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Lessons Learned

Trade Shows vs Vendor Events. I wanted to share my recent experience with vending at one of the largest vending events, Essence Festivals and one of the largest Trade Shows, Americasmart. I am sharing because the two are totally different and there was no one to prepare me for my experience. The Essence Festival required for you to have your products to sell on the spot. Americasmart is more like a display of your products and buyers, sales reps, etc walk the floors to find what they are looking for to purchase. You have to know your product. You may be asked, “what is your minimum order, price”, “what is your case pack”, “shipping time”, and “what is your whole sale price vs retail price.” I was totally unprepared and probably lost potential buyers. For me, because the type of personality that I have, felt out of place. You may be surrounded by businesses that have been doing the Trade Shows for years so their process flows smoothly or their buyers will visit them to reorder. The Essence Festival for me felt like home. I felt comfortable and accepted. Lesson: in order to move forward we may have to venture in those uncomfortable places. Although, I was filled with doubt, I got up every morning said my Prayers and got back in the ring. I have been at Americasmart for 4 days from 9-6pm and did not get 1 order. But I claim Success because I did it! Stay Focused, Stay Positive, & Dream Big! —Kristi Diane

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