Posted in Events

Tips to Succeed at Events as a Vendor/Business Owner…Part 2

Thanks for joining me for part two of a three-part series about succeeding at events. Let’s dive right into the next block of tips!

4) Get a Square Reader-Honestly, this little device has saved my bacon more than once! A lot of the time people only bring a set amount of cash to events and not every venue has an ATM in the lobby. A Square Reader is a valuable tool for closing the sale, instead of saying, “I only accept cash” and having your buyer say, “Oh…I’m all out, maybe next time,” you can say, “No problem! I also accept all major credit cards.” Never create a barrier for people who want to buy your product. You wouldn’t believe what this card reader has done for my business. It’s portable and plugs into your cell phone where your earbuds usually go. It accepts all major credit cards, and you can choose to e-mail or text your buyer their receipt! It’s super user-friendly and gives you WAY more options of accepting payments.It takes a few cents per transaction as a fee, but the device is FREE and totally worth it. My only beef with the Square Reader is that it doesn’t accept debit…not yet anyways:)

5) Dress the part-I know, this seems obvious, right? Not so fast. The saying goes, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have!” Well, here’s the thing YOU are the business owner, and YOU are the vendor so look like it! Make sure that you’re wearing something that you feel confident in and that makes you look professional. Let’s be real for a second…people judge a book by it’s cover. It’s a fact of life that is sad but true. If you make a bad first impression by the wrinkled clothes you’re wearing that are covered in coffee stains, it’ll be really hard for you to convince people that they should even talk to you. It’s not fair but people are wired this way. Also, make sure that you’re not chomping on gum while speaking to a prospective buyer and that you don’t have anything on your face or in your teeth that shouldn’t be there. You never get the chance to make another first impression!

6) TALK TO EVERYONE-Yes, I put this title in bold because it’s SO important. Again, it may seem simple and obvious but for so many vendors it’s not. How many times have you been to a fair or an event like a home show etc. only to find the people at the booths staring at their phones? Lots. Your job is to talk to EVERY SINGLE, yes, you read that correctly, I said EVERY SINGLE person that passes your booth. I don’t care if it’s, “Hi! How are you enjoying the show?” Or if it’s just a simple, “Hi!” YOU MUST engage people if you want to make sales. A lot of the problem with vendors who complain that they made no sales is that they don’t engage people or are so obsessed with leveling up on Candy Crush that they won’t even make eye contact with their prospective buyers. They expect the people to come to them. This isn’t how it works friends. Sorry to say but people don’t give a damn. They’re busy and distracted and off in a world of their own. It’s up to you to greet them and tell them about your product. That’s the point, isn’t it? Just doing this will INCREASE your sales tenfold if you’re not doing it already…it’s a matter of statistics. The more people that know about your product, the more people will buy it. The best advice I ever overheard was at a Chapters/Indigo book signing. I was NOT the author in store but a customer that day. The author in-store called the manager over to her table and said, “This isn’t working, I haven’t made any sales. You said it would be busy, but no one has stopped by my table!” I stopped dead in my tracks and watched with excitement…the manager leaned over the table and said very gently to the self-inflated author, “Ma’am, maybe if you stood up and said hi to a few people instead of sitting at the table waiting for them to come to you, you’d have more success. No one is here to see you…you’re not James Patterson.” I wanted to clap but I restrained myself and watched the author pack up her fifty copies of unsold books and leave in a huff. Remember this one rule folks and you’ll be just fine. Engage EVERYONE. Bottom line, you are NOT special…no matter what your mom tells you.

Join me on Monday for the final part of this series!

LLB

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Posted in Events

Tips to Succeed at Events…As a Vendor/Business Owner…Part 1

As you know, I do my fair share of events and truth be told there’s no way to say whether the event that you are attending as a vendor will be successful or not. Multiple variables are beyond your control such as the traffic flow in regards to how many people attend the event, the weather if the event is indoors/outdoors, where the location of your booth is and so many other things.

The good news is that the more prepared you are for your events, the better you’ll do regarding sales, connections, and networking. Here are a few tips that have worked well for me and I hope that by implementing the tools and adding them to your arsenal, that they’ll work for you too!

