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Make The Most Of Your Presence At Farmers Markets
Author: Stephanie Taylor Christensen
Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Farmer’s markets and similar events can be an effective and inexpensive way to build brand recognition in your community, engage with new audiences and give customers an opportunity to see, smell and experience your products in a way that online venues simply can’t accommodate.

While exhibiting at popular, well-attended events can mean plenty of foot traffic, it also demands that you take extra steps to capture visitor’s attention, and drive sales. Try these tips to help drive traffic to your booth at farmer’s markets and special events.

Make the most of your location. You may not be able to command (or afford) prime real estate for your booth location if you’re a first-time exhibitor, but you can make the most of it whatever you’re given with a little advance planning.

Whenever possible, select a booth location that allows ample space between you and vendors who sell products that directly compete with yours. Once you receive your booth assignment, visit the websites of other vendors who will exhibit so you have a sense of the price points and items market attendees will see (and likely, respond to).

Strategize how you’ll spread the word.
The marketing plan you put into motion before the event at which you’ll exhibit has a significant bearing on the amount of success your business will have at the event itself.

Email your most loyal customers. Invite customers to the event—and encourage them to help you spread the word!

Build a bank of testimonials. Ask customers who use your products to provide a brief testimonial (no more than three sentences) sharing the specific benefits they’ve experienced from the products you’ll sell and will showcase at your booth. In the days leading up to the event, including the testimonials in a social media marketing campaign designed to create “buzz” for your booth. Tag the person who provided the testimonial on social media when you post to encourage “likes” and “retweets,” which could help broaden the reach of your campaign (for free).

Create targeted social media campaigns. Social media networks like Facebook allow you to create paid campaigns based on your budget and make it easy to target audiences based on location and interests so you can expose prospects who may be likely to attend the event to your brand beforehand. The ad won’t result in immediate sales but could cultivate and build a sense of familiarity that compels event visitors to be more willing to stop by your booth.

Tailor Your Message to the Customer
Farmer’s markets and events can help you reach new audiences, but the demographic may differ slightly from customers who visit your website or store. Ask the event organizers to provide you with any details about the average attendee based on past years, and whether they have any information to share about what types of products, services or price points perform best. If you learn that customers at the market tend to respond well to coupons, for example, incorporate them into your messaging strategy for that specific show.

Focus on the long-game.
Farmer’s markets and events are intended to be an experience for the attendee. Consider how you can use product samples, engaging demonstrations and promotional items at your booth to build brand awareness for your business, and interact with event attendees. Create functional promotional items like reusable shopping bags with your business logo and website and balloons with your logo to hand out to young families. These items may not close the sale with every attendee, but they’re free advertising for your business as attendees browse the market. Plus, they give you a tangible reason to connect with every person who passes your booth.

Set the mood.
Your booth should make every person who walks by want to stop and browse your selection. Incorporate elements that create a welcoming environment, which may include pleasing music or scheduled demonstrations that entertain and draw a crowd. Every attendee at the market knows someone who will be interested in your product. The welcoming environment you create could form a lasting impression that eventually creates word-of-mouth referrals.



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