How To Get Into Special Events

August 6, 2013

Participating in special events can be hard work.  But anything that is worthwhile is.  You don't get the promotion without being the most qualified person to do the job!

First of all you need to consider a few things.  What kind of operation do I want?  Am I looking for events that my wife and I can do ourselves without additional help?  Am I looking to build a major operation that I can I participate in extremely large events 500,000 attendees are more?

Whichever you want, there are some basic guidelines to follow.  My attempt here is to let you know some of the things that have worked for me.  There may be other ideas that will work also.

First of all, besides machines and flavors, you need to consider the type of setup you want.

Trailers..Lots of advantages here in using a trailer.  First of all you can pack everything in it and go to the event, park, and start serving!  My wife likes the trailer because when the event is over, we are out of there in 10 minutes.  I personally don't like working in the trailer because you are a little confined for space.  A nice trailer will cost about $15,000.  I really like the Fibrecore. 

Carts.. My favorite because you have enough room to move around but there are disadvantages in setup and tear down.  You really need a flat bed trailer to haul the cart.  You also need pallets or something to set your extra product on.  Carts will run about $4000.00.  Fibrecore makes a nice one as well as Carts of Colorado.

Booths..Cheapest way to go.  EZ up tent cost about $200.00 plus the cost of your counters or tables and signage.  Not nearly as professional looking as trailers and carts.

Now maybe we are ready to think about the events themselves.  There are lots of ways to get information on events.  Obviously the internet but not all of the town events are listed.  Your state and local chamber of commerce are good sources.  Local newspapers are also good. Check with local chamber of commerce.  Using all of these sources build yourself a file or data base with contact name, address and phone numbers.  You will use these frequently.

After you have your file built, develop your self a professional letter complete with pictures asking to be considered for their event. (SEE SAMPLE LETTER)  Having a computer is a blessing here.    Mail this letter and make a note when it was mailed.  Follow up with a phone call within two weeks.  Make sure to keep a good schedule of your events in a calendar.  Above all, always be nice.  There are a lot of nasty vendors that give the committee a lot of trouble.  Don't be one of these.  If you do a good job they will invite you back.

FEES.. Events can charge fees for as little as nothing to as much as $3000.00.  The nothing ones are better?  Not really but who knows.  The neighborhood festivals normally charge $35.00 to $200.00 to set up.  For you and your wife these can be real good.  $500 to $1000 in sales are pretty good days and you should do this on any event you do.  My wife and I have made $2500 for a one day event with just the two of us.  Making more than that will require some help and possibly more than one machine.  One note about fees.  I figure if the fees are more than 25% of my gross sales the event isn't worth doing.  However if it is the first time you've done the event don't give up on it.  Our sales are always higher the second year we do an event.   The customers remember us from the year before.

Fairs.. I normally don't like to do fairs although some are real good.  The problem with fairs is that you work 5 days to have 2 good days of sales.  Fairs normally charge about $400.00 to set up.  Sometimes you have to go through another concession company to be able to attend.

I know I've kind of rambled through this but there are a lot of things to consider.  I love this business and I want you to too.  I'll add thoughts as I go along so check back often.  You can start checking on events from this web site on the bottom of this page.  Let me know some of your successes.  we'll give you some print.

Thanks,

Bob Russell

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