Tag Archives: direct sales trade shows

Reserve your table Now!

When it comes to trade shows, there are a lot of people that you are competing with in order to get a table. For that reason, it’s important to reserve and pay for your table as soon as possible. But if they event is a few months in the future, you may be leery just in case something else comes up and you cannot attending. If this sounds like you, here are a few suggestions.

English: Table with marzipan sweets made by 'P...

English: Table with marzipan sweets made by (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Deadline                       

The first thing you may want to ask the coordinator is if there is a deadline for the first person to book the table. For instance, let’s say the event isn’t for 3 months; you may be able to hold the table until a month before the event without paying.   If this is the case, ask if you will be contacted if someone else wants to book so that you can get your payment in.

Refunds/Sell Table

Quite often, events will require you to pay for your table at whatever time you book it no matter how far out the event is. If it turns out you cannot attend, you can ask for a refund (but many places will not refund you unless they can fill your table easily) or you can see if a teammate wants it. If a teammate wants it, let the coordinator know that someone else will be coming in your place and that they are a member on your team. You can charge your teammate or just cover the cost yourself.

Waiting List

Sometimes the coordinator is willing to create a waiting list in case the first person has to cancel. This may also be because the payment from the first person is in the mail and has not arrived. If they put you on a waiting list, you can ask if the first person has paid or not. It’s possible that someone just requested the table last week and their payment is in transit so that person has the first dibs on the table. Do not push the coordinator too hard for information as they may decide just not to deal with you and not give you the table.

Trade Show Tips as a Guest

Trade shows can be a lot of fun.  You get to see a lot of companies and products that you may not have heard of before.  You may be able to find product that was discontinued but that the rep still had in their stock or you may get to try new products that you haven’t experienced before.  Regardless, there are a few tips to help you get the most of your trade show experience.

2008 Display Taiwan.

2008 Display Taiwan. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Labels – If you have access to a printer, pre-make labels with your name, phone number and email address to use to enter draws.  It saves you time as you do not have to write it all out and it assists the vendor as the information is actually legible.  You would hate to miss out on a prize because they couldn’t read your writing, right?

Cash – I am always surprised how many people come to trade shows without any cash.  Maybe this is because they want to guarantee they do not purchase anything?   Vendors may not be willing to accept cheques or credit cards at events for a variety of reasons – they may not be able to process them, they do not know you and worry about them bouncing or because you already have the product and there is no recourse if payment does not clear.

Shopping Bag – Bring a bag with you to the event.  You may end up with catalogues or other various materials that you take home not to mention you may end up making a purchase.  Many vendors do not seem to carry bags with them and you can use a re-usable canvas bag instead of a plastic bag.

Patience – Trade shows are not typically events to go to if you only have five minutes.  All you can do in that amount of time is come in and see who is there.  If you want to check out any of the booths, you will need time to stop there, talk to the vendor and possibly sniff, sample, try on or examine the product.  If you book a party, you will need to pick a date if possible at the event.

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The direct sales trade show I am at is very quiet. What should I do?

One of the first things you should do at a direct sales trade show is to visit the other vendors.  Say hi, tell them what company you are with and see where it goes from there.  If you are new to trade shows, ask them how they feel this one is going, ask if they have any tips or ideas that might help you out, and if you are interested in their product, ask them about it.  Quite often the direct sales vendors end up buying from each other while at the event.

Advertise – If you have a smart phone or laptop with you and you can access the Internet, go shout it out to everyone that there is a trade show going on.  Make sure you post the address and how late it is going on.  Mention that there are draws or any other goodies that are going on that might entice people to come out.  Encourage the other vendors to do the same.  Call people that you think would be interested or those had expressed interest in attending the direct sales trade show and ask them where they are.

Say Hi – When people do come in, make sure to say hi and make eye contact with them.  This tends to make them stop and say hi, and possibly check out your products.  If you are doing a draw, point it out to them and invite them to enter.  Do not forget to invite the other vendors to enter as well.

