20 years of vendor event planning

As I wrap up 2022, I have been looking forward and what that means for the new year. It dawned on me that I’m going to be entering my 20th year of organizing vendor events. I’m completely blown away by how quickly time has passed and that while I’ve been doing this for 20 years, I’m still just 29 (wink).

I’ve had some successes and failures, as one does, but my biggest win is the relationships that I’ve built over the years. I’ve seen people bring their kids to events and let them chill out with a DVD player to watch movies and now those same kids are getting married. I have vendors that have been with me since the beginning and while the companies they represent may change, they are always there, smiling and ready to rock the next event. We’ve even lost some vendors who have passed, but their memories, photos and stories remain in the event pages and comments.

It’s been a wonderful 20 years. I can’t wait to hit the next milestone.

Well, that was fun…. NOW Under Construction

I admittedly haven’t been on my site for a while and nothing is more shocking than to come back to see that someone else has commandeered your site for their own business.

Now that I’ve deleted all their stuff, I’m starting over, a fresh start and I’m kind of excited for that.

I’ll be updating things here… and changing the way I’ve been planning on doing some things anyway, so I’m excited for that….

And some advice, two factor authentication on everything. Always. No matter how annoying it is. I’m kicking myself that I did not do it here when it’s set up on everything else.

More to come….

Hello Again… Again

Event planning this year has been weird…

Last year events came to a grinding halt. This year, has been tenuous because I wasn’t entirely sure that the events would hold. Spring was nerve wracking. Fall was better. In fact, it was GREAT!

Events have been going well. Customers and shoppers alike are ready to get back to “normal”, or whatever the version of normal is nowadays.

But 2022… I think, will be our first full year of doing events pre panini, er pandemic.

Anywho… I’m firing up the old blog to put my events back online here again.

Stay tuned for more information. 🙂


It’s been a minute…. Coronavirus (Covid-19) update.

Well friends, it’s been a minute. I was neck deep in vendor event season and it all came to a grinding halt when the Coronavirus showed up in the US and swiftly made it’s way to the Midwest.

I went through all the major emotions in about twenty four hours and then decided it was better to be safe and cancel my last two events. Then I set down my laptop and walked away for a bit. I was still all over social media on my phone, of course, but I really needed a break, so I took it.

We are still quarantined until April 30th, possibly longer, so I decided to take a moment to write a blog post about all the things you can do during this time to maintain your business, your home and your sanity.

Mind Your Business

File your taxes. Now is the perfect time to get all of your receipts together and get them done.

If you have already done your taxes, start working on next year’s taxes. At least organize your first quarter.

Do some training for your business. I follow a lot of coaches, but Brenda Ster, Gary Vaynerchuck and Mel Robbins are currently my favorites. Read, listen, watch or do a class. It’s all beneficial.

Start a blog. Okay, this is easier said than done, but you’ve got the time, right?

Join a new platform to build your business. TikTok is the biggest thing right now. Build a following over there by providing value and having fun and funnel them to your sales channels. Yes, I have an account, but I haven’t posted anything yet. I’m going to take my own advice and start creating content. Come on over and follow me there – @snowangelinwi

Reach out to your customers and community. See how they are doing. Ask them how they are genuinely doing, no strings attached. Just take the time to reconnect with them. They will remember when things level out.

For Your Home

Where to start? There are about eleventy-million projects on my “When I have time to get around to it” list. Now’s the time to tackle those items. You don’t have to do them all….. just a few.

Organize your photos, books, movies, emails, your phone (clean up all your digital places).

Clean. Yeah, I know you’re probably washing every dish in your house right now, so take a moment to clean the dusties out of the dish cabinet while it’s in between dish washings. Get the baseboards, wipe down handles, and all the other things you want to do to stay healthy.

You can even start to spruce up your yard now that Spring has officially sprung in Wisconsin.

Now is also a great time to teach kids some new life skills while they are home with you. You might discover that they love helping. One can hope, right?

For You

I’ve seen this posted a few times and while a lot of people are taking the time to check items off of the checklist, you can also choose self care.

Pain your nails.

Have a glass of wine.

