Local events are a wonderful way to grow your network marketing business. This includes craft fairs, trade shows, festivals, BBQ cook-offs, special events, farmer’s markets, seasonal events, local fairs, etc.
The beauty of events is that people come to you! People approach your booth and ask you more about your products and what you do. To me, that’s 100 times better than chasing people or approaching strangers. What do you think?
Depending on the event, you can meet hundreds, even thousands of people who might be interested in learning more about what you have to offer. Your job is to be organized, have a good game plan, and work smart. Think of yourself as an information provider and ambassador to your company, not a salesman.
My goal in this post is to share some of my tips with you that I learned from an event today. I’m by no means and expert on events yet, but I want to share what I learned today and what I recommend you do if you are just starting out. I hope it helps.
One of my team members and I rented a table/booth today at the YMCA in Spring Hill, Florida. It was a Health Fair for women in celebration of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The event was three hours long and was located right inside of the YMCA.
We were given a table and we had about an hour to set up from 8 am to 9 am. The event went from 9 am to 12 pm. We received lots of foot traffic by giving away free samples and by being friendly with everyone who walked by.
Our goal was not to sell our products or pitch our business, but to collect leads by doing a raffle. I offered a free $55 product to get people to participate in the free raffle. We also wanted to hand out a bunch of information packets to introduce more people to the products and business opportunity. The information packets had a flyer, business card, a couple of postcards/sizzle cards and a piece of candy.
I haven’t tallied the leads yet from the raffle yet, but I’d bet I handed out 80 to 90 information packets and about 100 business cards. Considering this was my first event, it was close to home, and it was priced right (just $20) I thought it was a good use of my time.
I’ll know within a few weeks what type of return on investment I got from the event, after I’ve followed up with everyone.
Overall, I enjoyed the experience. It was nice to be social, to meet new people, and to connect with the other vendors. I will definitely do more events in the future to promote my MLM Business.
What Type of Events Should You Consider?
The type of event you will choose will vary by what type of MLM Company you work with. The best question to ask yourself is “will people who attend the event be part of my target market and be interested in my products and/or business opportunity?”
If you offer a mass market type of product or service like I do, you could do just about any event and do well. If your product line is specialized, you really want to focus in on an event where people are part of your niche market.
Some of the common types of events include:
- Craft Fairs
- Health Fairs
- Flea Markets
- Local Celebrations
- Farmer’s Market
- And Much More!
I would encourage you to check your local area and see what you can find. If nothing else, try out a few different events and see if it is a good fit for you. You’ll never know until you try.
Checklist for Events
Thanks to my experience in the Army, I’m a big fan of checklists. Here is a list of everything I had with me at the event, or wish I had brought with me. It might not be a 100% comprehensive list, but it’s at least a good starting point.
- Boom Box Radio and Soft Listening/Relaxing Music
- Bottled Water
- Breath Mints or Gum
- Business Cards
- Clip Board
- Dry Erase Board
- Extension Cord
- Food Prep Gloves
- Free Giveaways
- Hand Sanitizer
- Name Tag
- Pens and Pencils
- Power Strip
- Product Catalog
- Product Samples
- Raffle Sign
- Raffle Tickets
- Signs and Banners
- Stapler and Staples
- Table and Chairs
- Table Cloth
- Toothpicks (for food)
# 1 Focus on Getting Leads – Trying to make sales and recruit people is one strategy. Yes, that is your ultimate goal. But your primary goal at the event should be to get leads. Most people will not buy from you the first time they meet you, let alone join your team as a distributor. That’s why you want to get as many names, emails and phone numbers as possible, so you can follow up with the folks after the event.
# 2 Do a Raffle – Everyone likes a chance to win something for free! Don’t you? Why not do a raffle for one of your products. Make it a good product in the $30 to $75 price range. That way people have a good incentive to participate in the raffle. On your raffle entry, have a section for people to check off if they are interested in learning more about the products or business. Have one winner and then call or email everyone else and tell them they won second prize. For second prize offer everyone a $10 discount off their first order. This is a great way to convert more of your leads into customers.
# 3 Give Away Something for Free – This one goes hand in hand with the raffle. Everyone likes something for free. Give away a free sample, a free information pack, or something that people actually WANT to take. Use this as a lead generator. Make sure you include your business card with each giveaway.
# 4 Be Friendly – Don’t be one of those folks who just sits at your table and waits for people to initiate a conversation with you. Say hello to everyone. Put a smile on your face, stand up, and be friendly. This will naturally attract people to your booth. I can’t believe some vendors actually ignore their prospect by just sitting there looking dazed. If you aren’t willing to talk to people don’t go!
# 5 Get Organized – Make sure you are organized the night before. Use the checklist that I provided above and make a “to-do” list so you don’t forget anything important. Make sure you have enough supplies,samples, and business cards. You don’t want to run out of these things during the event. Spend a few hours preparing ahead of time and it will really pay off.
# 6 Bring a Helper – If possible, bring a helper with you! Bring your spouse, kid, or someone on your team who knows what they are talking about and is willing to help. Working with a team member is ideal because you can split the cost of the event and the leads. If the event brings in a lot of foot traffic you will get busy and it will be nice to have someone who can help you. In addition, if you need to take a break you can!
# 7 Connect with Other Vendors – The BEST prospects at the event are other vendors. They are entrepreneurial by nature or they wouldn’t be there! Make sure you have a little information packet or gift for all of the vendors. Walk to each of their booths, introduce yourself and give them their gift. Try to get a business card from all of the vendors.
# 8 Dress Nice – You don’t need to wear a three piece suit, but make sure you dress to impress. Try to take in consideration what most of the visitors will be wearing and wear something a little bit nicer. If in doubt, khaki pants and a polo-shirt, or business casual is normally a good pick. Don’t wear sweat pants. Make sure you brush your teeth and don’t wear worn out, ripped clothing. Remember, you want to look like a professional.
# 9 Follow Up – The money is in the follow up. I’ve said that countless times on this site. Make sure that you call all of your leads within 48 hours. You can also email them to follow up. Being prompt is vital. If you aren’t willing to follow up with people you shouldn’t even go to the event in the first place.
The bottom line is that events, bazaars, festivals, and shows are a great way to promote your network marketing business. The absolute best part is that people approach you. Ideally, you want to find an event where most of the attendees are people in your target market.
At the event, you want to be friendly and social. Don’t try to pitch and sell everyone. Share information, hand out samples, educate your prospect and collect leads. At the end of the event follow up promptly and take orders and sign up new distributors.
What are your thoughts? What type of success have you had promoting your network marketing business at bazaars, festivals, shows and other local events? Leave a comment below to share any tips you have that might help others succeed. I look forward to hearing from you.