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Vendor Applications :: Part II - Vendor Info


In Part I of our Vendor Applications Series, we covered the basic information that your application and promotional items should contain about your event. It is also important to spend some time identifying the type of vendors that you are looking for, the kind of space you are offering, and the general guidelines to applying and being accepted into your event.

PART II: VENDOR INFORMATION

So, you’ve already talked about what kind of event you are hosting. Now it’s time to discuss what kind of vendors you are looking for. The two biggest and broadest questions here are: “Handmade Only?” and “Juried?” Will you allow consultants (Mary Kay, Pampered Chef, Scentsy, etc.) and if so, will you limited the amount of same-company representatives. If items are handmade, do you require that the maker be the vendor at your show? There is not necessarily a right answer here, I’m just putting the questions in your head.


The Details
This is your event and you should take a moment to review your potential vendors’ information. Ask as many questions as you need to get a good “snapshot” of the applicants and make your selection. Some of the typical information requested is the vendor's name, category, type of products, and whether or not it is handmade (if it matters for your event). If you want to approve all products that will be for sale at your show, you definitely need to mention this on your application. Try to keep this survey of information as short as possible, while still gathering the facts that are important to you. Don’t forget to leave a section for contact information, in case you ever need to get a hold of your vendors outside of email.

Booth sizes
This is one of the most frequently forgotten tid-bits of information on a vendor application, and it is also one of the most important. More vendors have dealt with a variety of booths spaces over their careers. The most common sizes are 8 X 10 and 10 X 10. Both of these sizes work well because they can easily accommodate dual 6 ft tables. If spaces are smaller, vendors have to start thinking outside of the box (where the rest of their booth is).

A lot of event coordinators leave this information out because they honestly don't know how big their booths are going to be. However, if you leave that question unanswered, then you are flying blind into your own event. How will you know how many vendors you can accomodate? How are you assigning a value to their booth spaces? And, then how do you expect them to weigh the value of the booth space? You need to have, at the very least, a ballpark idea of what kind of space you are offering.

Application Deadlines
Application deadlines are great, but not required. Setting some kind of deadline or incentive to apply early will certainly help reduce the amount of last minute work that you have to do. If you don't want to set a hard deadline that applications MUST be received by, consider offering a discount to early applicants.

Submission Process
Leave your vendors with a final note about what happens next. Does a submitted application guarantee acceptance into the show? If not, when will vendors be notified if they are accepted? This is also a good place to underline that you (the event coordinator) reserve the right to refuse entrance to any vendor that they feel will not be an appropriate fit with the event.

Formats and Filenames
Lastly, save your Vendor Application. The most accessible formats are DOC and PDF. Using DOCX can prevent older versions of office from opening your application, so keep that in mind. When naming your document, use a name that is descriptive and indicative of the document’s contents. It is well-advised to include your event name and year in the document name, since vendors juggle many shows and applications at once. This will also prevent people from stumbling upon and submitting your 2010 application in 2011 and so on and so forth.

{Continue to Part III:  The Template}

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