Make the location noticeable – Another suggestion to get your direct sales trade show noticed is to put some balloons out in front of the location as well as some signage indicating what is going on.  If people do not know that you are there, they cannot come in.

What else would you recommend to someone in this position?

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Direct Sales Trade Shows

Trade shows can be a big part of your business and as a result it is important to know about them.  One of the biggest things to know when heading to a trade show is what you hope to accomplish for your direct sales business.  For some people, they are there just to get contacts and customers.  Others hope for bookings and there are others who are looking for teammates.   Knowing your goals in advance is helpful for determining how to approach the event.   

Be aware that some companies do restrict what you are able to do.  I know of a few companies that do not let the consultants sell off their table but they can take orders.  If this is the case, you likely will want to aim for bookings.

Preparing for your First Direct Sales Trade Show
4 Tips for Direct Sales Trade Show
Having a Successful Direct Sales Event

How to Setup Your Table

If you are not able to get out for trade shows, you can find them online.  They can definitely be harder to do as you do not have the captive audience that you would have in person.  You also need to either type your presentation in advance or be a fast typer as you typically have limited time.  That said, here is some advice if you happen to find these types of events.

Direct Sales Online Vendor Events
Direct Sales Online Vendor Events – Part 2
Direct Sales Online Vendor Events – Part 3

 

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Direct Sales Online Vendor Events – Part 2

Chat room (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Prepare – One of the best things you can do is to type out your presentation beforehand including any specials you have going on or links to your website. Then you can just cut and paste when it’s your turn.  Just like a presentation in real life, it can be easy to forget something if you do it on the fly.

Moderators – Will there be moderators present?  While you may not think they are needed, your chat room may get spammers in them who will not quit posting or you may have someone who is in there just to cause trouble or put down a product.  It is important that the moderators are actually attending and watching the chat, as if you have to message them to deal with the situation, it can get out of hand before they arrive.

Incentives – What reason is there for people to attend this event?  People are busy and an online event will take up more of their time than an in person event.  Many people are in and out of an in person event in half an hour and they have seen any vendors they are interested in within that time.  Even if the event itself is not offering one, you may want to offer one yourself to try and get people to attend during your presentation.

Back Up – What happens if the servers go down before the event or in the middle of it?  Is there somewhere else that everyone can congregate?  You can find a variety of chat rooms – some are free and some are paid.  The differences are likely to be features available within the chat room.

Updates – How quickly is the schedule being updated with new vendors?  This is especially important as the event fills up or gets closer as without the site updated, the organizers are being contacted regarding spots that are already taken.

Come back friday for the conclusion

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Direct Sales Trade Show Pet Peeve – Leaving Early

So you are doing a trade show.  It’s scheduled from 10 to 5 pm.  So you arrive between 9 and 9:30 to get setup and get ready (okay, maybe a bit later than that depending on your setup time).  Regardless, you are there on time and are prepared to stay until 5 pm.  You have your phone, your laptop or sales material to keep yourself busy if things are slow.

But.. 3 o’clock rolls around and a few vendors start packing up.  Or maybe that has happened earlier in the day and a few tables are already empty.  Of course, you don’t know their personal circumstances.  Maybe they got a phone call that someone was in a horrible accident and they had to leave.  That would be an acceptable reason but I cannot think of too many other reasons that a direct sales person should be packing up to leave early.

Sometimes a person has a party on the same day of a trade show.  But I tend to think that if you have a party that is scheduled for the same time as the trade show you should either pass on the trade show  or have a team member come out and handle the booth when you are gone.  If you are already scheduled for the event when you get a party, you can schedule the party for after the event is over or again, see if someone can come cover your booth.

You may wonder what the big deal is about leaving early – you are doing a disservice to the other vendors as well as customers that may come near the end of the event.  People may walk in the door and see that half the tables are empty and walk back out.  Or people may miss out on what you are offering due to the fact that you left early.

