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What do vendors really want?

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  • What do vendors really want?

    My husband and myself are Vendor coordinators for a annual Powwow held in Denver. To better serve our vendors I wanted to ask a wider audience, what do all of you vendors want?
    What is the optimal size for a booth space?
    Is there anything we as coordinators can do to help make things better/ easier?
    How early do you start thinking about commiting to a Powwow (how much notice before hand, months, years)?
    Any thing that you can think of that really sticks out as good or bad from Powwows you've been set up at?
    We really just want to make our Powwow as successful as possible for everyone involved, but especially for the vendors we are trying to help keep happy. Any input will be considered and gratefully appreciated.

    Thank you all very much,
    Sarah J

  • #2
    Is your powwow indoors or outdoors? If it's indoors, I generally get one 6 foot table. When I'm outdoors I usually get about a 10ft X 10 ft space. Many people love electricity, but you should state upfront if you will be able to provide any. The main thing is to make your vendor application very precise. I usually will commit to a powwow or other event 2-4 months before hand, but most people wait until the last minute, and usually get wait-listed or miss out all together. Good security at an event is important, I also love it when they provide a table sitter for the vendors so we can take a "potty break" etc. when we need to. This is particularly nice when we are vending alone.


    • #3
      the two i veded at i had 10 by 10, which was a good size for me. there are some who want more space, give the potential for a larger sized. one pow wow i will be doing in July i had to commit almost 6 months ahead of time. als the number of vedors should be determined by how much space you have. also, maybe go around to the vendors to see if they need or want water or the like. the potty break idea i like!


      • #4
        Although I am not a vendor as in selling items, I do interact with a lot of vendors. What I see and hear the most about are the following:

        1. Access to the location either the day before or as early in the day as much as possible. I usually wait at the gates or at the doors waiting for the place to open up.

        2. Vehicle access before and after the powwow. A lot of place shut down vehicle access or severly limit vehicles on the grounds. If this is the case, then provide a go-cart utility-type vehicle to bring in the goods for the vendor. In reality, the vendors are your sponsors with their vendor fees.

        3. Availability of light source is very important as well as regular security sweeps.


        • #5
          vendors at a powwow are as much part of the whole thing as dancers and singers. it would be weird to see no vendors and food stands... but to some committees they are almost an afterthought. if you can make the vendor section its own entity shoppers and vendors will line up to join in. ummm for example. gathering of nations. it has its own name and place. theres no question what youre there for. soo you basically need to cater to both sides to get a quality marketplace.
          thanks dad for showing me the way, teaching me the language, and not leaving my mother...*L*

          *RoUg3 MoD sTaTuS*


          • #6
            Thank you for all the input so far

            Thank you. This is all the stuff we were hoping to hear.

            We are a relatively small indoor Powwow. This year we had 30 vendor spaces 24 of them were 8 x 10 and 6 were 10 x 10 spaces. About half of the booths have electricity available if it is wanted, the other half can't have power because of cords across aisles. Do you expect to pay more for electricity? If needed we can probably add a couple more spaces without reducing the size of the booths, but had thought about maybe using that extra space to mark out dedicated aisles between booths for our vendors that use a multiple table set up.
            There are 2 of us who's entire job is taking care of the vendors (myself and my husband), we also have a number of youths to help with loading and unloading. We do help with potty breaks, but never thought to offer water or coffee around (we will definitely do this next time).

            Would getting a break on the booth fee for signing up early be incentive for anyone to make the commitment earlier?
            We have thought having different pricing based on how much in advance the contract and fee is taken care of.
            What about being able to completely take care of registration online? Is this helpful, would it be a plus?

            Again Thank you so much for the input. We will be having a Powwow debriefing in a couple of weeks and it will be nice to come in with some suggestions to make things even better for next year.
            If you have anymore ideas keep em coming, thins is very helpful.



            • #7
              Lots of vendors like getting the applications early so they can start planning out their year. Our powwow is a fair size but I wait till bout 6 months before the event to send out applications. I have a vendor database I keep all the vendors' addresses in for the past 2 years and send those off first, and as word gets around and people start to see our powwow info, we'll get calls for new vendors to come in. I assign booths based on the order we receive their applications. That way everything's organized on the day of the powwow and nobody gets mad at each other (since they determine when to send their apps in), and those vendors returning for another year feel like they have first priority and they'll get a 'better' space (their choice where they wanna go or closer to the entrance).
              With vendors you have to be lenient on timing and upping the prices, cuz some may not hear about your powwow till a day before the deadline (unless its GON).
              And make sure you smile and be nice, cuz it seems like all the vendors know and talk to each other powwow after powwow and they know which powwow is worth going to or not worth the trouble and unorganization.
              Two things a girl should always be: Classy & Fabulous


              • #8
                One thing is the price to setup. Sometimes it is so outrageous you barely make back what you pay. Some powwows have a fee of a $100 a day or $500 a weekend and if it is for someone who has jewelry they would have to sell alot just to break even. That is tough if a person has traveled far or if they make a living by having a booth. Then another thing is advertising to all people not just natives. That brings the customers. Then the location of where the vendors are is brought up at times too. If they are in an area where no one can see then they will have no customers. I've been to some powwows to where it looks like the tuck their vendors in a corner or a backroom where people hardly go.


                • #9
                  Thanks for the input

                  Thank you everyone for the input. I appreciate the time you took to help, and hope to use all of these ideas to come up with an even better plan for next years Powwow. We definitely like to see our same vendors come back each year, so everything we can do to keep them happy is a plus.
                  Thank you again,


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