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What are your tips for a successful booth at a large event?

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"Location, location, location".  When you sign up for a venue, (especially one you haven't done before) try to get a diagram of the booth locations, and try to imagine the (foot) traffic pattern.  If you can choose your space, as opposed to just getting assigned a booth by the show's organizers, try to get one on a main corridor that intersects with another.  Try to get a handle on what other vendors will be around you.  Also try to consider how the sunshine will effect your booth as the day goes on.  Don't forget things like wind conditions (I had my tent blow over once because I neglected to properly anchor it!) and what you will do if it rains.

Of course, signage is important, too.  Get  good quality banners with your logo, business name, and contact info.  They don't have to be expensive.  My wife got several for her citizen tutoring business from Vistaprint, but also check out Staples.

And have plenty of business cards to hand out!  If you think youre going to have enough, double it!

Don't be the typical craft fair vendor who sets his tent up with the table across the front and sits on his arse in a chair all day long.  Nothing worse than a barrier between you and your customer.  Make your space inviting and STAND UP and talk to people.  DEMONSTRATE, DEMONSTRATE AND DEMONSTRATE.  I can't tell you the number of times people have asked, "what do they sound like/".  Pick one up and play and encourage your potential customers to play.  Especially the 3 strings because in a matter of minutes, even non players can make some decent sounding noise and it just may be the thing to entice them to buy. I set my tables up in a U shape with one on each side of the tent running front to back and on along the back wall.  I put my most "eye popping" product on the back table so people will walk in to see it.  It also happens to be my most expensive stuff which I want them to see.  Have tons of business cards.  I also did a brochure showing some on my builds and gives some history of who I am and what my business is all about.  It also includes an order form for a cbg kit.  It works as I seem to get orders after the show.  Anyone what to see a brochure for an example, drop me a note at otbguitars@gmail.com.  Accept credit cards. (I use Square and it works great).  Most of all have fun and get excited about your stuff.  You worked hard to build it and you proud of it so let that shine thru to your customers.  If you're excited, they'll get excited too.

Great information! Sees like you two have done your homework and are making it work!

Good tips! Time and time again I've seen vendors with great looking booths forget the most important thing and that's to engage the people passing by and at the end of the show complain about the lack of business. While at the same time a vendor with a less than a professional looking booth have a great sales day because he spent the time on his feet in front of his booth interacting with people, demonstrating the product and asking for the sale (That's called closing.)

Thom's tips of setting up your booth as a 'U' removes the barrier that many vendors create when they put a table in front of the booth with the vendor sitting on his arse behind it texting on his smart phone. Having eye popping items in the back of the booth draws people in which is exactly what you what.

Great tips guys!



Thom Allen said:

Don't be the typical craft fair vendor who sets his tent up with the table across the front and sits on his arse in a chair all day long.  Nothing worse than a barrier between you and your customer.  Make your space inviting and STAND UP and talk to people.  DEMONSTRATE, DEMONSTRATE AND DEMONSTRATE.  I can't tell you the number of times people have asked, "what do they sound like/".  Pick one up and play and encourage your potential customers to play.  Especially the 3 strings because in a matter of minutes, even non players can make some decent sounding noise and it just may be the thing to entice them to buy. I set my tables up in a U shape with one on each side of the tent running front to back and on along the back wall.  I put my most "eye popping" product on the back table so people will walk in to see it.  It also happens to be my most expensive stuff which I want them to see.  Have tons of business cards.  I also did a brochure showing some on my builds and gives some history of who I am and what my business is all about.  It also includes an order form for a cbg kit.  It works as I seem to get orders after the show.  Anyone what to see a brochure for an example, drop me a note at otbguitars@gmail.com.  Accept credit cards. (I use Square and it works great).  Most of all have fun and get excited about your stuff.  You worked hard to build it and you proud of it so let that shine thru to your customers.  If you're excited, they'll get excited too.

Four or five stalls later, I've learned this: Have a heap of business cards with relevent and current contact details. I use a comfortable car seat on a 2X4 base for demonstration, interested people are invited to sit in it and pick away. I've had a few people try to buy the seat from me. Have at least a couple of Diddley Bows on hand for kids and non-musos. If your pitch sucks (buried way out back, no good flow, stuck between New Age spiritualist and hand knitted toilet roll covers etc), talk to the organiser, they are usually pretty good. Helps if you go there with an alternate plan, not just a sack full of moans.

DEMONSTRATE THE PRODUCT!! Play that puppy! For the love of God, DO NOT just leave a backing tape running and toss in the occasional riff, this is death. It helps to have a Cahone/drumbox on hand as well. Punters who may not want to try a CBG will pound out a drum roll on it, thats your cue to either jam or sell them the drum box. If you are not talking, you should be playing.

Don't be afraid to deal and trade. Don't over stock. I usually take 10-12 pieces, that seems about right. Have plenty of slides, I cut the necks off bottles mostly and hand them out to kids and the odd adult. Give a free slide with each sold CBG.

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