Are you thinking of selling merchandise at your next event? Not only this will give you the capacity to create some promotional buzz around your event but you are also looking at a great opportunity to increase your revenue. Typically, conventions, festivals, concerts, and other consumer events are packed with a remarkable range of merchandise, including the sale of food and beverage.
A merchandise program may not fully apply to all events across the board; it depends on the type of event itself and on your potential attendees’ interest. It is important to note that merchandise can benefit your return of investment. Clothing, DVDs, posters and a variety of event mementos and memorabilia can be sold along with the ticket purchases, increasing the level of engagement with the attendees from before, during and after the event.
Now, here are a few tips to help you with making the most of the benefits of merchandise sales.
What Merchandise should you sell at your event?
What category does your event fall under? Who are the attendees coming? While identifying the merchandise to sell, you should keep your attendees in mind and try to predict what they would want and need. The merchandise chosen should be logical and practical and the task will be to facilitate an easy access for your attendees to have them.
If it is a festival stretched over a few days, selling lanyards for your attendees’ passes could be one of the ideas. Otherwise, people usually enjoy clothing such as t-shirts, hats, stickers, posters, meal and drink packages are some easy ways to celebrate and/or enhance their time at the event.
Remember that as a general rule, the merchandise should be relatively reasonably priced to make but offer the opportunity to generate a strong profit.
Choosing your vendors wisely
After knowing what merchandise to sell at your event, it is key to look into finding the right vendors. Here are three factors for you to consider when doing so:
Reliability – are you able to trust your vendor will deliver well his end of the bargain? Your relationship with your vendor is essential.
Cost of the goods – if you can find the right selling price and keep the costs low while keeping the quality up, you may be in for a hit with your merchandise program.
Quality of their delivery – if you are starting out with inserting merchandise at your event, it is recommended that you begin gradually with some safe bets such as t-shirts and slowly build as demand increases. In this way, you will also be able to tweak and build on the first two factors above.
Promote your merchandise
Now that you have your merchandise ready, you want to start drawing some attention to them prior to the event itself. Send an email and send out several social media posts, highlighting the merchandise and their unique selling points. Run a contest to get your attendees engaged and thrilled with the upcoming event. Send some samples as gifts to highly anticipated guests and social influencers. Use the contact information from the list of already confirmed attendees and market your merchandise items to them giving them preferential prices where possible. And make sure the merchandise items have a clearly dedicated space at the event, and assign the right outgoing people to work at it.
Timing to sell your merchandise
This can potential have a crucial impact. The sale of the merchandise can begin right away or by taking orders with delivery request available or collection at a specific location on at the event venue itself, depending on type of merchandise. Doing it directly on your event page together with your tickets is a great way to start – making them available individually and as bundles.
On event day, be sure to have merchandise booths for sales at one or more prominent locations and close to the ticketing area as far as possible, if not together. This will give the opportunity for attendees who did not buy any merchandise before the event to choose and pick up something coming in or while going out.
Bundling your merchandise with tickets
What about creating discounted ticket and merchandise bundles? Yes, include merchandise as an option with ticket sales. Who would not want to get a deal on one or more of the items at a discounted price when tickets are being purchased? An advantage your attendees may be enticed to take for a lower price.
As an example, you can have t-shirts or any shipped merchandise or even the food and beverage items for them to order in advance as part of the ticket purchase process, giving your attendees also the opportunity to easily add items to their cart when their enthusiasm for the event is already there.
And depending on your budget, you can also consider offering free items with online group ticket purchases, providing an extra incentive toward buying more tickets.
A Final note
Don’t forget to track your merchandise sales at your event. Whether you are selling hats, t-shirts, snacks or drinks as merchandise, there are great insights to be gained in documenting such data, for example, knowing the quantities for the next event.
Do share with us your merchandise experiences if any!