At the craft show I just visited I had a conversation with an exhibitor who was finding it difficult to justify the cost of doing the shows because the sales weren’t where they use to be. She recognised that everything has its cycle and feared that their area was in a downward cycle.
Her income is from doing shows and partly from a shop. So she is paying $4,500 for the stand plus all the associated costs of the display, accommodation, transport, travel etc etc, so this easily comes to $6,000+ and finding the shows aren’t bringing in the income they once did. I tried to find out how she communicates with her customers and basically she doesn’t, she expects the customers to know that she’ll be at the shows and to come along and spend money with her.
Whereas if she collected email addresses of customers and sent them an email newsletter before the show (maybe an email a month out and then the week before the show) customers would know where she’ll be, what special offers and goodies are available and think to come to her so they can spend money with her.
The investment in this includes:
- sheets of paper with a table on it having two columns – Name and Email. Maybe 100 sheets? If you run out simply photocopy more at a newsagency or office supplies business during the show
- clipboards so people have a stable surface for writing on
- maybe a competition like 3 x $50 gift vouchers that can be used at shows or online or at the shop – be generous with the life of these vouchers as their purpose is to create Good Will and good conversations about your business. If you’re tight with them you destroy the best value of them.
To make use of this immediate customer database you’ve collected just enter them into a database, maybe an Excel spreedsheet with column labels like First Name, Surname, Email so they can be imported easily into tools like Outlook or an email newsletter online service like Constant Contact (who I use and find excellent and MUCH easier to maintain than an Outlook database).
By contacting your customers regularly and letting them know how they can easily shop with you your investment dollars in expos and shows can be increased – repeat business through out the year is the best!
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