Months of organization are behind you and it’s the week before the fair. Here are the last tips, things I would have done totally different if circumstances had allowed.
14. Ensure a clean venue going into the week. This might mean rounding up volunteers to sweep and mop and move things out of the area, or this might mean calling someone and verifying.
15. Collect paperwork. Gather your vendor applications together, along with a list of those who have paid and those you will collect payment from at the show. I put mine in a binder with pens, sharpies, my layout diagrams, business cards from vendors, and some blank paper. It might be a great idea to bring several copies of the guidelines in case there are any questions.
16. Mark spaces. I didn’t do this and I wish I had. I intended to, but like I said, circumstances. Use masking tape and layout each booth space directly on the floor. It will save time and trouble. Correct your diagrams and note the location of electrical outlets for vendors. Number the spaces. If tables are included, move tables to spaces.
17. Put together a sign-in kit. I fully intend to do this next year as I think it’ll be a nice touch. I’ll have name tags for each vendor and their helper(s), their space number, guidelines, and a general thank you for attending. If you have a sign-in table, it also provides an opportunity for you to meet these people you’ve been talking to for the past three months.
18. Expect to change your plans. I cannot emphasize this enough. As a girl who loves plans and cannot handle spontaneity, it was a brief exercise in make-it-work. Something will not go according to plan and you have to expect that. Whether it’s making space for an extra vendor, having a few no-shows and needing to spread out to cover the empty space, whatever. Plan for last minute changes to your plan.
19. Be helpful. Offer to carry things, move stuff, offer your help to every vendor you have. Let them know that you will do everything in your power to make sure that they and their needs are taken care of. Next year I would love to designate a volunteer for every two or three vendors, just to help them set up, bring them a drink if they need it, watch their booth if they have to run to the bathroom, etc.
20. Enjoy it. You’ve worked hard. You’ve earned that cup of coffee and that doughnut.
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