I have often participated in Online Direct Sales Vendor Fairs. I have been asked, how do you find good vendor fairs to participate in?
You should really sit down and make a list of what “you” expect to see and get from participating in a online vendor fair. Next, go do a major search engine and do a key word search for vendor fairs, direct sales, wahm parties, etc.
You can also find several vendor fairs online by visiting wahm (work at home mom) forum boards as members will post information about them in fair or online party folders.
Here are the tips of what you should be looking for when it comes to choosing the right vendor fair to participate in.
#1. Convenience: Are the times posted for the Vendor Fair Time Slots, convenient? What I mean is this, are the time slots great ones that can be utilized by all time zones?
Example: a 9am to 12 noon EST time are NOT good time slots because West Coast Shoppers are still in bed or busy that early in the morning.
#2. Is there a Fair Buzz? Are you seeing Fair Advertising? Are you seeing others talking about it? Does it have a previously established success rate?
#3. Fair Spots should run 30-60 minutes in length. Anything under 30 minutes is a joke in my opinion. I once attended a fair that the vendors had 10 minute spots, are you kidding me? By the time they got done with their intro, they cut them off and moved onto the next vendor. Anything over 60 minutes loses the customers attention.
#4. Be prepared ahead of time. Type up what you want to say, the specials you are running and so forth. Proof-read it and then copy/paste when its your time to present.
#5. Will there be staff (moderators) or owner of the fair in the chat room at all times? This is important because you will get spammers who run around online who invade chat rooms to cause trouble. So make sure the fair host or staff will be present should problems arise. PHYSICALLY present in the chat room! Not available via PM, IM or email.
#6. Incentives for Fair Shoppers! Will there be contest drawings? Fair only specials? All of this helps to attract shoppers to the event.
#7. Is there a back up chat room? When we hold fairs we have a back up chat room available should the host server go down. This is also an important fact that is often over looked. I also prefer fairs that the owner uses a PAID chat room. They are more reliable, have nicer features and if trouble makers show up, they can be booted and banned.
#8. Rules and Guidelines for Vendors. I think this helps to run a smooth and successful fair. Vendors should know UP FRONT what their responsibilities will be. Vendors should have to agree to them before signing up.
#9. Reasonable Vendor Fee’s aka the costs. I think it should be less than $20 per spot.
#10. Reputation…extremely important! There are way too many website owners doing these vendor fairs and not properly promoting them! They are taking your hard earned money and it ends up being a handful (less than 5 people) in the fair and they are ALL vendors!!!! You want to make sure that the vendor fair that you are participating in is being heavily advertised!
Ask around to see if others have done that particular fair and find out if it was successful for them! The more you ask, the more you find out!
#11. Variety, again this is important! You don’t want to attend or participate in a fair that doesn’t have a variety of vendors on board! The more variety, the more shoppers it pulls in. I once attended a fair that had 4 cosmetic company consultants in 1 1/2 days and they were all from the same company! Then there were 3 other cosmetic companies also being presented during that time, too many cosmetic consultants! So make sure there is a variety. I like to see fairs that limit it to ONLY 2 reps per company and that those reps can not present on the same day.
#12. Is this fair being held on a professional looking website? I get irritated when I see these fair owners charging for fair spots but hosting the fair on a freebie website and using a freebie chat room or the website is not professionally done. Customers upon entering a fair site or chat room should see professional looking sites! You want customers to take your business seriously!
#13. Is there Vendor Orientation Chats before the fair begins? I feel this is helpful too, especially to newbie vendors! Orientation Chats should occur to explain to you the process of the fair, your responsibilities and so forth.
#14. Is there sufficient Pre-Fair communication between the vendor and fair site owner? Are they keeping you informed on things before the fair starts? I feel this is important too, way too many times I see no communication between Fair owner and the Vendor.
#15. Are you added to the Fair Schedule Promptly? How often is the public fair schedule updated? I had a friend who did a online fair and the fair owner took 9 days to add her to the fair schedule!
#16. Are you provided with free banners, buttons and fair ads? This is great advertising and should be utilized. Vendors should be responsible for helping to advertise the event. The more we all pitch in to help advertise the event, the better the turn out and success!
#17. I also believe Vendors should be screened. Is this fair site owner allowing anyone and everyone to be a vendor? Are they checking out the Vendors to make sure they are legit?
These are 17 very important things you need to remember when you are selecting a online vendor site to host your online party. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and please do your research before signing up and paying them money for you to participate in their online vendor fair.