If you want to organize an amazing event, first things first: You need amazing vendors. Empty booth space is lost revenue, and lost opportunity to make your event a more attractive experience. Here’s a list of ways to attract and retain amazing vendors for your next event.

 

  • Know the target audience for your event and seek the vendors your customers want to see.
  • Survey your existing vendors. Ask them three questions:
    • What should we keep doing?
    • What should we stop doing?
    • What should we start doing?
  • Advertise the event where your ideal vendors are looking. Where do they hang out or look for events?
    • Other venues (chamber of commerce, visitor and civic centers, fairgrounds, and event centers)
    • Similar events
    • Your event’s website, newspapers, radio, tv, internet, and mailing lists
  • Encourage your vendors to promote their participation at your event to their customers through emails, social media postings, and distributing flyers.
  • Streamline the registration process with online vendor applications, space assignments, and payment processing.
  • Communicate with your vendors. Make sure new vendors know where to go and when to be there. Include tips for first-time vendors. Follow up the event with a Thank You email or better, a handwritten note.
  • Make it a priority to treat your vendors well – anticipate their needs and be willing to take extra time to make it happen. Appreciate them through simple, tangible, thoughtful ways.
  • Use your website and social media to promote your exhibitors.