Event Tip: Is one space better than another?
When you’re applying to an event, many times you’ll be shown the floorplan and asked which space you’d like to have (these normally come at different prices depending on if it’s a corner space or not).
If you have tables/displays to be able to fill and use a corner space… to me, they are often worth the difference in cost.
A corner spot can help you “close” your one neighboring side to create “your store”. And you’ll be able to draw attention to what you have without people being distracted by what your neighbor may be doing.
This is also helpful when it comes to engaging with your customers. You want them to feel comfortable asking questions and being able to connect with you. Having a space that says “welcome, I’m here to help you” is the perfect environment to building not just new customers, but new friends that will want to seek you out time and time again.
An inline space (neighbors on both sides) is also possible to “build” this kind of customer space with some clever planning and many of you do it very well!
When planning to be a part of an event, you may want to ask who your neighboring vendors would be. Not every product is great next to every product.
Here’s the example that always comes to my mind… at one of the Southern Women’s Shows, my friend Anne who owns Anne’s Dumplings (those of you in the South have probably seen her products in Food Lion and WalMart in the freezer section), Anne ‘s booth was next to the people with those tubs of water that people soak their feet to “pull the toxins out of your body”.
Anne and her crew were boiling and serving pots of chicken and dumplings. It looked similar to the foot bath folks next to her and she had a really hard time getting people to talk with her at that show. The buckets of “foot toxins” were gunky, vile and smelly. Not a good place for Anne to be (or anyone really lol).
Remember my story about the Roasted Cinnamon Pecan vendor turning on “his magic”? His plan is brilliant… for him, but can be detrimental to someone trying to sell food mixes next or near him. His “magic” can be overpowering and can drive folks away.
Speaking of overpowering… I always used to ask to not be anywhere near someone with candles or smelly things. These can make people like me, have allergic reactions and steer as far away from anything that smells like that. This can make people miss your booth if you’re near them, so it’s a good question to ask.
I’ve also made the mistake of thinking “ah, a booth right near the bathroom would be great. People have to go there and they’ll see me on their way”. I’ve found that booths near the bathroom or in the path are NOT good at all. People use bathrooms at events as meet up points and they aren’t in shopping mode when they are looking for their friends or Mom.
I have found that spots near the front are good, but sometimes a small spot in the back can be too. This goes back to the importance of being able to make a connection and just being able to talk with people is great.
Here’s something else that is fun to watch… when there are people standing in front of your booth, looking at your products, other people are more likely to come over to see what the interest is.
My mother, gotta love her, used to love to go to events with me and she’d go walk around and shop then come back and stand in front of my booth and “act like a shopper”. She’d ask me questions like she didn’t know the answers. LOL Sometimes this was helpful and people would come over to look, but mostly it made people wonder why the lady who had been behind the table with me all day was “acting like a shopper” . (My mom’s a hoot and I so wish she was able to do these things with me now.)
People are funny about not wanting to walk up and talk to someone behind a table if they are the only ones there. That’s when it’s really important to not be sitting down, looking at your phone, eating or talking with someone behind your table with you.
You need to create a feeling of “Hi there, come see what I have and let me help you make great meals in your kitchen”. It’s not hard, just be yourself and be happy to help them. They’ll know if you’re sincere and trust you to really find out about what we have and how our products can help them.
I hope my “tips” are helpful. I truly have experience with probably hundreds of events of all sizes and types through my years as I was building Kitcheneez. If they help someone be more successful or comfortable doing what we do, then I’m happy to share.