Connect with friends via Zoom, Facebook, email or even pick up your phone.

Binge on Netflix, Disney + or clean out your DVR and watch to your heart’s content.

One of the best things about this quarantine is the requirement to slow down and just enjoy the little things.

I personally have enjoyed the break, but I’m ready to get back to work, so I’ll see you around the internets as we get ready for the fall.

Take care!


2020 Word of the Year: JOY

I am not a fan of resolutions. I like them about as much as deadlines. They are such a vague notion to think about unless you take the time to put specific, attainable goals in place. Otherwise, it’s a thought that gets broken by the end of the first week of the New Year.

I am a big fan of a word of the year. It’s simple. Pick a word and figure out how you are going to live up to that word throughout the year. Ummmm… this sounds like a resolution with a deadline, but stick with me here. This is a lot easier.

How do you go about picking that word? I  admit I have stressed about this as often as I have had it just pop into my head, but that’s not the point of this. It should come naturally.  Sometimes that word comes to me in October of the year before, sometimes it’s the February of the year I’m supposed to be living that word. Start focusing on it when it comes to you. 

This year, it came to me easily, as soon as someone asked me if I had my word of the year yet.

That word is: JOY.

What made me choose that word? This world. We live in a world where people wake up angry and don’t even know why. Have you seen the meme “Good morning Facebook, what are we outraged by today?” It’s like people go looking for reasons to be angry. It makes me feel exhausted.

A little over a year ago, I started a project on my personal Facebook page, called #happyposts and every day I posted a meme or photo of something that made me happy.  I’m still adding to it. This made me happy because whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed, I have a nice little collection of happy thoughts right in one place that I can access whenever I’d like. 

This year, I decided to level up and and include my word of the year into my project. Here is how I’m using this word.

  • Every day, spend a few minutes concentrating on things that bring me joy. If you know me at all, you know this isn’t hard. Coffee brings me joy. My hubby, family, friends and my two nutty huskies all bring me joy. 
  • I created a playlist that makes me super happy. It is also great for cleaning motivation.
  • I look for quotes that make me feel joyful.
  • I make a point to connect with people who make me happy. 
  • I look for something to be joyful for each day. 

I know, it seems overwhelming, but it really isn’t that hard. I have a little reminder set on my phone to go off in case I had a rough day and am not feeling particularly joyful. We all have those days and need a reminder to look for your personal joy and this makes it way better for me. 

Have you chosen a word of the year for 2020? 

Drop me a message and let me know. 🙂



That time an event went TOO well. Or, Thanks, Facebook.

That time an event went TOO well. Thanks, Facebook. 

This has taken me two years to write and even now, I feel very emotional about it. I wasn’t sure I’d ever write anything about this event. It was the day I almost quit organizing events and the day that I realized I was meant to do this. I learned about 100 lessons that day about operating a business.

Vendor Events can be hit and miss when it comes to attendance. You just never know if all the work you have put into an event will pan out until the day of the event and the customers start rolling in. Until that moment, you second guess every move you have made. Did I book the right vendors? Did I do enough advertising? Did I advertise in the right places? You get the drift. 

Let me tell you about an event that went TOO well. How can that be? How could an event go too well? Keep reading, dear friend. It is the day that I call the best and worst day of my business life. 

I booked an event at a new venue and I was excited at the prospects of what this event would turn out to be. I had been thinking about organizing an event in this city for ages and it was finally coming together, until it went kablooey (is that a word?). 

I’m going to gloss over the months of event preparation with the exception of one facet and that is Facebook. I created a Facebook event as I do for all events. I’m still learning about the magic of algorithms and whatever Facebook does behind the scenes in order to select an event to showcase to the world. For all I know, they let a group of caffeinated adults throw darts at 30 different events and choose one to feature in the area. 

A couple of months before the event I noticed that the numbers of people who had marked interested or going were starting to climb rapidly. Facebook picked it up and made it a Featured Event. That made me feel excited because it was growing by the hundreds every day and steadily into the thousands. I posted about how exciting it was because the interest was in the tens of thousands and people posted that they were going to come to the event and share it with their friends. 

