One of the most important aspects for any business but especially small business is marketing. Few venues can deliver the amount of exposure to potential customers as a festival or trade show. The weekend of October 8 & 9, 2016, Assignment Allies will be at the Katy Rice Harvest Festival in Katy, TX. With hundreds of booths and thousands of attendees, the Katy Rice Harvest Festival is a great way to promote your business. Here at Assignment Allies, we’ve put together a list of 5 things to prepare for a festival.
1. Read the Rules
There's a reason this is number 1. Before you start to plan, always read the rules and regulations for that festival. Each one is different and it can drastically affect your marketing plan. Many festivals have restrictions on food and drink if you are not a food vendor. Even passing out bottled water could jeopardize your booth if not allowed. There are also usually rules on electricity use and booth size. Familiarizing yourself with these rules and planning accordingly will ensure you use your time wisely and enjoy the festival.
2. Pick a Theme
With hundreds of vendors side by side, it's important to stand out you as much as you can while not distracting from your product or service. This can be achieved by picking a theme. This year, Assignment Allies will be doing the Super Heroes theme as virtual assistants often “save the day” for their clients. We’ll have Marvel t-shirts, Super Hero stickers as giveaways for the kids, and an interactive PowerPoint based on the J.A.R.V.I.S. virtual assistant from Iron Man. If in the area, please come by, we’d love to meet you. By picking a theme, you get to show your creativity, grow your business, and have fun.
3. Plan the Logistics
Now that you know the rules and have chosen how you want to present yourself, it's time to plan logistically. Again, each festival will be different but having a checklist for the most common items will help you to stay organized. The most common items you’ll need will be a canopy tent, a fold-able table, signage or banners, business cards, and a giveaway item. If electricity will not be provided by the venue, you may also need a generator to run any electronic devices. Depending on the weather you may also need fans, heaters, or blankets. Some vendors defer costs by sharing a booth with another vendor. If you would like to do this, make sure to include the other vendor when choosing a theme as well as if any costs for equipment will be split.
4. Perfect your Pitch
Usually you’ll have 2 minutes or less to tell passersby about your boot. Therefore, having a quick sales pitch memorized about your product or service will be critical. Your booth should do much of your talking for you, so make sure to have prices, products, and services easily visible. Your pitch should be a quick but compelling sale about what you do/make and why it's important to them. Our Allies will have plenty of signage with who we are and what we do as well as pricing, while engaging passersby why virtual assistance is the future of administrative assistance.
5. Capture Your Leads
One of the most important aspects of the festival is acquiring leads and follow up. If you're a service oriented business, this is especially critical and needs to be planned for in advance. How will you capture leads on interested parties? How and when will you follow up? It can be as simple as having interested people write down their contact information or having them drop in business cards for a drawing. This October in celebration of the Katy Rice Harvest Festival, Assignment Allies will be giving away in a drawing 5 hours of administrative work, a $200.00 value!
As you can tell, we’re very excited about the upcoming festival and hope that these suggestions will help you in planning for your next one. If you would like help in planning for your own festival or additional suggestions, please contact us. Stay tuned for October’s blog when we feature our lessons learned from the festival and reveal some exciting upcoming changes.