Be aware, some trade shows will charge you a deposit and if you leave early, you will not get it back.  This is more common with the expensive shows but I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of the smaller shows not invite direct sales vendors back who leave really early.

 

 

 

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How to Organize a Direct Sales Trade Show

If you decide that you are going to organize a trade show, be prepared for a lot of work. It may seem easy, but there is a lot to do to have a successful show.

Date/Location – The first thing you need to do is pick a date and decide where you aer hosting the event.  Some people like to host at home to keep the costs down, others like to rent a hall and host the event there.  Of course, location is going to have a bearing on the cost for your vendors.

Advertising – Decide on the type of advertising you want to do.  Figure out what it is going to cost you before you establish your table costs.  The type of advertising and the cost associated with it is going to determine the cost of your table.

Information – Figure out any rules/conditions/requirements of your vendors.  This means – do they need to contribute a door prize, is there going to be electricity available for them, do they need to provide table cloths – basically, anything that you think that your vendors will want to know.  The more information that you provide, the less questions you will be asked.

Find Vendors – You likely already know people that you plan to invite to your trade show, but depending on the location, you may need to find more people to join the event.  There are several ways you can do this but the best method may be word of mouth.  Invite those vendors you know and ask them if they know anyone else to invite.  You may want to tell them what companies you already have so that you do not get vendors with the same company inquiring.

Pre-payment – One of the last things I recommend is getting pre-payment from your vendors.   If people have already paid for their table, they are less likely to flake on the day of the event.  I did one show where the organizer did not get pre-payment from the vendors and half of them did not show up.

Keep in touch– Keep in touch with the vendors once they have signed up, especially if you are organizing the event a few months in advance.  This is especially important if you have not dealt with these vendors before as they want to know that the event is still on and that you will not just run away with their money.

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Unique Ways to Save on Direct Sales Supplies for Trade Shows

International Money Pile in Cash and Coins

International Money Pile in Cash and Coins (Photo credit: epSos.de)

Previously I have talked about buying supplies that don’t cost a lot of money for your business.  Things like business cards, brochures, and other items.  But chances are you need other items for your business that you may have to get elsewhere.  Here are some ideas to help you save on those items.

Table Coverings – I recently discovered this one and I can’t believe it took me so long!  If you have a thrift store where you live, check to see if they have an area with sheets and other home items.  I picked up a huge black sheet for 4 dollars and a pretty white lacy runner for 2 bucks.  I was previously using sheets but they didn’t look as nice as this one does.  A quick wash and I’m ready to go.

Risers – Chances are, if you look around your house you can find a lot of items that you can use for risers in your display.  Recently I changed how I was doing things and started to highlight our seasonal products in a different way.  I took one of the boxes that I hauled my product in, flipped it over, and covered it with another table covering I had.  This distinguished it from the rest of my table, and kept my area looking neater as I didn’t have this big random box.  If you do this, just make sure you don’t have anything you may need in that box.  You can also use other smaller boxes at various points on your table with the same effect.

Candy – Depending on what you are selling, you can use candy to help decorate your table.  Around valentines, heart shaped candies can be cute, as you move towards Christmas you can purchase chocolate balls.  This is multipurpose as you have a snack while at events, and you can invite people to your booth, take a candy, and browse.  And of course, you get the tax deduction!  If you use this method, make sure you buy wrapped candy.

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4 Tips for Direct Sales Trade Show

Here are some tips to help you with any direct sales trade shows that you may attend.

Networking– Networking is great when it comes to a trade show and it is quiet.  You can learn a lot from the other direct sales vendors such as ideas to help your table display, where the great events are or which ones to avoid.  Not to mention information about their products which you may want to purchase.  But, the trick to this is that i

JATA World Tourism Congress & World Travel Fai...