  1. Define success-Success can only be measured by what you say it is. So if getting the e-mail addresses of 100 people means success to you, then, by all means, do it! If it’s selling five pieces of your hand-made art, then strive for that. As you can see success is very personal. Everyone’s definition of success is different so be sure to know what you’re aiming for.
  2. Listen to what others are saying-There are some amazing shows that I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of and other shows that have been really slow. Listen to the buzz around the event and listen to what other vendors are saying as a whole. That doesn’t mean that you have to agree with them, but maybe there is some merit to keeping your ear to the ground. There is someone locally that does shows that are AMAZING! She is organized, an entrepreneur does great advertising and knows how to bring in traffic, and after all, more traffic means more sales! Of course, when I heard about her and got into one of her shows, I knew that I HAD to do more! What she does is magic, and I always do extremely well at whatever she hosts. This works the other way too, sometimes there’s a general consensus that the host doesn’t care if the vendors do well or not and are only lining their own pockets. The point is, try to do as many shows as possible to weed out the bad ones.
  3.  Be prepared-This means have marketing materials, additional tables, chairs, table coverings, signage, your product in ten times the amount that you’ll need because you never know, pens, business cards and whatever else you require to sell your product or service. Always over pack and keep it in your vehicle as a just in case. Also, bring snacks and extra outdoor clothes if the event is outside. I’ve been surprised at this a few times:)

I hope that you’ve enjoyed the first part of this series. Follow my blog and return on Friday for part 2.

 

LLB

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Posted in Events

Blogging 101…This Thursday!

Hi Friends,

I hope that you’ll join me for another great class at the Turner Park branch of the Hamilton Public Library. It’s all about blogging and how to get started, how to make money from your blog and how to gain an audience for your work. I know that there will be some of you joining me again from the original Blogging 101 course at the HPL that was held awhile back so I just wanted to let you know that there will be lots of new material so don’t worry about repetition. The class starts at 7:00 p.m. at Turner Park!

Hope to see you there!

LLB

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Posted in Events

What’s on the Agenda? Dates?

Hello all,
Just wanted to give you an update about what’s going on with Panda and other things! Here are some important dates and this will be continually updated as more dates are added on.

Panda the Very Bad Cat-At Blossoms Day Care in Binbrook on Tuesday, February 14th to spread the love! Valentine’s day with Panda the Very Bad Cat will be awesome and I know that he has a couple of treats up his sleeve!

Blogging 101-An introductory and extension of the first course that I taught about blogging will be at the Turner Park branch of the Hamilton Public Library on Thursday, February 16th at 7 p.m. You won’t want to miss this! Lots of great info.

Panda the Very Bad Cat-Book signing with the author Lacey L. Bakker at Chapters Waterloo (428 King St. North, Waterloo) will be taking place from 1-4 p.m. Come and get your book signed and personalized and remember that a portion of the proceeds from each book sold is donated to animals in need!

Family Fun Day-On Monday, February 20th (Family Day in Ontario) come and check out Family Fun Day hosted by The Parent Bazaar at the Caledonia Fairgrounds! It runs from 9-4 and Panda the Very Bad Cat will be there as well as the author Lacey L. Bakker. There will be a few live readings of the book, a chance to purchase your copy and the opportunity to get your very own book  signed and personalized by both Panda and the author! Sure to be a great day, hope to see you there!

Panda the Very Bad Cat-Come and get your copy of Panda the Very Bad Cat signed and personalized by the author Lacey L. Bakker who will be at the Niagara Falls Travelling Flea Market at the Scotiabank Convention Centre on Saturday, February 25th from 10-6p.m. Hope to see you there!

Of course, I’ll be attending a number of schools during the month of February as well and will be presenting my book to the students in JK to grade 2. Stay tuned for more upcoming events!

LLB

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Posted in Events

Welcome to 2017!Pandamonium!

Hello friends,

I’d like to wish you all an incredible new year and I hope that it is off to a great start! Just wanted to let you know that Panda the Very Bad Cat has a packed schedule coming up and I’ll be posting where you can find him as well as what we are up to at Pandamonium Publishing House. Lots of exciting tour dates coming up and I’ll post those as we get a bit closer!

