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How can Vendors Score Pitches at the best Festivals?

Andy Robertson

The competition for vendor pitches at the most popular festivals in the UK is intense. With visitor numbers (in normal circumstances) hitting in excess of 100,000 the financial rewards for securing a pitch are huge. What steps can vendors take to get a pitch at the UK’s most sought-after events. 

Although most vendor applications are for food and beverage suppliers there is also room for merchandise and providers of other services at any festival and organisers like to encourage a variety of vendors to apply.

The process of application is similar for every festival, application forms are usually posted on the event website and applicants should take care and time to complete the form. With vendor pitches usually being oversubscribed organisers can afford to pick and choose those that fit well with the festival theme and match visitor expectations. For this reason, the vendor application forms now ask a multitude of searching questions and detail about the vendor’s offering and experience. In preparation for a pitch application, vendors should get themselves well prepared:  

1. Website and other promotional material. Get a professionally designed website and social media presence including testimonials from customers and event organisers to showcase any previous experience and positive feedback. 

2. Food and beverage vendors should produce a comprehensive menu with professional photographs of proposed dishes along with a realistic price list and ingredients used, be sure to highlight specialist menu items like vegan, vegetarian and nut free dishes for example.

3. Get the health and safety certification completed and ready for inspection and ensure that the correct insurance is in place too.

4. Create a story about the business and what makes it unique to differentiate it from other vendor applications, preferably matching the festival theme and overall ethos.

5. Have a comprehensive set up plan to indicate the exact space dimensions and infrastructure required including electricity and water supplies.

6. Provide details about how the vendor will handle cashless payments and what payment channels are available.

7. Finally add details about how the vendor will manage operations under the new restrictions that will likely be in place due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. This could include how staff have been trained and the proposed processes for cleaning and distancing measures.

By covering all these factors before an application is made the vendor can demonstrate to the festival organiser that they have a professional set up, are well prepared and are tuned in to the organiser's requirements. When the vendor completes the application process they should be providing enough information so that the decision to choose them is made easier and the organiser is not required to ask for more information or clarification on any aspect of their application

Using an events software management platform like
FestivalPro live event organisers get all the functionality they need to manage the vendor application process. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The FestivalPro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features for vendor management including customisable application forms and vendor advance forms. The vendor module allows organisers to log details or all vendor applications and is connected to a CRM system for scheduling, notifications and emails. 

Photo by Sunyu Kim from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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