Why Vetting A Vendor Event Matters

So you’re interested in doing vendor events, or you’ve only done local to you events that have been around forever and you’ve decided to branch out to areas that are out of your comfort zone of doing a vendor event.

You’ve probably seen, in doing your general vendor event research and seen other people mention that you should always vet the event, get visitor numbers and average sales numbers from other vendors who have done the event. If you’re going to an event being set up by an event coordinator, you should research the company, find out what shows they have done, and how successful they were.

This is my second year doing vendor events.

The event I was at on May 20th, is a very good example about why I should have taken my own advice. I have never once properly vetted an event, I always, even when it wasn’t an event where my product would do well at, I always made a few hundred dollars.

This particular event was 2 hours from my house, and had an early enough set up time that I got a hotel room. My break even for this particular show (table fee, hotel, gas) was $200. I made less than $30. I ended up leaving 2 hours early due to really, really poor turn out.

What I found out afterwards, which I would have known ahead of time if I had done the research about the show that I should have done, was that this particular event was in it’s first year, there were 40 plus shows going on in the same town that same weekend and it was graduation weekend there.

The event coordinator (EC here on out) apparently does a car and craft event at the same location in October that always does really well. The consensus among some of the more experienced vendors was that because the location does well in the fall, the EC decided that a show in the same location in Spring would do equally as well.

I have a show, locally, next weekend, it’s also a first year event, but they do events every other weekend and always has a good turn out. After that, I have no events until Cosplay World Richmond in August. There will be a shop update in 2 weeks and probably another blog update too.

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