I will be participating in a very small 'Entrepreneur Expo', and will be the only baker/Cake Decorator in attendance. This is my first time doing an event like this so I would like tips, tricks, or ideas on what I could do.
I will be offering samples(What is the most efficient way to present them? Cupcake, sliced cake, etc and what about containers or packaging them?)
I will have 1 or 2 giveaways(If I offer a voucher for a free cake, what restrictions should I make clear? Should I 'raffle off' a pre-made cake?)
I have business cards and will make signage.
I will have a few examples of my cakes(should I make designs geared toward upcoming holidays/events? Valentines, superbowl,etc)
How should I present photos of previous work I have done?
good luck with your first show! I'm done a couple small shows, they're usually a ton a fun, and a great experience. (i'm gearing up for my first really big show, so i haven't done a large one yet)
regarding samples: i think most people will agree its often easiest to have your samples packaged in a 3 or 4 oz plastic souffle cup with a lid. i've done mini cupcakes before, and the pre packaged cups are easier imho. print labels for the top of the lid so that if they take them home they know where they came from. make sure you remember tiny forks, napkins and a trash can.
regarding giveaways: never do them, so can't really offer any help.
regarding displays: i usually do wedding shows, so all my dummies are wedding cakes decorated in various ways. some unique, some traditional, i try to appeal to different crowds. if you plan to sell a lot of holiday cakes, that would be a good idea. i never do much for holiday cakes, so it wouldn't do me much good, personally.
regarding photos: its a good idea to have at least two photo books, so that multiple people/groups can browse at the same time. i'm planning to bring a large screen and run a slide show too, so if people are monopolizing the photo books, others can view the screen to see my photos. in the past ive kept my photos in 8x8 scrapbook type books, and used 5x7 prints. this year i've ordered a photobook where the pics are printed right onto the page. i'm going to have my printed photo books, and then also keep an extra scrapbook style book on hand in case there are more people wanting to look at photos.
good luck! and please remember to: 1) wear comfortable shoes. 2) bring some snacks and water for when you need to take a break (assuming you'll have help to cover your absence. but at least bring water for yourself, talking all day is thirsty business). 3) and bring a trashcan!!!
Is the event open to the public or just the other exhibitors?
Per the health department requirements in my area, they wanted any samples covered so their was no direct contact. I found 2 oz containers and lids that matched.
The voucher should state the value (e.g. $15.00 off your next order of a 10" or larger cake or a free 8" cake), how much notification you need before they order, the expiration date of the voucher, etc.
Photos are a must. It is probably a good idea to feature upcoming holidays and the raffle is a good idea also if the event is open the the public. I would make one of the sample flavors offered the same flavor as the cake if you do the raffle so if they want more they will enter. If they do enter the raffle, try to have something for them to fill out that you keep so that you can keep communicating with them, it should have an option to out out if they don't want any further communication from you.
I would either do 2 giveaways or 1 giveaway and the raffle.
Wow! thanks so much ladies!!!
shorty56, Where can I find the small cups with lids? and thanks for the tip about the labels. The printed photo books are also a great idea.
myslady, it's open to the public. I like your idea of making the raffle cake the same flavor as the samples.
shorty56 mentioned wearing comfortable shoes, so I was wondering what you all wear as far as clothing? Do you wear T-shirt/Jeans or something a bit more "dressy"? If you have shirts, aprons, etc with your logo...do you tend to wear those?
re: the small cups with lids... I get mine at GFS (Gordon Food Service). I think they also have them at Sam's Club.
ya, GFS has them, but any restaurant supplier should.
i like to wear all black, nice outfit with a name tag. some people wear a chef's jacket, some wear a polo with their biz name on it. even though ill be wearing dress pants and a nice black button down, i plan on wearing comfy black tennis shoes. no one will really be looking at my feet, and they're black so they won't be obvious. but heels, or other awkward shoes are way too painful.