by lizfj1, posted 07/24/13 15:33:28
Yes, we all think that we have the perfect product and that we will sell out every time! I guess in this biz we all need a lot of confidence and to approach every event that way. We all must learn that we are learning every event, no matter how long we have been in the biz. We may be loved at one event, and bomb the next. Tried and true foods are not always tried and true. Fads come and go. Be flexible. I have a core of menu items but I also have some flexible ones. In this biz, even if you have been around, you will always need to add a new event, and then will be the 'new kid' again and again. If you are not flexible, you will find many events saying, 'no thanks, we have that', but if you have some others to add, you just might find your way in off that 'waiting list.'
No matter what - be nice to your fellow venders. Everyone has something to contribute, and you might just get a lead on a great event, find a new outlet for your products, or get a great new supplier out of conversations with others. I am fairly new, and working on adding to my code 'go to ' events for each year, so keeping my ears open often finds me good new events. But even though I am new, I find that I am constantly being approached by people who are curious about our business, want to be in the concession business, or just want to ask questions. I always try to take some time and answer as much as I can. I try to guide potential newbies to the biz, because the man I bought my first concession trailer gave me a lot of sage advice with the trailer, as he was getting out with the sale to me. I try to pay it forward, and heck, being nice will always get you further than being nasty. And I try to make people who want to get into this that it's not all roses, there are lots of health codes you need to address, never mind the mine field of licenses, taxes, hard work, and small paybacks at times.
But if you find a good event - stand your ground. Make sure the promoter keeps you in that position, and doesn't add a direct competitor. Be vocal, but be nice. Most events will not duplicate, so it you find someone stepping on your turf, make sure you talk to the promoter. If may not help you out that year, but the next, make sure they take care of you. The honest ones will.