Five Ways To Succeed At a Vendor Event

Good morning fellow direct sales professionals! Tis the season for vendor events! You’ve worked hard to get some good ones on your calendar and now you want to make the most of them! Do you sit there and sell to those who wish to buy? Or should your focus be on collecting names and numbers? If you don’t sell anything, are you successful at the event? If you sell but don’t walk away with names and numbers, is THAT productive? Here are my top five ways to succeed at a vendor event.

1) A vendor event is an opportunity, NOT a guarantee. YOU are the guarantee. Thanks to my facebook friend Lisa Teeter for that quote. She posted about vendor events, giving me the itch to make this blog post about the topic. Invite all of your local contacts to the event! Tell them to bring a friend! YOU can help ensure a crowd!

2) ENGAGE with the crowd. Don’t sit there and wait for sales. Strike up conversations. Encourage people to enter your drawing. Smile and be friendly. Nobody wants to stop by the table where the vendor is sitting and playing candy crush. But if a vendor is smiling and doing something—- having a drawing, passing out samples…. aren’t you likely to want to say hello?

3) Network with the other vendors! Exchange names and numbers. I have had other vendors purchase from me and I’ve purchased from other vendors. Do this before the regular crowd shuffles in (like the Billy Joel reference?) or as everyone is closing up shop. Don’t leave your table in the middle of the action unless you have another consultant with you who is willing to be alone for a few minutes.

4) Help out! If there isn’t enough foot traffic, get on your phone and post on social media! Bribe your friends to bring friends! Make sure all of your current clients know what’s in it for them if they stop by your table! If there is foot traffic but not enough sales, make a sign offering a sale! “Today Only 20% off” or “buy 2 get 3rd Free!”

5) Last but not least: Come home with a next step. If all you do at an event is sell, your event will be successful on that day only. If you come home with names and numbers, it doesn’t matter whether you’ve sold anything on that day—- each of those names can lead to hundreds of dollars in future sales, not to mention wonderful relationships. ALWAYS have a method for collecting names and numbers. A drawing. A survey. Samples (take a sample packet in exchange for your name and number so I can call to follow up). Call everyone SOON after the event. Don’t let the excitement die down. If I enter your drawing today and I didn’t win, call me tomorrow to tell me that I didn’t win the grand prize but I DID win a free skin care pampering session and makeover. If you call me in two weeks I’m going to forget I even went to the event! It’s going to sound like you just want moer people coming over to try your product. But if you call me the next day and I didn’t win the grand prize, I’ll still be excited to win your free ______ (whatever you are doing to get people in the door!).

Happy craft show/ holiday boutique/ wedding fair/ event season! Make the most of your opportunities!

Aside from parenting special needs twins, Heather Price represents three direct sales and network marketing companies. She started with a popular skin care/ cosmetics company in 2000, and added the greeting card and video email companies in 2008 and 2012 specifically to encourage other direct sales professionals to use out of the box tools to promote their businesses. Heather enjoys selling the products and building teams with these companies. Do you need extra income? You can find out more from the “work with Heather” pull down menu at In 2012 she added social media services to her portfolio. For a limited number of clients, she tweets, pins, posts, connects, curates content, uploads videos, and generally explodes the social media presence of small businesses. Heather’s businesses can be found at , , and . To ask Heather about her social media services, put your info here:

31 Responses to Five Ways To Succeed At a Vendor Event

  1. Daveda says:

    These are MUST HAVE tips for success. People are attracted to people who are alive and having fun! Thanks Heather 😉

  2. Cheryl Gnad says:

    You are very good at utilizing all that the vendor event offers. The work begins BEFORE, goes on DURING, and continues AFTER the event! It is very hard work to connect with people as they PASS by! but well worth it!I gone as myself – a “walking” vendor, without a booth, and it is free! (only to ticket to enter). I am out contacting them, not the other way around, often. They love people like me bc I do want to learn about their products and services! However, I really hate the crowds, so pick and choose what events I go to.

  3. Great tips that are so important. You do want to talk with people and interact without shoving your product down someone’s throat.

  4. Liran says:

    Having a plan for any sales opportunity is the key to success – when it comes to business it’s all about planning and executing on a strategy.

  5. Heather says:

    I know that when I did these kinds of events for human resources, the best thing we could do was come away from the table and engage and not just sit there and hope that someone came by to ask questions. That tip really works!

  6. Good stuff. I’ve been successful by networking with other vendors.

    • Heather says:

      me too! not just sales from them (and you get some goodies from them too—- I ALWAYS SPEND money at a vendor event!)— but great tips and the start of a new relationship too.

  7. Kim Nesbitt says:

    It always amazes me when I see people sitting behind their table not engaging with people. These are great tips Heather. Thank you.

  8. Patricia says:

    Love the phrase ” a vendor event is an opportunity not a guarantee. You are the guarantee! Great job! P

    • Heather says:

      I liked it too— it’s not my phrase though. Credit goes to my facebook friend who posted it in a status update. She gave me the idea to turn her comment into this blog post.

  9. Thanks for the reminder! If you don’t want to be interactive with the attendees and other vendors, stay home and save your money.

  10. Been to my share of these events. Those are some great tips, especially striking up conversations with others vs. waiting around.

    • Heather Price says:

      do you ever present at these events, or are you usually a customer? I’m wondering how you’d utilize a vendor event for your type of business.

  11. Great advice! I really enjoy the energy at these types of events, which reminds me that I should find one and put it on my schedule. I love your last step. Follow up is so important with everything.

  12. Excellent Heather, you are so right and hey, why did you have to mention Candy Crush… I haven’t played at all, but hear it is the “thing”… but I have better things to do. lol You are right, if you are going to participate in a vendor show… then participate.. don’t wait for people to come to you, engage with them, just like with social. It isn’t often that leads and business FALLS in your lap, you have to work for it, build relationships! good post

    • Heather Price says:

      I have a friend at level 500 +. I’m only at level 60 something. lol. :) And I DON’T play candy crush when I’m supposed to be engaging with potential clients! :) usually while waiting for my kids’ school busses in the morning.

  13. Shelley Webb says:

    Candy Crush. Oh Noooooo. I almost got roped into that on my iphone.

    One thing I would add – make sure you know the “rules” of the event beforehand. I recently signed up for one and found out that the vendors were not allowed to sit at the tables. Volunteers would be checking to be sure that items were restocked. Um….no.

  14. Mona says:

    I was a vendor at an event two weeks ago, and most of them could have used this blog post. So many were in their own world and expected others to come up and buy their wares. But the ones who were friendly sold out. That says it all…

  15. Great tips Heather. Building the relationship is what I feel is success at any event. Get to know the other person and their needs and the rest takes care of itself long term.

  16. Lorii Abela says:

    Great ideas! It is indeed very important to smile and be friendly as a vendor. What do you like most about vendor events?

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