Image via Wikipedia

f the show starts to pick up, you should return to your table and deal with potential customers.  If you are not there, they likely are not going to stop at your table.

Engage an Assistant – Going along with the deserted table, bringing an assistant with you can be helpful.  This person could be part of your team or a friend. The benefit to a teammate is that you can use the time for training and they can watch you in action to learn.  They can also watch the table if you want to go network or you need to use the washroom or just take a break to stretch your legs.  If your assistant is a friend who is not in the business, this is fine, but make sure that you are still paying attention to what is going on and that you are not ignoring potential customers.

Look Professional – I find it very interesting to watch how people dress for direct sales trade shows.  Usually the ones that are dressed the best are those that represent jewellery or makeup.  I am not sure if they have a required outfit from their company, but they are usually the ones you can take a lot of tips from.  Personally, I am not a dress and heels girl, so I wear business dress clothing – usually a pair of black dress pants and a logo shirt from my company.   I do wear my runners as you are on your feet a lot and people do not tend to see my feet.  If you do not own dress clothing, then wear a nice pair of pants and shirt.  If your clothing has rips or tears, do not wear it.  If you need to purchase something, keep it specifically just for trade shows and you can write it off as an expense for your direct sales business.

Draws/Raffles – A lot of vendors use raffles or draws to get customer information.  Chances are, you are welcome to enter these as well as you are a potential customer.  Be professional if you are entering and only enter if you are truly interested in the product.  You may want to confirm with the vendor that they do not mind – I haven’t met any that do mind but courtesy can take you a long way.

Direct sales trade shows can be a lot of fun and very worthwhile.  Hopefully these tips will help you to be more successful and make your goals when attending one.

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Preparing for your First Direct Sales Trade Show

Direct sales trade shows can be scary when you are first starting out.  If at all possible, it is a good idea to go with your upline and see what they do before you strike out on your own.  If that is not possible, here are a few ideas to help you out.

Set up a Sample Display – If you have a table at home that might be similar to the one at the event, set up your display on it.  See what you think and where you could improve.  Take a picture and send it to your upline or ask them to take a picture of their set up and send it to you.  It might be a good idea to do both of these to be even more effective.

Pack in Advance – If you leave packing until half an hour before you need to leave, you are likely to forget some very important things.  Case in point, one of my last direct sales trade shows, I forgot to print and prep my recruit packages!  Oops!  I also recommend loading your car the night before if it is possible as mornings can be rushed.

Table Cloth – Bring a covering for your table.  The first trade show I did, I knew nothing about this and I put in an emergency call to someone I knew to bring me one.  You can buy logo’d ones from your company or you can buy them from a variety of places.  Pieces of fabric or sheets can work well.

Levels – When creating your display, create different levels.  This helps to attract the eye to different areas and highlight certain times.  I like to use the boxes that my products come in and cover them up with a sheet and then set the product up on top. This keeps the amount of things I have to haul down.

Make a List – I rely on lists more and more all the time.  For this reason, I actually have a list of everything I want to take with me to check when I am packing.  I don’t refer to it as often as I would like, but if I do remember, I know I will be better prepared.

Labels – If you use reorder labels or any other type of labels, pack extra.  You never know when you will discover something on your table does not have your information on it.  I also take extra with me as then I can label catalogues if I discover one got missed or if I have other paper that should have a label on it.  That said; do not forget your business cards!

Inventory or Not – Keep in mind that some companies do not allow their consultants to sell off their table.  But beyond that, inventory can be a hot topic when it comes to direct sales trade shows.  Most people attend in order to get more bookings or recruits.  If this is your goal as well, chances are you will take minimal inventory as an incentive to get bookings but you will want to still take items so people can see them.  Talk to your upline or others in your company if you are not sure.

Direct sales trade shows can be a lot of fun.  It’s a great opportunity to network and get to know other consultants which may come in handy later on.  I also find out about a lot of events through these events.

 

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