Now, let me say this – I had hoped that 1,000 people would turn up at the event. I’d have been thrilled as that would have broken my attendance record, so I encouraged people to share their event with friends and family and local connections. Eventually over 60,000 people were interested in the event (insert excitement and panic attack here) never thinking that that many people would actually turn up, they just marked it as interested in but wouldn’t actually come. Y’all, instead, it went VIRAL

The morning of, it’s raining and cold. The vendors are rushing between raindrops to get their product unloaded and get their cars parked. The venue had helped me coordinate extra busses to transport people back and forth from the overflow parking to the event space, just in case we needed them. Everyone is excited to be there and then…..

We opened the doors at 9 am and all.hell.broke.loose. 

People were coming in by the hundreds. The driveway and road leading to the venue was backed up and there were people who sat in their car for two hours in order to park and get into the venue. My greeters were literally running to keep up to welcome people into the event and hand out shopping bags. People were frustrated and tired and wet before they even set foot into the space or they were excited and treating it like this was a big party. We stopped counting how many had come through after 5,000 because we just couldn’t keep up. 

The shopping commenced. Vendors were running out of product two hours into the event and calling friends and family for backup product. It was the best day of their lives. Practically all of them left completely out of stock. Many shoppers left very happy. 

The others shoppers had a very different view – even though they chose to come to a free event at an upscale venue, they were angry. This is it? One room? Only 100 vendors? I came for THIS?  Let me say, I was very transparent, as I always am, about the participating vendors at the event, but they had built it up to be something completely different other than a vendor event. 

They all took to social media to vilify me as the worst person on the planet. Comments rolled in by the hundreds and all I could do was to shut off the commenting feature on the event and then hand my phone to someone else to delete the comments on the event that were horrible because they were the most vile things I had ever read. That’s what almost broke me. People were SO angry because they didn’t have what they had expected it to be and what 60,000 other people had expressed interest in. 

In this case, Facebook grabbed onto the event and it taught me one hell of a lesson. Making sure you know your audience, for one and marketing directly to them in order to bring in the right people. It can take an event and make it amazing or an absolute disaster and depending on the person – the event can be a massive success or a huge failure. 

It also taught me what I’m made of. It was the worst day of my business life. That was not my only event that season and I contemplated cancelling everything and just quitting my business. After a day, the comments started to go away and it seemed easier to press on with the next events. The rest of the events went very well and despite this huge massive mountain of a bump in my business, it pushed it to the next level and it has encouraged me to keep going with events because it is truly my passion – to help small businesses with growing their businesses. 

I’m still going……

9 Surefire ways to land in Facebook Jail

Facebook Inmate #28175783736 reporting for my 30 day sentence. 

Yes, I have been to Facebook Jail. It is frustrating for every user who relies on Facebook for everything from running a business to daily kitten videos. One moment you are happily scrolling along, liking posts, commenting on others, and you go to share something and ….. BLOCKED.

Yup.. you just landed in Facebook jail and probably have no idea why or how it happened. 

I have some insight as to why this happens, having been there myself and having watched others go through the same thing. If you want to avoid the of experience Facebook jail, do these things. 

