So a friend and I are doing our first ever vendor fair and we are thinking to do a variety of different flavor cupcakes. The problem we're having is deciding how much product to make. The fair goes from 10am to 6pm and we are one of 70 vendors, but the ONLY vendor doing baked goods of any kind. Any thoughts on how to decide quantity?
Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Were you given any idea of how well it is attended? Is this their 1st fair? It's always a guessing game to know how much to prepare for. I suggest you use mini cupcakes. I think almost all areas now require food samples to be in indivisual serving lidded constiners. I know in both IN and CA it is. Also suggest making only 3 or 4 flavors - each person does not need to sample choco, vanilla, spice; coconut and Lemon Pea cake! Do a 'universal' flavor, then a special one - maybe something that sets you apart from other bakers. Remember you want to be able to provide the other vendors some sampling so they consider recommending you now and in the future.
Ooooh exciting!!! Good luck with your first fair!!
I do little mini bitesize cupcakes as my samples for fairs. I know some cake vendors do packs of flavours but I've noticed that people are not eating those then and there whereas with my little bitesize ones people can easily just pop it in their mouth and then we have an immediate connection as we can discuss their reactions and preferences between the flavours. I do 2-3 flavours and just let people know they can book in for a private tasting/design consultation and try further flavours there and discuss design ideas etc.
Depending on the fair set-up and whether I have a helper or not, I also fill a pretty silver tray with mini cupcakes and do several laps of the venue handing out samples and cards. Really helps get your name out there.
Hope that helps a bit!
Hahaha, sorry, totally forgot to respond to the actual question...
Have the organisers got a facebook event or anything like that? You can see how many people have indicated interest in attending the event there. It's never going to be an accurate number but can help in giving a vague approximation.
At the fairs I go to, we usually see several hundred people through the door. Over time though, I have adopted a policy of making one batch of each flavour I am wanting to present as a sample and no more. When I've run out, I've run out and people will just need to book in for a tasting to get a taste.
Otherwise it just gets too hard to try and gauge how much to make.
I remember one year making something like 12-15 sheet cakes (12x18) and serving almost all of it. That was before they came up with the rule of having to have any and all food in covered indivisual containers. I like me-me's suggestion of the bite sized cupcakes. When I did covered containers I printed return address stickers putting one on each cup. Around here most of the brides & family make it a day - going out to brunch 1st or plan a big resturant meal after so they don't really want to eat cake :( If you have your name/address on each sample they will know/remember which one they like the best. And don't forget that not everyone is there for planning a wedding. I often got orders as much as 9 to 12 months later for b'days and showers. I remember one person became a regular customer, ordering a cake at least once a month for over a year.