Selling products and services to event planners can be extremely lucrative. But it can also be a challenge to make yourself stand out in a sea of vendors all trying to do the same thing.
The good news is that with a little thought and attending event trade shows, you can develop strategies that will put you head and shoulders above the competition.
Here are my top tips for succeeding as an event vendor:
Know your audience and how to reach them.
You should know your audience as best as possible. If you do, then it’s that much easier to reach them, and that much easier for them to buy from you. You also need to know what they want and what they need, so that you can communicate with them effectively. Knowing this information will help make sure that their experience at the event is positive in every way—and if there is any negativity around your table or booth, it won’t be because of something on your part!
Make sure your social media presence is strong so people can find out more about what else you have available beyond just this one event. That way when they go home after attending an event where they bought something from one of our companies (like company A), we can send them some follow-up emails telling them about other things we have available like company B’s product line or another company altogether (company C).
Get your price right.
How to succeed as an event vendor:
- Get your price right.
You're not going to get anywhere if you set your prices too high, but at the same time, don't undersell yourself. A good pricing strategy is based on several factors: understanding your market and competitors; getting feedback from customers; setting a price that is competitive and fair; and being flexible enough to negotiate if need be. Don't be afraid to charge more or less than others—you never know who might have more money than sense!
Ask for referrals and online reviews.
The best way to get referrals is by asking for them.
Once you have a client, ask if they can recommend any other businesses that might be good matches for the next event you're planning.
If your client has had good experiences with vendors before, they may be able to provide some insight into what makes those vendors successful. Some people like working with one type of vendor while others prefer another, so take their preferences into consideration when making recommendations.
A similar strategy can be applied when requesting online reviews from clients and vendors as well: "If I could do anything differently in the future, what would it be?" or "How did we do on this project overall?"
Find a niche.
A niche is a subgroup of the larger event industry. For example, if you only want to work with events that cater to brides and grooms, then you would have found your niche. A niche market is defined by something specific about the clientele or participants at an event.
- You might specialize in corporate events for technology companies (startup and tech conferences)
- Or high school reunions where everyone grew up together in small town America; they're all friends who want to reconnect over home-cooked meals and baked goods at a local restaurant or café. You can find these types of clients on Eventbrite!
Don't be afraid of competition.
In the event planning industry, it's important to keep an eye on your competitors. Competition is a great thing! If you want to succeed as an event vendor in event planning, you must learn from other people's mistakes and successes.
You can learn how to avoid making the same mistakes that others have made by studying their marketing strategies and pricing strategies. You can also look at customer service techniques used by other event vendors in order to see what works best for your clients.
Make yourself stand out.
In order to stand out and be noticed, you'll have to make yourself unique in some way. Here are a few things you can do:
- Be memorable. How many times have you been to an event where there were dozens of other vendors dressed exactly the same? It's easy for people's attention to go unnoticed when they're surrounded by clones of themselves. Avoid this trap by making sure your company is memorable for all the right reasons (not just because you wore a funny hat).
- Be different. If everyone else is offering their service at the same price as yours, then one thing will set them apart from each other: quality! You need to focus on being able to provide your clients with an above-average service; if they're happy with what they get from working with you every time they hire someone new out at another event, word will spread quickly, and it won't be long before everyone knows who does good work—and that's definitely going places!
- Be the best at what we do! The key here is having high standards when it comes down between whether or not something should be done right or left undone altogether so that way our customers never worry about having anything less than exceptional experiences during any given interaction which makes us stand out amongst competitors while also boosting morale within ourselves because we know we've done something worthy enough worth celebrating every time we finish something successfully completed without any mistakes made along the way."
Be the vendor who is easy to work with.
Being easy to work with is one of the most important attributes you can have as an event vendor. To be considered easy to work with, you must be flexible, reliable, proactive and honest.
Additionally, you should also strive to be a team player who communicates effectively and listens carefully. These traits are essential for success in any industry but especially in event planning where many vendors are called upon at once for different tasks and management must coordinate all their efforts without fail.
When it comes down to it though: if you're fun at parties or good at teaching people new skills then people will want more time around you!
Be prepared to be flexible.
The event industry is all about working with people, so you have to be willing to play the game. You'll need to be flexible and open-minded if you want to succeed.
You're going to have a different client every time, and they're going to have their own ideas about how things should go down. Your job as a vendor is not only to listen, but also figure out how you can make their ideas work for them.
How does this apply in practice? Let's say that your client wants four bartenders instead of three because "it feels more intimate." Or maybe they want cotton candy machines instead of popcorn poppers because "everyone loves cotton candy." It's up to you how much room in your proposal this request takes up—whether it makes sense for what's already been included in the contract (like chairs at each table), or whether it requires more time or money than originally agreed upon (such as renting extra space).
If events are like puzzles where every piece must fit together perfectly...then vendors are sorta like those little plastic blocks that connect everything together on top of its own base!
Present yourself as an event expert.
Marketing yourself as an event expert is a great way to build a reputation and position yourself as an authority in your field. You can do this by creating content that showcases your expertise, whether through written blogs or visual content like photos, videos, or infographics. This will help you establish credibility among potential clients and connect with them on an emotional level by showing that you have the knowledge required to execute their vision for their event.
This doesn't mean that all of your marketing efforts need to be focused on selling things directly; it's also important to make sure that customers know what makes you different from other vendors in the industry so they'll consider working with you instead of someone else who offers similar services at lower prices (or higher ones).
Know what you're worth, and charge accordingly.
In order to succeed as an event vendor, it is essential that you know what you're worth—both in terms of what you deserve and how much people are willing to pay for your services.
If this seems like an intimidating task, don't worry! The first step is simply learning about the industry standards for pricing and then making sure that's in line with your own experience level and abilities.
You also need to understand exactly what goes into every job so that when someone asks "How much?" they don't get a vague answer along the lines of "$200." Instead, give them specific numbers: "I charge $100 per hour for setup work, but for this kind of event I'd probably need at least 3 hours." This will help ensure they get the best value out of their money while still giving you enough profit margin to make it worthwhile—after all, there are only so many events out there!
Once you've established an initial price point (or several), be prepared to negotiate with clients who want lower prices than they should be paying or who want additional services not covered by their contract (a common occurrence). It's up to us as vendors who work hard at our jobs every day; if we feel like something isn't right after consulting others within our field or doing research online--and especially if we've noticed other companies charging less without sacrificing quality--then let's speak up about it!
Event vendors need to know their worth and how to set themselves apart from the rest
To be successful as an event vendor, you need to know the value of your product or service. Know the worth of each hour (and minute) that you spend on your business, and don’t be afraid to charge accordingly. If you’re working with a client who expects too little from what you have to offer, say no! This can also mean saying no to clients who are having a hard time understanding why they should pay for something that seems so simple for them to do themselves.
If you can identify these clients before they become difficult and turn away from working with them early on in the process, it will make all the difference in how much money and time is spent on future projects together.
Keep in mind that all of these things take time, and it can be a slow road to success. But with persistence and dedication to becoming the best event vendor you can be, you'll eventually find yourself in demand at events around the city.
Click here to find out how you can exhibit at The Event Planner Expo which is a great way to start building long-lasting relationships with clients who will keep coming back for more event planning help.