  1. Spam Sandwiches – Spam stays in the can and out of the inbox, groups and walls. If you are posting the same thing over and over and over and over and over and over again (bet you thought I was going to keep going with that) it will surely land you in FB jail. Copy and paste is not your friend in this instance. FB knows what you are up to and changing a few words doesn’t trick them into thinking what you are doing isn’t spam. 
  2. Slow down, Speedracer – Copy and Paste will get you here too, if you aren’t jailed for handing out the offending spam sandwiches. If you are sharing the same post everywhere and doing it quickly, you will be locked down faster than you can say copy and paste. 
  3. Too many friends – Facebook wants you to make friends, but not too many friends or too quickly. If you are sending a lot of friend requests and not all of them are responding to your request, eventually Facebook thinks you are being spammy and will not allow you to send friend requests. You can monitor this by checking this link look under view sent requests –  https://www.facebook.com/friends/requests . If you see a number of requests that are not accepted, you can remove the requests. 
  4. Make your profile personal – I know a lot of folks are concerned about identity theft and such, but if you have a profile that doesn’t have any personal information and all you do is post ads, Facebook will flag it as such and potentially shut you down.
  5. Create original content – If everyone in your company is sharing the same company provided ad content, Facebook will eventually consider it spam and block you from posting it. All those little bots at FB central monitor all that stuff and while it’s not actually spam, they will start blocking views of the same thing posted over and over. This can be daunting, but it is SO worth it to stand out from your fellow representatives by posting original content that gets noticed (and probably borrowed by your fellow reps – so watermark it with your branding!).
  6. It’s not business, it’s personal – Your personal page is not for business posting. In the Terms of Service, it’s listed on FB’s page. It’s super easy to go live on your personal page and share with all of your friends, but you run the risk of getting shut down. The 80/20 rule is a good way to safely share your business information occasionally on your page without getting into trouble. Basically, 9 personal posts for ever 1 business post.
  7. Don’t tag 100 people on every post. Tagging is a great tool, but if you feel the need to tag your entire friends list every time you post something, it annoys your friends and they will untag themselves enough for FB to take notice.
  8. Annoying your friends and family – don’t be that marketer where you have a solution for everything with your company. You might… but you don’t have to bring it up in every comment of every post (no matter what your sponsor tells you).  If they don’t unfriend you or unfollow you, they may block you and that isn’t good at all. 
  9. General facebook glitchyness – there are weird times when something you post that is completely allowed will be blocked by facebook. It could be that Facebook is updating things and you get caught in the melee

The main point of all of this is to grow your business by building true relationships and not build quickly by annoying others. Slow and steady wins the race. We are so lucky to have this as a tool while marketing our businesses these days that we don’t want to abuse it. 


Get in the domain game….

Have you ever Googled yourself? What do you find when you type in your name to the search bar?

Go ahead and do it now. I’ll wait.

You could be in for a bit of a nasty surprise that someone is using your name as their website address. Let me tell you, it came as a bit of a shock to see that my name, http://www.stacysnow.com, was linked to an adult website! As soon as it became available, I snapped it up and will sit on it forever to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

own your name – buy your domain in your name.

Why else would you buy a website domain?

  1. Vanity url – What better way for someone to find you than to Google your name and actually find you rather than the 8 million people who share your name?
  2. Redirect site – When they find your website name, you can use it to redirect to your business website or whatever you would like it to.
  3. Use it for personal reasons – What better way to put your resume online than to have your own domain name?
  4. Family history – We live in an amazing age where you will live on digitally even after you are gone. Why not have your name share your personal history?
  5. Personal security – We also live in an age where identity theft is on the rise. Safety first.
  6. It’s fun! It’s an addicting past time and could be a profitable business as well.

Verify your vendor event coordinator

It’s that time of year friends! The holidays are coming up and vendors, crafters and local businesses are all looking for ways to get their name out there. Vendor events are an amazing way to showcase your product and gain new customers, but there are a lot of organizers out there who are not on the up and up. It’s important to protect yourself and do your due diligence to ensure you aren’t getting scammed by someone who has no intention of doing anything but ghosting you once you have paid them. Knowing that people never expect to be surprised by an event that doesn’t hold, I have created a list of questions/advice detailing the red flags to identify and questions to ask.

Here in Wisconsin, we’ve had some … ahem… newsworthy situations on this topic and it’s become super important to me to share these tips to ensure that you are booking with a coordinator you are confident in.  

Questions to ask:

How many years have you been organizing events? Do you have some examples of previous events that you can share with me? If this is their first event, it doesn’t mean it will be bad. A newbie organizer may have things to learn when it comes to organizing, I know I still do, but if they check out in other areas, give them a try. They are only bound to get better at what they do.

Can I have the contact information for the sales office at the venue? This is an immediate way to verify that the event is legit. If the venue has them on their books, then it’s a good bet the event will hold.

What kind of event is it? Make sure For example, if you are a crafter looking for an event and the majority of the vendors are in direct sales, that type of event may not be your niche of event. Some coordinators will offer spaces to a wide range of businesses – from local businesses, to crafters, antiques, direct sales, handmade, etc… while some will drill down to a specific niche of vendors in a category. For example, handmade vendors who only feature gothic style creations.

