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How to Pre-screen Vendor Registrations for an Upcoming Event
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How to Pre-screen Vendor Registrations for an Upcoming Event

Have you ever needed to manage vendors for an event? Imagine being able to manage vendor registrations from your WordPress site. This article will explore that idea in more detail by walking through a plan for vendor registrations and sharing recommendations on things to consider.

What are the specific vendor registration problems that you want to solve?

Investing some time upfront for planning can help you make sure you get something important done.

“When will you follow through on your plan? Where will you do it? How will you do it? Think about it in vivid detail,” Carol Dweck, a psychologist at Stanford University, says. “These concrete plans — plans you can visualize — about when, where, and how you are going to do something lead to really high levels of follow-through, which, of course, ups the chances of success.”

Here is a 15-minute exercise to help you start planning. Begin by thinking about the challenges you want to address with a vendor registration system.

1) Get a piece of paper and a pencil or pen. Also, reach for your phone.

2) Write the following in the middle of the paper:

What are the specific problems that I want to solve with a vendor registration system?

3) Start a 15-minute timer on your mobile phone. Then write down ideas as they pop into your mind. Jot down every idea that comes to mind. Keep going until the timer runs out.

4) Now, take a look at what you’ve come up with. Circle 3 ideas that are the most important to you.

Here are five examples to get your creative juices flowing:

  • Offer different registration options like tables or booths.
  •  Collect contact information and answers to custom questions from potential vendors.
  • I need a way to pre-screen vendors.
  • Allow vendors that I accept to pay online.

Send quick emails to approved vendors to keep them updated about the event.

The system that you create should help you accomplish your most important requirements. Anything else is nice to have.

Create a vendor registration system

A WordPress event manager plugin can help you quickly set up a vendor registration system. Here are the three critical parts of a process to collect registrations from vendors.

  1. Set up a vendor registration page.
  2. Create a vendor registration form.
  3. Connect a payment gateway.

Set up a vendor registration page

A vendor registration page has one primary purpose. It is meant to encourage a vendor to start the process of booking a space at your event. It does that by providing details about an upcoming event and the various options available.

The main areas of a vendor registration page are:

  • Event title
  • Event description
  • Registration options
  • Event date
  • Event location

The registration options should be simple to understand. For instance, if you are selling tables at a craft fair, you could offer different sized tables. Or, if you are hosting a vintage market, you could provide various booth sizes for registration.

Once a vendor has selected a registration option, then it is time to collect information about them.

Create a vendor registration form

A vendor registration form can collect details from potential vendors. That allows you to review each vendor and choose those that are a good fit.

Here’s an example of a vendor registration form:

Personal questions

  • First name
  • Last name
  • Email address
  • Phone number

Custom questions

  •  What is your sales tax ID?
  •  What type of products do you sell?
  •  Have you participated as a vendor before? If so, what surprised you?
  •  What specifically will you do to help promote your business and the event?
  •  Do you understand and accept the terms and conditions for the event?

The first batch of questions is basic contact information. The second set helps paint a picture of who a vendor is and limits your liability. Plus, they gather valuable feedback to help you market your event to the right audience.

Connect a payment gateway

Think for a moment about a time that you had to collect payments through checks. Do any of these sound familiar to you?

– Having to follow up about checks endlessly.

– Making multiple trips to the local bank to deposit checks.

– Updating your notes to keep track of who has paid.

Avoid the hassle of paper checks and use a payment gateway. A payment gateway securely processes a card payment. Then the funds are sent to your merchant account with a payment service like Stripe or PayPal. The funds are then transferred to your organization’s bank account.

Instead of being frustrated by offline payments, you can use a payment gateway. That will let approved vendors quickly pay online to confirm their spot at your event.

Review and approve vendors that are a good fit

A flexible registration system for vendors can collect information from a vendor and hold it for review. This pre-screen process allows you to cherry-pick vendors that are a good fit with your brand. It also helps with the experience you want to offer at the event.

Let’s walk through a workflow for reviewing a vendor.

Imagine a potential vendor has started a registration from your vendor registration page. Your registration system sends you an email. The email includes their contact information plus answers to the custom questions that you set up. It also has a link to your admin page for your registration system.

Here are different actions that you can take:

Is a vendor a good fit? →  You can click the link in the email. Next, update their registration to pending so they can pay online with a credit card. (Your registration system will automatically confirm their registration and send an email confirmation.)

Do you need more information? → Click on their email address to send them a follow-up email.

Not a good fit? → Archive the email from your inbox and carry on with your day.

Remember, a vendor registration system is a tool to help your organization with its events. It solves multiple problems for you, such as making it easy to quickly pre-screen potential vendors for your next event from your WordPress website. Plus, it is flexible. Craft fairs and vintage markets are just the beginning of the events that a vendor registration system can help with.

 

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