How to Prepare for Your First Pop Up Shop / Vendor Event
Updated: Sep 21
How to prepare for a Vendor Event. Make your next Pop Up Shop successful.
The key to making any event successful is to fully prepare yourself and properly plan. When you’re confident about what you’re doing it shows in your presentation and your attitude. This is an opportunity to share with the world (or event audience) what you’re so passionate about and why they need it.
Show up and show out because you can only make a first impression once. Now that you’re signed up, it’s time to start strategizing your plan
Click the links below to jump ahead.
#1- Review The Event Details
Prior to signing up for any event you need to throughly research the Event, Host and Venue. After you sign up, review the details again to make sure you didn’t overlook anything. I seriously lost count of the amount of vendors we had who didn’t know the basic details of the event, set up times or even if the event was an indoor or outdoor event. Save yourself the stress on event day and familiarize yourself with the event details, vendor rules and guidelines. Information you should know:
Who is hosting the event? Have they hosted any past events? How did they turn out?
What are their goals for this event?
What time is Set up? What time is break down?
How is parking? Is there an unloading zone? Is it a far walk?
Does the event have a theme?
Who is the target audience of the event?
What is the expected crowd size?
Ticketed or Public event?
Event entertainment or highlights?
What other vendors will be present?
How much space are you allowed for set up?
Do you need a table? Tent?
#2- Set Your Goals
You should be picking events that benefit your business in some way. Whether it’s solely to network, introduce a new product or spread brand awareness. Set specific goals for each event and add the action steps that follow. Goal examples:
I will attempt to network AND exchange contact info with at least ___ other vendors.
I will sell X amount of products.
I will use my “down time” during the event productively.
I will book X amount of appointments.
Goal + Action Steps Example: I will sign up 10 email subscribers for my blog.
To help myself reach this goal I’m going to print a sign up sheet like this in Canva. During the event I’ll direct visitors to subscribe.
#3- Set Your Budget
Set a reasonable budget to cover marketing materials, ads, samples, decor, upgraded equipment, etc. Make sure your budget matches the goals you set for this event. Stay within your means and do not drain your funds for one event. Review your finances to determine your budget.
#4 - Plan your Inventory And Gather Supplies
Knowing how much inventory to bring is a learning process seriously. I used to feel like I needed to bring every single item I had- in every variation. Imagine how long the packing and unpacking process was. 🤣 It took me a good amount of events but I eventually learned how to analyze the event, to figure out what from my inventory would sell well at that particular type of event or in that season.
Another reason not to take everything is because you need to leave them something to come back to you for. Make sure they get a business card or follow you on social media with or without making a purchase. I have definitely had customers who found me at an event but wanted something not on my table- so they later purchased online or came into my shop. Find the balance in what inventory to bring and make a list.
Tracking inventory is one of the main reasons I created the Pop Up Shop Planner. I was so busy bringing “everything” I kept track of nothing and kept forgetting the little things. My inventory reports were way off and I was noticing out of stock on items too late. Now I like to map out the following for each event:
What products I’m bringing
A brief sales description and list of the product benefits or highlights. So I can refresh myself or if I have a worker at my booth.
The quantity of how many I‘m bringing
The normal retail price
The Sales price if I’m running a sale
#5 - What incentives do you want to offer people who come support your table? Sales, Samples or Giveaways
Sales, Samples & Giveaways are a great way to bring in the crowd. If you already have a online store or a brick and mortar storefront then customers can shop with you anytime. Offer them an incentive to persuade them to come out. Ideas:
Offer products going out of season at a discounted rate-when they shop your booth in person that day.
Run a giveaway where they get a ticket from your booth when they make a purchase or subscribe to your blog. You can announce the winner at the end of the event or later on your social media page. Make sure you tell them when and where to tune in for the winner.
Run a Bogo Sale. “Buy 1 Get 1 Free”, “Buy 2 Get 1 Free”
Offer samples of a new product or best seller.
Bundle together items for a special “Event Only” Price.
Introduce a new product.
#6 - Plan your Space Set up
First impressions are everything and eye catching ones draw the crowd. Take the time to get creative and make your brand come alive with your display and decor. If the event has a theme find a way to add it into your set-up. Here’s a couple questions to ask yourself.
How much space do you have?
How much time do you have to set up?
Do you have/need electricity?
What equipment do you need to bring? (Table, Tent, Chairs, Wagon, Shelves, PVC Pipes, Wooden Crates, Mannequins, Etc.)
Where will your business signage be displayed? What will your products be displayed on?
Where will you display the sales or promotions you’re running?
How to prepare for a yourself for Vending Eventsventsentsntsntstssproduct decor is Thrift Stores, Target, TJ Max, Dollar Tree, Offer Up, FB Marketplace and sometimes Michaels. Find the balance in between reusing what you have and investing in your setup so that your budget isn’t going all to decor every time. You can (and should) practice different set up displays at home so you have an idea of what to do event day. Check out this vendor group for some display inspiration and tips.