Not only do we appreciate the wide variety of performers that populate our festival, we are also excited every year to see the vendors. These vendors are an integral part of the atmosphere.
In the first year, it was the goal of the organizing committee to have 16 vendors in total. This included the prospect of eight food vendors and eight artisans. The inaugural year ended up having a grand total of 19 vendors. This was a complete triumph.
Over the years, the continual growth of the festival and of the amount of vendors remains an important part of the fun and excitement for Organizing Committee Chair Kali Weber.
“In the second year we had 21, last year we had 29,” she said. Kali is assured that maintaining a variety of booths every year allows for almost anyone to become a part of the experience.
“We want vendors that are unique, that offer something special, that will keep festival patrons returning for something new each time,” she said. This open policy for vendor invitation includes a call out to Artisans, Interactive Vendors, and Food Vendors.
Anyone who has been to the festival site in the past three years knows how much vendor participation, just being there, enriches the festival experience. This is because we believe patrons come not only for the amazing shows, but they also visit for delicious food, to buy something unique, or to get a caricature or air brush tattoo.
“Vendors help create the vibe of the festival and are part of the reason patrons keep returning multiple times throughout the weekend,” she said.
Not only do we benefit from the vendors participation, but vendors are also benefited by becoming a part of the festival. They are able to expand their market and interact with other vendors for networking. Plus, the festival is a great opportunity to build and expand their customer base.
With an anticipated 8,000 festival patrons expected over the course of the weekend, vendors have the opportunity to earn a great return on their investment, in terms of making a substantial income over the weekend.
“It has always been important that every vendor chosen is an artist, or entrepreneur,” said Kali. “Although home-based businesses have their own place in our community, that isn’t what we are looking for at our festival. We want vendors who are working hard to create their own brand. We like home grown, handmade, and with a lot of heart.”
Kali works hard in her search to integrate existing and new vendors every year. She makes contact with previous vendors first and allows them to apply without adjudication. Then, she reaches out through social media and other avenues like Buy and Sell, Battlefords Now, and Kijiji. She hands out her business card as much as possible and if she’s at different events will approach great vendors to include them in the fun and exciting festival experience.