How do I book shows? Any tips?
You probably already have several shows in mind… but how can you find contact information? Begin by calling your Chamber of Commerce. Call your state tourism center and ask for information on festivals and special events. Watch newspapers…show coordinators often post an ad months prior to the show looking for vendors. Be nosy – go to the big events and ask other (non-competition) food vendors which shows are the best. Get as much information as you can from them.
There are some great online Festival Directories – check out our Helpful Links page for more info.
Don’t be afraid to start small! You may not be able to book the biggest shows your first year in business…and that’s OK. The medium sized crowds can be just as profitable because a larger percentage of the crowd will walk by YOUR stand. As a general rule of thumb for the small to medium sized shows: if you have a crowd of 200, expect to make $200. With a crowd of 1000, you might earn $1,000.
If there’s another kettle corn vendor popping at a show you’re interested in, ASK THEM TO PUT YOU DOWN AS A BACKUP! You never know what might come up at the last minute for the other vendor!
The best location at a show is either the entrance/exit points, or close to the entertainment. If you can, stay away from the other food vendors. Instead, try to locate yourself as close to the entertainment as possible; kettle corn is a snack food, not a meal.