It's over already? Time does fly when you're having fun, and we had a lot of fun meeting so many in the Katy area at the Katy Rice Harvest Festival this year. It's definitely an experience to have if you've never been. Many times I've attended as a consumer, this year as vendors we learned so much and made a lot of friends along the way. Here's some tips that may help you with an upcoming festival or trade show.
1. Know Your Venue
One of the most important aspects of marketing is to know your audience. This old adage is also true for promotional events. The Katy Rice Harvest Festival (KRHF) was a great venue to introduce ourselves to the Katy community, however it is geared more toward arts and crafts vendors. There were many families with small children and a vendor marketing to this demographic would do well here. We thankfully had partnered with a lawyer who thought to involve the kids to get the parents engaged. We dressed up as superheros, gave away superhero stickers, and also had a duck matching game for smaller children. This proved to be an excellent way of having our booth stand out. While the children played the game, we were able to talk with the parents and garner potential clients. However, our business demographic for virtual assistance is not geared toward the audience we encountered. At our next promotional event, we plan to do more research on the target audience and where they can be found.
2. Do Your Research
And speaking of research, no matter what event you decide upon, it is important to read all directions, incentives, and opportunities available to you as the vendor. One of the nice aspects that we wish we would've taken advantage of at the KRHF is tent rental, setup, and take down. A tent vendor has partnered with the KRHF to assist vendors with their booths. After hours and several miles of walking, standing, and sitting in 90 degree weather for over 9 hours, the last thing you will want to do is take down a tent, trust us on this one. Had we known beforehand, we would've jumped at the opportunity. So it pays to do your research and do things smarter not harder.
3. Befriend your Neighbors
Day 1 of the festival, early Saturday morning, before coffee has been had, is a critical time. Especially when you're trying to coordinate setting up a to a that's a quarter mile away from where you can park. What do you do? You "get by with a little help from your friends." From knowing how to setup a tent (and needing an extra pair of hands to do this) trust that this is more than a 2 man job, to knowing that you should've brought a drill to stake your booth to the concrete, to knowing where to get a cup of joe, all this and more can be enjoyed by befriending the "veteran vendor". We were very fortunate to be right next to a booth with the two such veterans who took us under their wings and helped us to setup, drilled us to the ground, and pointed us in the direction of the coffee. Plus, they had exceptional crafts and we were able to market to many of the people milling around their booth.
All in all, the KRHF was a great experience and we enjoyed every minute of it because it taught us so much. Experience is a great teacher and we feel better prepared for our next tradeshow. While we're no veteran vendor yet, we would love to share our experience and help you to avoid some of the pitfalls at your next show. Click the "Contact" button and we can get started.