When it comes to promoting your business and seeking new customers, nothing beats attending special events and festivals. Hosts of big events in the city are always looking forward to other businesses joining as vendors during the festivities. While some events may be focused on a certain theme or business niche, there are others that are general. Some of these events can however be open for you to join as a vendor, depending on the specialty of your business. Of course, you can always choose to not to partake in events and festivals, but you won’t be doing your business any favors by doing so. Although it won’t result in losing any of your already gained businesses, it could reduce your inherent ability to gain new contacts and customers.
While events are excellent places to do some additional advertising and selling, you can’t go into one with the intention of winging it. Special events are known to be very hectic and busy and as such, you will need to dedicate some time to plan and prepare. When planning out your strategy for any upcoming events, there are some necessities that you need to get a hold of as soon as possible.
Get Your Permits and Registration in Order
There are several procedures you will need to follow and permits you will acquire before the day you are expected to arrive at the special event with all your gear to set up and start selling. If you are not planning to sell food items, you won’t have as much red tape and paperwork to deal with, thankfully. On the other hand, if you are planning to deal with the distribution of food related items you will be required to sign up for additional permissions including a food handlers permit along with the usual vendor licence. According to the Houston Chronicle, many of the vendor permits that you can get for festivals will only give you vending privileges for a set period of time, which often spans from 24 to 48 hours, depending on the duration of the festival. The regulations and requirements for getting a vendor permit may also differ in each city and state. The U.S. Small Business Administration offers a comprehensive list of each state’s particular regulations for getting a permit.
Finally, you should also know that registering to get your permit and licence to be a vendor at an event carries a cost. You may be required to pay a fee for registration and for the permit. It will be a wise man’s incite to learn what those fees are like so that you can have an idea of how much you will need to sell to make a profit. Even so, you should not make making a profit your primary focus at a festival but to promote your business and attract potential new customers.
Mobile Card Reader and Cash Drawer
Sometimes festival attendees will spend all the cash they have brought along with them but still want to shop around some more. As such, you will need to be able to process all types of payment methods. The absence of a machine to accept credit card payments is a surefire way of restricting the amount of sales you will receive at the event. Likewise, you won’t want to neglect those customers with cash and it will always offer a sense of security and appearance of professionalism when a cash drawer is also present at your booth.
While they are not necessities, a mobile card reader, a cash drawer and a mobile POS system are great pieces of equipment to have with you at your booth. Ecommerce vendors like Shopify can provide you with a POS system that not only makes running your business smoother during regular hours, but also vastly improves your capabilities when at events. Such mobile POS systems are often easily capable of directly integrating with your cash drawer and card reader as well, giving you an all-in-one control panel for your equipment.
Bring Lots of Stuff
As a final point, you will need to ensure that you have enough merchandise for the entire duration of the festival. One of the worst situations you can find yourself in is running out of stuff to sell before the show has ended. While it’s fine if you don’t sell everything as you can just take the remaining products back to your business after the show, it is not ok to have to close up your booth before the show finishes because you have ran out of merchandise. People attending the event might see it as a form of unprofessionalism as it would appear you failed to plan for the event properly. Art Vendors highly suggests bringing along double what you expect to sell at a festival.