I was asked if we would like to be a vendor at a local event called Lady Palooza the cost is $75 for 3 hours. They have anywhere from 250-400 women go through this event. This would be our first experience as a vendor and guess what we would be the only ones there offering baked goods. There are so few legal bakers in our city so we'd have a really good shot at drumming up more business. Also the event is being put on by our local media group so there would be advertisement involved. Being as new as we are what are some things we could expect if we chose to do this? How do you decide how much to make? I was thinking that since it's going to be November 19th we should showcase a pie or two as well as thanksgiving and Christmas cookies and cupcakes. And maybe even take a small custom cake to show off (yep I said it show off lol). Thoughts and advice are welcome I want to hear the good the bad and the ugly seriously if you've done similar events and it's been horrible I want to know :)
You know advertising is all about "showing off", right? In addition to one sample cake you might want to bring a book of pictures of your best work to show off even more! I would advise you not to include any copyrighted cakes because people will assume if you're showing it you're selling it.
Personally, I've done some really good vendor shows in my area and I've done some bad ones :-( The trick is HOW MUCH DO I BAKE & WILL I TAKE ENOUGH!! Unfortunately, this is what I struggle with every time I do a vendor show. Most of my goodies are individually wrapped items - cakes (boxed up & labeled), cupcakes (boxed up & labeled), Cake Pops (wrapped, labeled and tied), Gobs (packaged and labeled - Gobs AKA: Whoopie Pies). I've baked what I feel comfortable taking and some things I've sold out of and some things I've pack up and brought excess home. I guess my biggest question for you would be: if you take too much and don't sell it all - can you get rid of it? Can you sell extra cakes on your FB page or put a tweet out that you have three pies left? Will family or neighbors buy some leftovers so you don't have to toss it. If you think you can sell the extra that way, then go for it!
PS -I've found it a GREAT way to network. You meet other local businesses and can pass clients back and forth/call in favors! Take business cards with you and give them to each client that buys from you and also pass out to other vendor's with tables. You never know who may remember meeting you at that show and keep your card handy for next time they need a cake!
I don't think I helped you much, but hopefully something made sense!!
You can also do dummy cakes just for pictures. To get the most bang for your buck decorate the front and back differently.
One of my friends did show samples in little plastic stemmed glasses like this http://www.supplycity.com/disposables/plastic-drinkware/wine-glasses/2-oz-classicware-clear-plastic-pedestal-wine-glass-240-per-case
You can do a little parfait style thing that looks pretty and uses some pie ingredients from your shop or somethng like that. Easier than making and cutting up entire pies...
You should find out what the traffic was like for the last couple of years, then decide on how much food to bring from that. I'd do about 80% of the number of people who are estimated to go through since they always inflate numbers to impress people, and if you run out that's okay because it just makes you look like your stuff is super delicious.
Also, do a Christmas cake for display and a couple of pies to sit out and look delicious since it will be right before Thanksgiving. You want to lure people into your shop to get their holiday desserts.
watch your copyright issues with the batman cake -- so it's just for marketing not for selling? otherwise how do you serve one person a minute -- i'd suggest a coupon which would be easy to pass out to all that gives a half dozen cupcakes for $2 if they make a purchase of $____ by thanksgiving or christmas
best to you
or instead of cupcakes -- see this webpage fancy flours
see that cute little box of leaf cookies -- now don't whip out the star tip on anything :) but make some little easy impressive dealio like that -- hey maybe two designs, christmas and thanksgiving -- and let people buy for a discounted price if they buy $_XX.00 otherwise -- but regular price if they just want to order those or whatever -- would be a great gift for employers to give to their staff -- eye catching and easy -- like a basket of snowflake cookies, 3-d gingerbread christmas trees -- something with cute packaging and easy like those leaves or something -- gingerbread lasts for freakin' ever --
just a thought for you -- you want eye catching right -- something different and cupcakes are not that eye catching and you have to make them so a la minute -- cookies have a better shelf life for a project like this --would make a good hostess gift for the holidays -- lots of marketing possibilities -- and i'm thinking assembly line --
a few years ago -- fancy flours had the cutest wreath of green holly cookies -- easy to the peasy -- whip out green cookies -- slap em on a little board with chocolate glue -- stick on a bow and you're there -- you could make a large and a small -- and hey -- you could do changing leaves for thanksgiving too --
maybe an idea for next year or whatever -- just brain storming for you --
I want to be very clear no copyrighted cakes will be included. I will decline them when people ask anyway and explain copyright law to them. I was just saying that the batman cake was one of my favorites mostly bc it was fun and for my son. It's a bummer we can't include it but it is what it is and I'm ok with obeying the law. Also thanks for all the ideas we are in the planning mode now :)
i know how careful you are -- that's why i said it -- i didn't want you to get carried away -- some of my favorite cakes are louie v/channel/coach purses and i have an old ariel the mermaid i did for my daughter when she was about 10 and she's your age now or older maybe so anyhow...
best planning to you
I participated in a vendor event back in the spring and my biggest surprise was that I found I needed a "consult" area! I put out a mock bride's table with a dummy cake, candles, serving pieces and a binder of my work. This drew people over to that part of my tent that were looking for wedding cakes and birthday cakes. This kept me pretty busy and luckily my husband was with me to work the front table and sell cupcakes. Also, I had made a half sheet cake of a standard wedding cake and frosted it with an awesomely yummy frosting and gave away precut bite-size samples in those little plastic cups with lids. And speak to EVERYONE who passes your booth! :-)
@Webake2gether ...Absolutely, I would do samples! Even if they're not there to buy cake, most people will need a cake at some point in the future. And if they've had a bite of yours and have your card...well there ya go! Make yourself memorable! Speak to everyone who passes your booth and offer a free bite of cake. NO ONE passes that up! I gave out more cards at that vendor event with those free samples than I did any other way. "Ooooh, that tastes great! Do you have a card?"
FYI, I peeked at your pics and saw your Reese cupcakes. They look exactly like mine, lol. I took about 4 dozen with me to my event and they sold out in about an hour and a half!
All shows in my area like trade shows they only give out samples that's how they drum up business as for craft fairs and such you would make the items and sell them