Securing a vendor booth at a concert, or any event, can be a great way to get your business in front of wide audience, expand brand awareness, and, most importantly, generate sales. Scoring a booth at a concert isn’t always cheap, and to make the most of your time there, here are a few things you can do to attract customers and sell more of your stuff.
Know Your Audience
Different notes for different folks (see what I did there…). Before you set up shop, acquaint yourself with who will be taking the stage and what type of people will be filling the seats. A quick survey of the bands social media sites, website, and even a chat with the venue or event promoter can help you gain some insight into their message, followers, and what type of products should bring.
Of course, you can’t judge an entire crowd, but you should be able to gain a fairly good idea about telling demographics, like age, interests, etc. An Ariana Grande concert is likely to have a completely different audience than, say, one headlining Billy Joel. And though you may have items in your inventory that appeal to both crowds, to make the most out of your time and space, you’ll need to curtail your product selection and your marketing efforts to the predominate audience profile.
In addition to the demographic side of “knowing your audience”, it’s also important to get a general idea of how many may attend the concert. Packing inventory for a 350-person event vs a 1350-person event requires different planning.
Pick the Right Product
Audience has a lot to do with your product selection, but it’s not the be-all and end-all when it comes to what should fill your tables/shelves/racks. Keep in mind that hot items at your primary sales location may not be suitable for the concert environment. You may have awesome oversized wall art or delicate vintage glassware, but a concert many not be conducive to carting around those items.
Further, keep price point in mind. While it may be easy for concert goers to part with a twenty-dollar bill, parting with a hundred-dollar bill – not so easy.
The items you choose should define your brand but be mobile and affordable enough to make it easy for patrons to make quick purchasing decisions. T-shirts, hoodies, small art and décor items, rings, edible items, etc. are all great choices because they are easily transported.
None of this is to suggest that you can’t bring in that one product that garners a lot of attention in store or online; however, if you want to make quick and easy sales, you’ll need to stock up on items that are conducive to that.
Consider Multiple Payment Methods
If you’re a small business that only accepts cash, you may want to consider using a point-of-sale (POS) system like Square or Paypal. It’s true that many of those options include a processing fee (typically between 2% and 3%), but at a concert or event, that fee can be well worth it.
A recent survey by U.S. Bank revealed that 50 percent of those polled carried cash on them less than half of the time, and, when they did carry cash, almost half had less than $20 in their pockets and a whopping 76 percent carried less than $50.
That can spell trouble for vendors who only accept cash and are competing against concessions, merch tables, and other vendors. A POS option can capture sales by those who don’t have enough cash on hand.
Don’t Forget the Future
Yes, your immediate goal is to sell products during the event, but that doesn’t mean you can’t leverage your time there to build your brand and potentially secure future sales. Offer a variety of ways for concert consumers to gain access to your wares long after the concert by clearly displaying social media handles, obtaining emails for newsletters and mailing lists, handing out business cards with purchase, or offering concert specific promos (e.g., event specific coupons or promo codes that can be redeemed for discounts later).
Remember the Little Things
Sometimes it’s the small things that make a big difference: adequate lighting and tables/shelves to properly showcase product, bags for purchased items, and change for those who do use cash. These things may not be at the top of your list but leaving them behind can make your life harder and create a poor customer experience.
Before you head to the venue, account for all the little yet important pieces of a retail and transaction experience.
A concert is an excellent opportunity to get out in front of a new and engaged audience, and many small business owners and artisans find that attendance is well worth the effort. But to maximize your time there, make sure you get a general idea of who is attending (and how many) and what product to bring. And of course, don’t forget the logistical items, like a way to accept funds and all those little extras that make for a smooth shopping experience.
This article was originally written on July 16, 2018.