How will you be advertising the event? Will you be advertising in the local paper, a sponsored Facebook post, TV ad, billboard, yard signs, fliers, etc. While this is a standard question, it’s important to note that advertising is the responsibility of the vendor and the participants to ensure a great turnout. There are a ton of ways to advertise the event but there should be an advertising budget for the event. That’s a fair question to ask.

How many vendor spaces do you have and how many spaces remain? Some organizers coordinate an event close to the event date and others plan out over several months to a year in advance. This could vary, but if it is within a month of the event and half of the spaces are still open, you may want to ask additional questions to get more information as to why so many spaces are still open.

How many vendors are returning from the previous event?  This could vary on the organizer’s philosophy of cycling in new vendors per event, but in my opinion, I like to see vendors who book with a coordinator time and time again. It lends credibility to the vendor that they are doing a good enough job that the vendors choose to come back.

Is there a fee for shoppers / guests to attend the show? This is a personal choice at the discretion of the organizer. It may be to lessen the costs of the vendors or to raise funds for a specific cause. Most of the time it is $5 or less.

Are there any additional costs for the event? If you are a food vendor, you may need a food license, or need insurance, etc. Those additional costs may make or break your bottom line.

Other event specifics –

What is the size of the space?

Are tables and chairs provided?

Is there an additional charge for electricity?

Is wi-fi available?

Can we set up the night before?

Would someone be available to help load/unload inventory?

Are there any plans in place of inclement weather?

How can I pay? Check, Square, Paypal, Money Order?

What if I book the spot and can’t be there? Can I be refunded?

If the event is cancelled, what is the refund policy?

Do they have a list of references you can use to reach out to current / past vendors and venues?

How often do you communicate with your vendors leading up to the event?

This is a long list of questions, but don’t be afraid to ask them until you are confident that you are working with a great organizer.

Now that you’ve booked the event, have a great show!

Money mindset, my why, success and being a good person. You can do it all.

I heard through the grapevine today that someone was saying that I was just in this business for the money. I know it was meant as a slight, but I didn’t take it that way. Most people would have gotten angry, but I didn’t because I am lucky enough to be able to say that I get to have a business that I love and I just happen to make an income as well.

For some reason, people think making money (or wanting to) is a bad thing. Quite frankly, it doesn’t make you a bad person, and the person who is saying it has some demons of their own to work out. I’m not losing sleep over it, but it made me think about my why and the reasons I’m in business.

Here are my top 5 reasons:

1. I am in this business to help other business owners build their businesses by getting in front of new people. That has always been my #1 reason for organizing events. I love being able to watch the vendors grow their businesses! One of the greatest joys I get is to see my vendor friends grow their businesses.

2. I am in this business to help shoppers connect with good business owners who will provide excellent customer service and products to the shoppers.

3. I am in this business to build relationships and friendships. I have gained some amazing friends and I cannot imagine them not being in my life. We have laughed and cried, hugged and teased each other like family. Ultimately, if you have been one of my vendors, you are family.

4. I am in this business to learn about myself and grow. I am passionate about entrepreneurship and the only way you are going to learn about it is to be in the trenches and do it.

5. I am in this business to make money. There, I said it and in a public way. Everyone needs to keep a roof over their head, the lights on and food in the cupboards. Just because I love what I do, doesn’t mean I should do it for free. I consider myself lucky to be able to have a business that I love and pays my bills. I should also add that I organized events for 15 years before I decided to make this an official business and during that time I was not making money from them, I just loved organizing them. I have definitely paid my dues. Now, it’s time to pay myself.

I feel strongly about this simply because money is a roadblock to success for a lot of people. They become scared that making money will change how others see them. You can be successful, make money and be a good person. If others treat you poorly because of your business success, that is a mindset issue for them, not for you.

Be proud of your entrepreneurship and what you have accomplished. It is a business – YOUR business. Don’t let anyone make you feel badly for taking it seriously. If you don’t, nobody else will.

You can be passionate about your business, be successful, a good person and make money.
You can be passionate about your business, be successful, a good person and make money.