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September 6, 2018
It’s September, and you know what that means: WOTS is only a few short weeks away!
There are a lot of things that make our festival great, and we wouldn’t be half as awesome without the people and organizations that make up our book and magazine fair.
But we know that big events can lead to some super big jitters, so this one’s for anyone who’s coming out to the festival for the first time, or who wants to brush up on event basics!
1. Food & Water
Does this seem like common sense? That’s probably why it’s the first thing to go on big event days!
The Word On The Street runs from 10AM-5PM, but as exhibitors you’ll be there a lot longer. You could be there as early as 6AM, and tearing down in the evening!
It can be hard to find a second to get food and water, so make sure you come stocked with refillable canteens/water bottles, protein bars, energy balls, fruit, and other nutritious, easy things you can snack on when the day starts wearing on you. Being able to enjoy exhibiting at WOTS starts with a body that’s ready to take on anything!
2. Engage Your Audience
It can feel a little awkward to sit behind your table while people browse your books and other merchandise. You don’t want to ignore them, but you also don’t want to overwhelm them—especially if they really are just browsing and aren’t your target audience!
Make sure to say hello, smile if you’re able to, and let them know you’re there if they have any questions. If they pick up or open a book, let them know a little about it—what genre is it, why do people enjoy it?
Don’t spend too much time trying to be besties with everyone—they might just not be there for what you’ve brought! But also remember that if you leave a good impression, they might bring back someone who’ll love your work.
3. Protect Yourself
While we hate that it’s true, there have been a number of thefts at events in the Toronto area recently—including at festivals not dissimilar to WOTS.
Make sure that you bring all your money and valuables in a box that can be locked, and keep it on hand and out of sight, only opening it to make change. Never leave your money on your table, and never leave it without someone you trust to watch it!
Every dollar you make is hard-earned, and we want to make sure that you take each piece home with you. If you experience theft, please make sure to immediately inform a volunteer captain!
4. Build Relationships
You’re at WOTS to sell and get to know your audience in person. But you’re also coming to us to be a part of Canada’s biggest book and magazine fair! We’re one of the largest gatherings of publishing professionals and enthusiasts in the country, and there’s no better time to make new friends and forge new relationships.
Take some time throughout the day to check out other tables and get to know your fellow exhibitors. Exchange cards with folks whose interests are similar to yours. Get a taste for what other people are doing, and what you’re most excited about! We’re all book nerds here, and we love celebrating that together!
5. Advertise Your Presence!
We bring in 200,000 readers and book-lovers every year. But you want a good number of those readers to head to your table!
We’ll take care of marketing WOTS on the whole, but it’s up to you to make sure you draw in the people who are looking for you!
Add “@ #WOTS2018” to your Twitter or Instagram handle, set up a Facebook Event, tweet about the different things you’ll be doing at your booth (selling subscriptions? New merch? Fantastic new book?), send a note (or two!) out to your newsletter, and make sure your booth number is easily accessible! Engage your local and pre-existing communities to come visit you at the event. A successful WOTS table often comes from those with a strong voice (metaphor, of course), and who’ve engaged their audience—these tips will help you get there!
And those are our 5 surefire tips! We can’t wait to have you at the festival, and we’re excited to hear what your favourite part is. Let us know in the comments or on social what your favourite tip is for a successful event!
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