets less light in.
2) I need more displays. As the Mayor of Territory Days said... I need a hooker. Something that hooks peoples attention and draws them into my booth. My mini tipi worked ok but next time I'm planning bigger.
3) Be loud. I've already booked a friend with a loud booming voice to recite a short spiel about my products in order to draw people in from further away.

My Top Successes:
1) Saying "Hello" to everyone within earshot that made eye contact.
2) Smiling... ALL DAY. Think of your booth as a stage, face the audience and put on a happy face. It makes you and your products more inviting.
3) Know your products. Saying "um" before you answer a question makes you seem like you don't know what you're doing and could cost you sales.
4) Network. Even if you aren't making as many sales as you want you can make the best of an event by talking with other vendors, coordinators, and such. This simple act may allow me to attend the same event next year for $200 less. I also got invitations to 4 other events in my area because of this.
5) Show your enthusiasm for what you do. Not only does it show your level of commitment but it is rewarding beyond description when you meet a person that sees your vision and shares in your excitement.
6) Be polite even when someone is rude to you. I was told at this event that I should not be doing what I do (making Tipis Tepees Teepees) because I am a woman. A man told me that a woman's job is to set up the Tipi not make them. As insulting as it may be I was polite and kind to the rather interesting fellow - the history of some tribes is that even though we do not live in the days of old. As he walked away I tried to find one thing to appreciate him for so our mood killing chat wouldn't affect the rest of my day or my sales. I came to the conclusion that he had very pretty hair and went about my day as normal. For anyone who thinks this old tradition should still be followed I will add that the majority of Tipi Manufacturers, even if male owned, are female operated with the sewing being done by women.

You win some, you loose some. All you can do is keep trying. Focus on the positive to keep you upbeat and think of how you will change the negative. Just don't give up.

What are your experiences with events and festivals? Did you have a tactic that worked wonders for you or something that you now know was a really bad idea?

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