Events Made Simple

My display at the St. Mary's Independence Day festival in downtown Indianapolis.
On July 4th, I had the opportunity to do my first event ever as a Young Living Essential Oils distributor.  Originally, I had a partner but she dropped out just days before the event.  She sweetly offered to loan me the table, table cloth & banner, to name a just a few of the things that she had planned to bring.

Well, she lives rather far from me and I had to work the day before the event so I didn’t even consider it.  Instead, I went to my local box store after work the evening before the event.  There, I picked up the cupcake stand, the votive candle holders and Epsom salts that I needed.

Cupcake Stand
The cupcake stand was $10.99.  It comes in three pieces that screw together.  It isn’t big and fancy but it is easy to cart around.  I keep it in the original box to keep it from being bent or otherwise damaged.

Votive Candle Holders
These are some of the votive candle holders that I picked up.  They were only .98 each.  It turned out to be a good thing that the store didn’t have the total amount that I wanted in stock that night.  When set on the cup cake holder, these candle holders are too wide to set next to each other!  I ended up putting several on the table.  That turned out to be a good move since no one had to reach behind my display to get to the back.

I placed about a tablespoon of Epsom salts in each candle holder.  Then I sprinkled 2-3 drops of corresponding essential oil into each.  This allowed visitors to my booth to smell as many of the oils as they wished without getting into my bottles.

In addition to these items, I also brought the following:

  • folding card table
  • camp chair
  • patio umbrella
  • a cooler with drinks and snacks
  • twin sheet
  • diffuser necklaces to work on (with their findings & cords)
  • lead sheets
  • business cards
  • my cell phone and back up battery
  • 2 sugar scrubs that were giveaways from a random drawing
  • product guide
  • my Young Living oil case (to use as signage)
  • clothespins with my first name and phone # on them in a zippered bag
Clothes Pin Giveaway
I wrote out the fifty clothes pins in the evenings leading up to the event.  The clothes pins were only .97 for all fifty!  I put a drop of the requested essential oil on clothes pins to hand out to interested leads.  I suggested that they clip the clothes pins to their car vent so they could enjoy the scent on their trip home.  Of course, I’m hoping that clothes pins are easier to keep track of than business cards.  I don’t know about you but, no matter what my intentions are, I can never find a business card when I want to.

Thankfully, the festival coordinator set me up right in front of the sidewalk.  The hot air scented my immediate area with the lovely scents of my essential oils.  I took a laid back approach to getting customers.  While I worked on the diffuser necklaces, I made sure to make eye contact and smile at everyone who walked by.  Many people walked quickly by with eyes averted.  Most people nodded and smiled back at me.  I only had about ten people all day not only talk to me but also express an interest in the oils.  We talked about some of the uses of the oils and I told them about the raffle I was having.  Those were the people who, after filling out lead slips, also received a clothes pin with a drop of their favorite oil on it.

There were a few reasons that I took this approach.  For one thing, this was a family festival that started at 3:00PM; people didn’t really start to come by until almost 4:00PM.  Also, I simply didn’t want to give the sugar scrubs out to just anyone.  While most people would have appreciated them, I was there to get sales and leads.  I didn’t get any sales; that didn’t surprise me at all with the cost of our Premium Starter Kit.  But I did get leads that I am sure will lead me to future sales.

How can you use my story to help your next event?  There are several things that you can take away from my experience.  First of all, keep it simple. Take the bare minimum, especially if you’re by yourself.  Ensure that everything on your packing list promotes your prime objective.  You have decided what your prime objective is, haven’t you?

Second, plan on using height in your display.  Use all three dimensions on your table and invite your customers to interact with your product.  While I would have liked to have had a more professional looking display, my table did look nice and it was quite inexpensive because I already owned so much including the table, sheet and patio umbrella.

Third, involve as many of the senses as you can in your display.  Use sun and shade to your advantage.

Last, but not least, stay off your cell phone! Why do you think I brought jewelry to work on?  I wanted to work on something that was essential oil related that would allow me to keep an eye on potential customers.  I saw so many vendors who were glued to their phones while people walked on by.  What a waste!  Yes, I did take these pictures and I even posted them on Face Book but I quickly got off the phone before it could suck me into its black hole.  When I wasn’t working on the necklaces I just sat back and enjoyed people watching and taking it easy.

Finished Clay Necklace Diffusers

Finished Clay Necklace Diffusers

Is there anything I would have done differently? You bet.  You should always look for ways to improve your experience.  Mine include:

  • No matter how tired I was, I should have made up some kind of sign the week before.
  • I brought sanitizer (YL’s of course!) but I should have brought some toilet paper as well.
  • I wish I had made or bought a business card holder and brought a small paper weight to keep things from blowing off the table.
  • Next time I will definitely have brochures to hand out.
Well, I’m signing off for now.  How do you pack for events? I’d love to hear from you!

Close up of cupcake stand