This examiner attended the St. Louis Working Woman’s Survival Show this weekend. The excitement was contagious and the vendors were plentiful as usual. Filling 2 stories of the St. Charles Convention Center, as well as the hallways, there was something for everyone. While the St. Louis Working Moms Examiner was on a girl’s day out with her grown daughter, she could not help but think about sales. It was a sales persons dream to be in a room full of that many women.
As she rounded the corner, she was hit by a strange site. Surrounded by smiling vendors, attentive to each individual within range, stood an older gentleman. His white coat was similar to the coats worn by other vendors. He was obviously a doctor. He had his arms crossed and a very serious look on his face. There was nothing inviting within his space. I found myself intrigued not only by his posture, but also by his seemingly inability to engage those around him.
He did not smile at anyone as they walked by his booth. He stood there, arms crossed, waiting for someone to approach him. This examiner slowed her pace, in order to observe a little longer. No one was stopping, or even taking the time to slow down. He had offered the attendees no reason to enter his space. There was nothing there but him, his crossed arms, and his very serious look.
Choosing to be a vendor at an event such as this, is an expensive marketing choice. There is a great deal of planning that should go into this type of event, in order to get the most of it.
- Use a table cloth that is bright and cheery
- Place information on the table that may be taken home and read at the attendees leisure.
- Place contact information on everything that leaves your vendor area.
- Use free items to bring visitors closer to the table, this can be as simple as a bowl of candy.
- There should be at least one woman, and one man working the booth area. Some people relate to one sex easier than the other.
- Engage everyone that is within the inside voice distance. Smile and use inviting gestures to encourage interaction.
- Create an opportunity for visitors to stay a few minutes. A quiz, a game, or some form of drawing will be enough time to gain interest in the items on table.
- Collect contact information for a drawing.
- Once the names have been collected, do not spam people. Use the private information sparingly. People who receive too much contact will be more likely to tune it out, or send it to the discard box.
- Never cross your arms. This sends a body language message that you are unapproachable.
- Find a reason to smile at all times, even if your cheeks begin to hurt. Smiling is one of the most inviting uses of body language that people have at their disposal.
- Do not sit behind your table. Standing is more engaging.
Attending an event as a vendor can be an expensive endeavor. Prepare ahead of time and make the most of the experience. Marketing a company through a vendor event can be fun. The returns gained may not be fully realized until months later.
Do you know of an event that the St. Louis Working Moms Examiner should be aware of? Send her an email, with the details.
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Other events coming to the St. Louis area
St. Louis Small Business Week
St. Louis Business Expo