Promoting Your Business at a Concert or Festival

It’s summer! Festivals and concerts can be ideal locations to spotlight your products this season:   If you’re selling eco-friendly shirts, hit a green festival; if you’re selling custom skateboards, a punk rock festival may be more your style.

But no matter which concert or festival you choose, you can take advantage of certain strategies to achieve the best results.

Check out these tips from successful vendors:

Offer a free gift. Everyone loves to get something for nothing — and, once they’ve been lured in, they’re more likely to buy what you’re selling. Tiffany Alliche, a financial coach who does business as “The Budgetnista,” offers a free promotional bracelet to help attract new customers when selling at festivals. “It lowers people’s guard when you approach them with a gift instead of a sales pitch,” she says.

Promoting discounts can win over reluctant buyers, too: “Even if it’s only 10 to 20 percent off, it’ll make the decision for your customer,” says Jacqueline Church Simonds, a book publisher who runs booths at trade shows and book festivals.

Look the part. Dress to fit with the festival environment, while still maintaining a polished image. “You wouldn’t wear a suit and tie to a rock concert, but wearing a polo shirt with your company’s logo looks smart and professional,” says Simonds. “And wear comfortable shoes,” she adds.

Understand your audience’s passions. Pay attention to the festival’s focus, and enlighten yourself on the subject in advance. For instance, if you’re promoting your homemade jewelry at a Phish show, learn a few songs beforehand so that you’ll have an easy talking point with people who visit your booth. While working for the investment firm T. Rowe Price, Timothy Lee participated in a booth at the Walnut Creek Art and Wine Festival, where vendors passed out wine samples while discussing their products. The cell phone vendors at the booth next to his didn’t know what wine they were pouring when asked by a potential customer.

But when the customer approached Yee’s booth, “we not only described the wine, we offered our pairing thoughts,” says Yee. “As we chatted with him about wine, we attracted quite a crowd of people to our booth. We continued to talk about the wine and even the winery. Finally, one person piped up, ‘You know a lot about wine!’ to which I responded, ‘And we know even more about investments!’”

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