There are several factors to consider when you participate as a vendor in an event or expo to sell or promote Chalk Couture™ products. This document highlights key considerations but does not make recommendations except those pertaining to policy adherence.
- Your display: In addition to products, you may wish to include samples of finished projects so that customers can get a better idea of items they can create. Create an area that is clean, organized, and easy to get in and out of. If you plan to participate regularly in large events, you may wish to invest in some racks, bins, or other display fixtures that are easy to store and transport.
- Branding and signage: Consider including business cards, clearly labeled signage with your Designership name on it, and other promotional material. Identify yourself as an Independent Designer to ensure customers do not confuse you with Chalk Central. You can order these materials independently, or use Chalk Couture’s collateral provider VistaPrint (available in your Designer Office).
- Pricing and promotions: Price current products at retail value. You may choose to “round up” to an even dollar amount for transactional convenience on an expo floor. You may also offer a “show special” or promotion of your own creation, as an expo audience is considered a “private” or “closed” group.
- Building your customer list: An expo is a great place to build your list of customers and prospects. You may wish to capture email addresses, names, phone numbers, or other information from your booth visitors. Consider HOW to capture customer info: Some events offer phone apps to scan leads. At others, you need to create a paper signup sheet. To motivate customers to add their names to the list, you may wish to offer a drawing or other incentive. Once you have their info, don't forget to put those lists to use. Create and send out monthly or weekly newsletters providing education and current specials to customers. This ensures repeat business.
- Exclusivity: Many expos are held annually or semi-annually, or even quarterly. Check to see whether the expo you are interested in allows more than one representative from any company—often they do not, nor do our policies. If they do, you will want to ensure you are the only Chalk Couture Independent Designer registered for the event. Too, many expos give the individual who books a booth first the “first right of refusal,” which means that for subsequent expos, that original booth owner may be able to register again and again unless they choose to release the expo. For this reason, if you like a particular expo and it’s been beneficial to your Designership, you should be aware that if you “skip” a year or session, you may lose your ability to exhibit in the future.
- Attendance: While you do not need to be from a particular area to present at a booth (for example, you can be from Virginia but choose to work an expo in Michigan), you MUST PERSONALLY work a booth that is under your name or Designership entity; you can involve other Designers as you wish, but you must not secure a remote expo where your Designership is a beneficiary and then not personally attend. Too, only other Designers or your immediate family (spouse, parents, older children) may assist you in working your booth; you may not hire temporary workers or involve other paid or unpaid workers in your booth.
- Shipping to an event: You may have your order sent directly to an event. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Large Event Shipping” in the subject. Let us know you would like to ship an order to an address different than your own for the purpose of the event. Please include the event name, date, city, and state for verification; note that all requests for “event shipping” must be approved by Chalk Couture™ and violation of existing policies and procedures with regard to either shipping or using an alternate address for the purpose of reduced sales tax only may be grounds for suspension/termination.
- Packaged product: Remember that Chalk Couture products are only to be sold whole, in packaging. You may not cut apart Chalk Transfer™ designs or repackage Chalkology™ Paste and Chalkology Ink into other containers. This voids pricing and any product guarantees.
- Determining your mix: Before ordering products to sell at the event, you may wish to inquire of the event organizers how many attendees the show typically has, and learn about other vendors who attend and speak with them in advance, if possible, to get a better estimate of booth sales. Because products are non-returnable, have a plan for promoting and selling each item you present; know that it is often easier to sell a higher quantity of fewer products than to bring “a little of everything.” By focusing your sales on a project customers can make, or having samples they can see of a project, you will naturally elevate sales of specific items and therefore won’t need to include an exhaustive range of Transfers, pastes, and inks. Offering a bundle including a few different products typically does well, because customers get everything they need to make a finished project. Have a plan for selling any unsold product after the expo; it is very rare to sell completely out of product.
- Create & Takes: A Create & Take project CAN be a great way to get customers excited about your product; however, project areas take space, and adding more space to your booth will likely increase your cost, and you may not recoup this cost in additional sales. Also, the event may not allow in-booth creative projects or you may not have easy access to clean your Transfers, etc. In some creative events, a general creative space is offered with pre-scheduled sessions. These are more optimal as registrations or payments can be taken in advance and the space is already intended for hands-on projects. Generally, we do not recommend in-booth Create & Takes.
- Product Kits: Kits can be sold. They include whole products and may be broken apart to sell individually. Please refer to the Repackaging Products FAQ for more information.
- Demonstrations: Demonstrations are a good selling tool. A demonstration allows you to show the product in action, which can easily be accomplished by creating the same project over and over again. If you demonstrate the “bundle” that you are offering during the event, it will likely entice the customer to purchase the bundle as well.
Sharing the Booth with Other Designers
- Products and PV: PV is non-transferable. This means if you order products on behalf of other Designers, you are unable to “share” the PV with them. Determine in advance how to involve other Designers in any partnership, from splitting booth costs, to hours worked in the booth, to tracking inventory and profits. Put this information in a written document so that everyone can agree and refer to the terms.
- Recruiting: Events can be ideal opportunities to sponsor new Designers. Again, determine your approach with other Designers working a shared booth to ensure you agree how to engage prospective Team members and assign those leads. Make it a priority to give every prospective Designer a great experience without feeling “competed” for.