Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Some lessons learnt - Dos and Donts while taking part in an event (stall/exhibition)

Heya folks, I feel very bad I am totally neglecting this blog and want to devote more time to my hobby and blogging. I am trying to keep a balance between posts on my various blogs - travel, hobby, general blog and also taking care of orders every now and then... Anyway, I finally got a chance to exhibit my goods at an event - for and by mumpreneurs!

What better event to start off on the mumpreneur journey... I shall put together points that one must take into consideration before and during the exhibition. Hope it will be helpful to crafters and mommypreneurs.

This list has been put together with inputs from fellow crafters, mothers who are entrepreneurs and other women entrepreneurs. They have been very kind to share this gyaan with me. Hope this will help newbies and first timers.

Before you decide on where to exhibit, where to put up the stall: (in random order)
1) Find out what the crowd will be like

2) What is the theme of the event/exhibition

3) Who else will be selling, what they will be selling

4)Whether you are looking for returns or contacts or just advertisement

5)Whether the rent amount is worth all the trouble


7) Check how many people can share one stall - how many tables/chairs they will provide, how big they are.

Now why I insist on checking the theme of the event is that, the one I took part in was a mix - handmade bazaar, Job fair, and preloved items sale! Now, always remember, preloved and handmade do NOT go together. This was a huge lesson learnt for me.

Yes, you might not see such preloved sales in India but outside it is quite a common scene. People want to make that bargain, so even if they buy handmade items, preloved is always on their mind and who doesn't want to strike a good deal? :)

What to take:
The organisers asked the participants to bring our own banners, buntings, table cloth.
Some important MUST take items include:
1) Visiting Cards - get them printed - please avoid giving away paper cutouts - invest in that hard visiting/name card, having your name, phone number, website/email details. It hardly costs you 1000 bucks for a 1000 cards, sometimes even lesser

2) If the organisers ask you to bring in your own buntings and banners, you could either get them printed on paper or cloth. Make it very eye catchy. See if you can put it up, mine had to be on the table cloth

3) Carry bags - to give away your items in, try to use paper bags - Go green!

4) Lots of change - depending on the value of your items.

5) In case your products are of high value and if buyers wish to use the card swipe option - you might want to check with the organiser about it

6) Small items like thumb tags, cello tape, stapler and pins, scissors for emergency - also keep in mind items that may be relevant to your stall/products.

7) If you are selling fragile stuff, you might want to pack them up in bubble wrap or newspapers and other wrapping material, so keep good stock of that.

8)A bill book, some customers might want a receipt for their purchase

9) Pens, pencils

10)A visitor book - for the guests to leave their contact details

11) In case the event is outdoor and you are likely to experience sun or rain, keep tarpaulin sheets in hand to cover your products.

12) Calculator - yeah, we are all not maths whizzes to calculate and give back exact change haha..

13) Some old newspapers (just keep them handy, you never know when they will be useful)

14)A portable seat/stand if you haven't been provided with one

15) Flyers, if need be

16)Last but not at all the least - take food and water with you. Eat when you can - many times, you will be stuck at you stall and unable to get something to eat, even though the exhibition has food stalls - you might not be able to leave the stall and go.

Tips and pointers:

This is a very good chance for you as a seller to interact with your customers, if you have been selling online so far. So give it your best shot, dress up well, be confident and speak to them. Try not to bore them, some buyers can get scared if we try to keep them for too long.

Note down what sale you do - keep an eye on the money, you never know who can just flick it away when you are not looking.

You might want to put up price tags on your products, helps at times keep away nosy visitors - there are some people who in order to find out the price, end up bargaining and it hurts an artist if someone bargains on the price of their product.

If possible, display products in a variety of price ranges so there is something for everyone.

Try not to turn down a customer, if something is out of stock, try and convince them that you will deliver as soon as you can. Note down their contact details, will add to your database and make it a point to connect with them after the event.

Most important point of all, have fun, smile and welcome visitors... It would be very very helpful if you can take a friend along, so there will be someone to look over the stall when you want to probably have a quick bite or attend nature's call (hey I am being practical)

And here is a picture of me at the event.... yeah.. i only had that much - the other half was my friend's share, she gladly accompanied me and was eager to showcase her wares as well...