Thursday, August 27, 2009

Tailoring your Product Offerings at Shows

by Liz Stewart of Lush Beads

I recently participated in a focus group where the coordinator was interested in hearing how we targeted our marketing to attendees at a particular festival. It got me thinking about how I tailor my marketing based on the place or event where I am vending.

When I am deciding what to bring to a show, I consider several factors:

Location of the show: A beach or oceanside location means I bring more ocean-themed work. In my hometown of Lowell, MA, I always try to have some granite pieces with me, since granite plays a large part in the history of the city.

Time of year: If it is summertime, I am certain to take my anklet collection. In the winter, I bring my snowflakes. Near Halloween, I pack my spider collection.

Demographics of the attendees: In a more economically depressed area, I would be sure to bring items with lower price points. If the market attracts a traditional buyer, I pack my classically-themed work. For a more eclectic crowd, I bring my more experimental pieces.

There are a few things I always bring with me, no matter what:

Some of my quirky, signature items. They draw customer interest and lead to interesting conversations with people. Plus, if someone follows me online via Etsy, Twitter, or Facebook, they can easily spot my tent by looking for my signature items.

At least one high-end item. This way, customers can see the level of work to which I am capable.
"Loss leaders". These are less expensive items that have a low profit margin for me, and give folks something they can afford as an impulse buy.

It takes more thought to consider what to bring to a show using this method, but I find that doing it makes me more successful in my sales.

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