Saturday, January 21st– I’ll be teaching a drop-in class at Sherwood Public Library about blogging 101 if you’d like to join me! It’s going to be very informative and interesting, so if you’ve ever wanted to join the blogosphere now is the time!

Saturday, February 4th-I’ll be at Chapters/Indigo/Coles in Welland from 1-4 signing books and personalizing them.Come out and see me if you’re in the area! I love to meet my readers in person!

Sunday, February 5th-I’ll be at the Grimsby Public Library for Literacy day! Panda the Very Bad Cat will also be there in all of his, furry, mischievous glory! Come and get your photo taken with him and have me sign and personalize your very own copy of Panda the Very Bad Cat!

Thursday, February 16th– I’ll be teaching Blogging 101 at the Turner Park Library. It’s a great introductory course to blogging and by the end, you’ll feel confident and capable. I hope you’ll join me at 7 pm.

Saturday, February 25th– I’ll be in Niagara Falls from 10-6 with copies of Panda the Very Bad Cat. More details to follow on event title and location.

Stay tuned for more dates and excitement! 2017 is going to be the best year yet!

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Posted in Events

A HUGE THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS!

Thank you is the least I can say to all of our amazing sponsors! Please stay tuned for photos of our event and some of the donations we received from these awesome companies! See you all in a few hours at our event and please make sure to check these guys out, they really are the best of the best.

A HUGE THANK YOU to our Sponsors!

ART OF DESIGNCreative Window Painting, Illustrations, Fine Art, Commission Work, Graphic Design, Full-Colour Printing and Face Painting!  Call: 905-628-1234 (http://www.artofdesign.ca)

LA CUPCAKE BOUTIQUE-Specializes in Custom Creations for Weddings, Birthdays, Corporate Events and Just Because! Call: 905-332-8700 (www.lacupcake.ca)

SLACK LUMBER-Building Materials, Hardware & Advice with Selection, Service & Experience! Call: 905-772-1087 (www.slacklumber.ca)

NANDO TRAILERS MANUFACTURING & HITCHES– Quality Built, Reliable and Great Prices! Call: 905-575-1218 (www.nandotrailers.com)

OAKRUN/ARYZTA BAKERY-Wholesome Goodness; A brand you can trust for great taste and consistent quality! Call: 905-648-1818 (www.oakrun.com)

HAMILTON GRANITE-Specializing in fabrication & installation of Granite, Marble & Natural Stone!  Call: 905-296-5335 (www.hamiltongranite.ca)

BEYOND THE BATTER-We strive to make life sweeter, one cupcake at a time! Call: 905-561-6777 (www.beyondthebatter.com)

DAS PHOTO BOOTH-You Deserve It All! Fun for weddings, birthdays, and corporate events! (http://www.dasphotobooth.ca)

HOTTI BISCOTTI-Locally owned bakery, offering dessert gift boxes, centerpieces, catering & more! Call: 289-389-7244 (http://www.hottibiscotti.com)

EMPIRE EQUESTRIAN-Quality care is a top priority, a multi-disciplinary facility that caters mainly to jumpers & dressage riders! Call: 905-973-7611 (www.empireequestriancentre.com)

COLDWELL BANKER-Rob McDowell, over 35 years of full-time real estate experience! Award winning Agent! Call: 905-388-1110 (http://www.coldwellbanker.ca)

ERIC BAKKER’S HAUS OF HAY– Quality Crops for all of your Hay and Straw needs! Call: 905-966-3435

PANDAMONIUM PUBLISHING HOUSE– Full-service publishing, marketing and consulting! Call: 905-979-4949 (www.pandatheverybadcat.com)

 

Posted in Events

Panda’s Schedule for This Weekend

November 9, 2016- Good news everyone! If you still haven’t purchased your copy of Panda the Very Bad Cat, here are a couple of places you can pick one up and get it personalized by yours truly, this weekend.

On Saturday, November 12thBurkholder United Church Fall Festival at 465 Mohawk Road East in Hamilton. The event runs from 9am-3pm.

On Sunday, November 13th-Christmas in Old Town Charity Craft and Vendor Show at Niagara on the Lake 222 Davy Street. The event runs from 10am-4pm. 

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