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Getting Food Concession Space at Fairs and Events
by Barb Fitzgerald for

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2018 is almost here! Every year I am surprised how fast Winter slides into Spring, bringing with it a flurry of the usual pre-season activities. This time of year, event applications should top every food vendors to-do list.

Obtaining contracts for food booth space at quality events can be a difficult undertaking. There are a limited number of booth spaces available at a limited number of events. Event coordinators may receive twenty, forty, or more, applications for food booth space each year. Here are four things you can do to get noticed and increase your chances of being offered a space at the events you want:

Serve a unique menu.

A new concessionaire who serves typical fair food, like corn dogs and snow cones, may be passed over by event coordinators. Serve a menu that is unique, but not so unusual that customers will be afraid to buy it. Initially, a unique menu may not sell as well as standard fair food but your event bookings will be of higher quality and your niche will develop quickly, producing higher sales in the future.

Have a clean, attractive, and professional looking booth, display and signs.

Better still, have a gimmick! Design a particularly fun display or booth/menu name. Something as simple as painting clown faces on your trash can lids (mouths open to receive trash) might be enough to make your booth memorable to the decision makers.

Design a brochure, pamphlet or flyer and include it with your booth space application.

This 'brag sheet', introducing your booth and menu to event coordinators, is the most effective way to make an early and positive impression. A color photograph or drawing of your business, along with a blurb describing your delicious food and your professionalism, are effective ways to set yourself apart. You want to show the coordinators what an asset your concession will be to their event. Further, you want them to be excited to have you there!

This coming event season every concessionaire will be challenged to earn every sale. As a new vendor you may find that the business is more challenging than you expected. However, you might also be surprised to earn more money and have more fun than you thought possible.



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