silhouette sunday: my first vendor experience and what i learned

I did it! I had a booth as a vendor at a conference and I didn’t die from embarrassment!

Really, though. I’m not sure I could have been more dramatic on the days leading up to the event. Everyone that I talked to was wishing me well and all I had to say for myself was “thanks! I hope it goes better than I expect” and in full disclosure: IT TOTALLY DID.

A fellow foster mom reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in attending the event she was helping host, the first ever Central Florida Kitten Konference. I had created decals in the past for our foster group, and she remembered (and loved) my work.

I really only had about a week to prepare, as it was a last minute decision and other tasks/projects were higher priority. I figured if I made back my vendor fee I would be happy, and otherwise I’d just get my name out there into the community. I ended up with so much more.

From the first few minutes of the conference, I had a steady flow of people. Even when I didn’t make a sale, it was still nice to talk to and be around like-minded attendees. I was luckily placed next to a high-traffic table (the main speaker from the event’s booth was right next to mine) so I think a lot of residual traffic came to me after visiting hers.

I learned very quickly that my leaning decal display was cute, but not very functional as far as configuration went. If I continue events like these I think I’ll go another route for that particular display. It only worked for this event because I was able to sit beside my booth, not in the way of my products and simultaneously blocking off guests’ access to the vendor beside me.

It was very interesting to learn which designs of mine were best sellers and which were simply my personal favorites. I wish that I would have put the color variations in my inventory software so that I knew the color “best sellers” as well. I can go back now and count which colors I have the most leftovers for, but it’d be easier and less guesswork if I had planned ahead. I’m glad I took the time to load the inventory by design and style of decal (solid, holographic, and printed vinyl) so at least I have that.

I was surprised to see that although I had “two for ___” deals, not many took advantage of them. Perhaps I need to adjust my mug prices (either that, or people are just not as into mugs as I am)?

Overall, I’m walking away from this two day conference with a [really sizable] profit so I’m happy! I learned a lot, met some great contacts in the community I’m passionate about, and saw a lot of smiling faces-- whether because of a design or my business name. And really, that’s all I can ask for :)