Vendor events offer the potential to grow, relaunch, or even take your direct sales business to the next level. But how do I find the best local vendor events near me for direct sales?
Vendor shows come in all shapes and sizes, from small craft shows at your local church or school to large expos that span multiple days. Now, if you’re just starting your business, it’s a good idea to start small.
First, look for smaller local events that have a low vendor fee. Then target larger events once you’re ready (or split one with a team member!).
No need to jump into a $500 entry fee when you’re just starting. We’ve done vendor events for $50 that were just as good as $500 events.
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How to find vendor events near me for direct Sales:
Sometimes a quick Google search for “vendor events near me” will show you some options. I find it misses many events, though, so you’ll need to check more places.
Many Facebook groups are dedicated to local vendor events and craft fairs. We’re located in West Michigan, and when I search “vendor events near me” in the Facebook search, it shows these groups, and if I click the “See all” button, it lists even more!
If your product is mainly tailored to women, you can search for upcoming women’s expo’s here. The Ultimate Women’s Expo site lists the largest women’s expos. However, there are more! Do a web search for “women’s expo + [your state]” or “women’s expo + [a larger city near you].” For example, “women’s expo + Florida” or “women’s expo + Tampa.” Both searches will yield great results.
Are your products completely vegan? If your products are completely vegan, using zero animal products, bi-products, or testing, then Vegfest’s are great events to get in front of the vegan crowd! VegFund has an excellent listing page for upcoming VegFests. Similar to the Women’s Expos above, not everything is listed. So if you’re interested in something near you, I recommend another web search using “VegFest + [State or larger city near you].”
You can search for “vendor events” in the Craiglist search for your area. These seem to be a little more hit-and-miss, but it doesn’t take long to do a quick search.
Local schools and churches are great places to look, as they are always looking for ways to do fundraisers.
Search Eventbrite for the term “vendor event” in their event search.
Check your local Chamber of Commerce website.
Mom 2 Mom sales are a great place to sell your products, especially if your products are marketed toward moms. A great tip from Savvy Selling is to make sure you have something for the kids to do (candy or another small activity) while you talk to their mom. A distracted mom is not a buying mom. Finding these sales can be as easy as a quick internet search for “Mom 2 Mom sale + [state or city].”
You can locate arts and crafts show listings at Art & Craft Show Yellow Pages. You can find a pretty decent listing for your state without registration. Another listing site for craft shows is FestivalNet. If you click on the events dropdown, they also list other types of events.
If your product matches well with bridal shows, you can check Local Bridal Expos and click on your state on the right side of the page. You can go back to Eventbrite and type “bridal show” in the search.
*** Bonus tip: Get to know other vendors once you’re at a vendor event. Share with them other events in your area and ask which ones they’re doing. I’ve had vendors hand me printed lists of upcoming events just by asking!
Important things to consider when searching for vendor events, especially if you find them online or not in your local area:
When reaching out to potential vendor events, always ask the organizer these two questions. 1) If they allow more than one vendor from the same company and 2) if they already have someone from your company signed up. There’s nothing worse than talking to a prospective customer just to find out they already purchased your product from someone else from your company on the other side of the room. I’d personally shy away from an event that allows more than one vendor event from the same company.
Make sure that when you send in your entry fee, you’re sending it to the actual event organizer. I’ve seen this happen in Facebook vendor groups where someone tries to scam unsuspecting vendors by posting the event and asking for payment to be sent via PayPal or Venmo. Usually, a quick internet search or verifying the organizer of the event is all it takes to make sure you’re communicating with the actual organizer.
If the event is more expensive than you like, you can always split it with someone on your team. My first suggestion is a personal recruit, then go to your further downline. If splitting the event, make sure you agree on how you will split sales, inventory, and leads BEFORE the event.
Make sure your products are a fit for the target vendor event.
How to maximize them for sales, bookings, and recruits.
What you can write off on your taxes for vendor events.
FYI: Direct Sidekick is accounting software built for direct sellers, network marketers, crafters, vendors, VRBO owners, and many other home-based business owners. Create an account and start tracking your income, expenses, and inventory.