How do I start a vendor event online?
Spring, Summer, and Fall is usually the start of a busy vendor event season where you go do pop-ups around the city at fall, Christmas, and other events. But what do you do when that isn’t an option?
Do an online vendor event!
Create your own vendor events!
Should I pay for events?
If you are looking at events should I pay to attend? Maybe? Like other events and in-person do the research. Do they already have a huge customer base and 50,000 customers? Is it a well-known show that has moved online? It might be worth it. If it’s a person like me who is making their own and making it up as they go along. Maybe not.
Where do you hold the event?
You need the event to be on a platform where people are. A facebook event is a great place to throw an event!
Are there duplicate Vendors?
It’s okay at a big show to have two greeting card vendors, but in an online show it might be confusing! Make sure you have a good variety of vendors that are different from each other. Again, the customer base is the key here. If they have 100,000 people on their online list that might be okay. A small vendor event online with 100 guests, not so much.
Pick a theme
It’s easier to have a general theme, fall, back to school, holiday gifts etc. This isn’t required but will make it easier. Sometimes a theme can be as easy as a holiday or Christmas show.
Set up rules in advance
If you are the main organizer make some ground rules before you invite people. Some ideas are
- Rules on how to invite people, you want people to attend but not be spambots inviting 100s of people and mass adding. No one likes to wake up and be in a random event.
- Pick a platform – Facebook group is the easiest
- Rules on advertising – you want all the vendors to advertise, maybe you want proof?
- You all agree on a prize that will be sent out.
Set up a time for everyone
I’ve been in a few vendor events where there were too many vendors and it dragged on. I found myself getting bored, if I’m bored and I’m a vendor are customers going to be engaged? Not really. Sometimes it’s easier to give everyone shorter time periods like just one evening and a few vendors vs multiple people posting on the same day.
Keep in touch with people
At an in-person event, you would make people fill out a form for a draw or find a way to keep in touch with everyone. Do the same with your online event! Make sure you draw people in and funnel them to your VIP Facebook group, your email list and keep in touch!
Hope this answers your questions of how do I start a vendor event online.
Do you want to offer prizes? Check with your company’s Policy and Procedures and go from there. Some companies (eg so you sell lockets and giving away a charm) is a great prize. But if you sell something like oils maybe a prize doesn’t make sense in the mail.
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