Tips For Running a Convention Booth

This past weekend I ran my very first Geeky Hostess booth at GeekGirlCon. I had a great time and learned a lot while meeting some really fun people! I think booths are addictive. While running them you’re exhausted and barely think you’ll make it through the weekend, and then the next day you’re looking at prices of booths for upcoming cons. If you’re looking to start promoting/selling items at a convention, GeekGirlCon’s a great place to begin. The vendors were all so amazing and supportive, the volunteers went out of their way to help, and the environment was really welcoming. Here are some things I learned about boothing it up:

  • Stand Out. Whether you pick a fun theme or a prominent color, find a way to make it so your booth is noticeable. Mine was definitely the pinkest booth of them all, and the giant floating cupcake made it an easy-to-find location. (Although I did disappoint two different toddlers when they found out it wasn’t edible.)
  • Have an Attention-Grabbing Freebie. I was going for a “Cupcake Bakery” theme to my booth, so naturally I needed to have cupcakes. I made a bunch of mini Mountain Dew cupcakes to give out in the mornings, and they drew people in. It was a great conversation starter: people knew me as the “cupcake girl” and it gave readers a chance to sample one of the cupcakes they’ve seen online. If you do decide to hand out food, make sure you get permission from the convention center and have a list of the ingredients available for those who ask. Other booths have done things like raffles and giveaways at specific times which draws a great crowd.
  • Have a Handout with Online Information. I had flyers for GeekyHostess.com and the Geeky Hostess Store, as well as Mountain Dew Cupcake recipes with GeekyHostess.com on them. There was something for everyone and most people left the booth with a flyer of some sort.
  • Keep Your Branding Consistent. Put the same logo on your signage, flyers, and products so people will recognize and remember it when they see it again in the future. Everyone ends up with so many flyers and cards at the end of a convention, make it easier for them to find yours!
  • Collect Information. Have an email sign-up sheet, ask a question, or have people fill out a survey. Whatever info you need, folks will be willing to give. I now have a big list of contacts I can reach out to when I start my Kickstarter, which means a big list of potential donors.
  • Have a Booth Buddy. A booth buddy means you have someone to talk to if it gets slow, someone to help talk to others when it’s not slow, someone to cover you when you want to look around or have to run to the bathroom, and someone to grab lunch or coffee for you. No booth buddy means none of these things. Mr. Geek was with me for most of the con, which was extremely helpful when I had to leave to do panels.
  • Bring a snack. Make sure you have a water bottle and a snack or two behind your booth in case you can’t escape right away for lunch. I also brought a pack of Emergen-C with me, which was very helpful in keeping con crud away.
  • Always Be Prepared. Bring extras of everything. Have small bills so you can make change. Bring a roll of paper towels, a pen, a sharpie, a pair of scissors, some tape, and some paper or a notebook. You’ll need all of those things.
  • More, More More. Someone on Twitter asked me what I learned from having the booth, and the main thing is “More.” Have more cupcakes, be more outgoing to draw people in, and have more sizes/colors available in my products. The more you have/do, the more people you’ll get to interact with and the more sales you’ll make!

I want to give a huge thank you to everyone who stopped by the booth or said “Hi” at the con. You made my experience so wonderful! I’m already planning for future booths down the line. I can’t wait! Have you run a booth? What tips do you have?

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  1. Pingback: Happy 2014! | The Geeky Hostess

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