When you’re a LuLaRoe retailer (and I’m sure this applies to other direct sellers as well), you are told one of the keys to a great business is getting into vendor events. That’s true, but it’s frustrating when you can’t make it happen. Most events will only accept one consultant from each company. So what’s a girl to do?
Throw your own vendor event!
Not quite a year into selling LuLaRoe, my family was fortunate to be able to move to a (much) bigger house. But moving is The. Worst. It just is. So I knew I wanted to have something to look forward to doing after the move. We had a great big new (to us) house and not enough furniture to fill it (yet). And suddenly I had a ton of friends in direct sales (we really seem to attract each other, don’t we?!). Light bulb moment! I’ll put on my own stinkin’ vendor event.
Here’s how I did it.
I invited all of my friends who do direct sales. Luckily, we’re all with different companies or I’m not sure how I would have handled that. I figured some people wouldn’t be able to make it.
And then they all said yes. Or maybe, and then yes. Or no, but then rearranged their schedules to say yes. In the end we had 13 different companies represented. I panicked for a minute but it turned out great!
First thing I did was call my bestie (who sells Scentsy) to make sure I picked a date that worked for her. If this thing turns into an epic failure, you need to have your bestie to help you break it down afterwards. And if it’s wildly successful, you need to have your bestie there to help you break it down afterwards. Anyway. Bestie. Check.
Then I sent messages to all my other direct sales friends with the basic info asking if they’d be interested.
If they were interested, I sent them a form to fill out that had all of the important information and I made them check boxes to agree to it. Yup. I did. Because…
You have to tell people what you expect from them!
Everybody has to be on the same page. No one can read your mind. And you need to be specific. My form told everybody what I expected for advertising the event, exactly how to run the giveaway at the event, what time they could arrive to set up and what they needed to bring with them.
In fact, here’s the exact form I used. Feel free to be inspired by it’s awesomeness.
Make it easy to do what you asked!
Two weeks before the event, I emailed or messaged everybody and corralled us into one group chat. I used the chat to remind people when to advertise. I also provided advertising graphics (that’s the fun part, for me!!) Every time I told them to advertise, I sent the link to the event. Even if I had already sent it a couple times. Make it easy! How likely are they to include the link if they have to scroll back a week to find it again?
Advertise, advertise, advertise!
Advertising is so important, I included it in the agreement form. In addition to having all the vendors advertise on their own social media, I also boosted the event from my Facebook business page (paid advertising). I made postcards with the necessary info and handed them out to all my in-person shoppers the weeks leading up to the event. More options to consider include mailing postcards (I did- to all my new neighbors!), leaving stacks of postcards at places around town (coffee shop, etc), or even paid advertising in the local newspaper.
I did not charge vendors to participate (although if you’re doing paid advertising, it might be a good idea to split up the cost), but I did require they do a giveaway. Everyone who stopped by a booth had the opportunity to leave their contact info for a chance to win the giveaway at that booth. The vendors got to keep all these contacts so it’s a great time to ask if they’re interested in booking a party or joining your team!
I’ll totally be doing this again!
My Christmas in July vendor event was a huge success! Even despite a thunderstorm rolling through the last hour, we had people coming through the door the entire three hours. As usual, some vendors did better than others as far as sales, but everyone got a huge stack of leads to follow up on, and sometimes, that’s even better!
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