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My first expo

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 

I am in talks with Susan G Komen Race for the cure to sell cupcake and a few cakes for their expo. They have 8,000 race participants picking up their packages. Many will come with family or friends.

They have never had any food at their events and are willing to get all of the permits etc...I don't expect any competition there

 

Now what I need advice on is how many cupcakes to make for 2 days. I plan to sell the minis by the dozen, jumbos and regulars singularly, packs of 2, 4 and 6. Also I want to do some cute 6" cakes and stilletto cakes. At first I was going to donate all of the profit but they told me today there is a minimum $1,000 donation (which  I see no problem with).

 

She says most runners don't eat cupcakes....lol. I beg to differ...they may not buy a dozen but I know MANY runners and I have seldom met one that could not resist a gourmet beautifully decorated cupcake from time to time. Also there will be friends, family and volunteers. I am thinking at least 1,000 cupcakes (not counting the mnis) and about 30 cakes. Maybe even 2,000 (thank goodness I just bought a deep freezer!). I just don't want to take them home. Questions"

1. How many would YOU do and realistically expect to sell?

2. How would you break them up? How many packs of singles, 2,4,& 6?

3. How many business cards would you order for this?

4. How many flavors would you offer?

 

I plan to get a large banner made, more business cards, t shirts for 2 workers..so those will be additional costs over normal. I am trying to find clearance packaging, cake boards, baking cups etc.... so if you see any good deals let me know please! Thanks for your tips!

post #2 of 42
First of all I admire your enthusiasm. First thing I would suggest since this is your first expo is to keep it simple. For example only have regular size and no jumbo. Second is figure out what you can transport, carry into the venue and store in your tent. All those items will be a massive transportation and storage effort. Third is what all you can keep from melting in summer heat. Also there is a limit to what a person can actually sell, timewise. For example if it takes you three minutes to make a sale, get the item and take care of payment then you can only do 20 transactions in an hour and 160 in an 8 hour day so 320 for the two day expo. So you would be physically unable to sell the thousands of items you are suggesting. You would be much better off for your first event to scale way back and sell out early than to have hundreds of items left over and go to waste after having sat out for two days. There are some prior threads that give some on others farmers market type events that could be helpful.
post #3 of 42
I just reread and saw you plan to have two workers so my numbers would have to be doubled but the concept is still the same. One other thought is since you are looking at this as a big marketing opportunity that your product , display, etc will all be a reflection of your business so the appearance, products, impression, and customer service at this event can impact your business reputation. Both positive and negative. Good luck with the event.
post #4 of 42
I would definitely scale it down a bit, den made some great suggestions on the numbers. Also, I think it depends a lot on where the event is. Is it in a large/small town, I know you said there weren't going to be other food items but are there going to be any other tents like a festival where people are coming to shop as well as see the race? I can't imagine them not having some other vendors for drinks/ice cream, you know what I mean?

It's a great opportunity for exposure. I have done a couple smaller events in my little town, I always take a little box and have a drawing. I get contact info and send out thank you emails and give out a few small coupons via mail (like $5 off an 8" cake or larger).

I know it's not ideal after selling all day to go home and bake some more but I'd rather do that then bring a bunch home. I'd definitely base a lot off the first day, simply because these events can be so unpredictable. Since you have help (depending on how far away you are from this event) you can leave some home and send someone back to replenish your supply if needed (again, I live in a small town so this would be a quick journey for me).

Good luck! It sounds really cool. If no one is serving drinks I'd grab a couple things of water and a cooler.
post #5 of 42
I have run races in several states and hardly any of my friends goes to the expo beyond picking up their race packet, especially if it's in a location where people tend to travel to rather than simply living in the area. We especially wouldn't be in the market for cupcakes, given all our training, but maybe the Susan G Komen 5k gets a different crowd.
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post #6 of 42
Thread Starter 

It is in Va Beach and will be indoors in the convention center....it is a huge military area and a majority will be locals. I will have to speak with my contact to see what other types of vendors there are. I have never run my own event such as this but have volunteered at dozens so I will have some experience. I was considering a drawing and a email sign up list is an excellent suggestion. My dreams are always HUGE..thanks for bringing me back to earth. I have to make my money back and the expo fee. I don't care about any profit as this is purely for advertising and a cause very dear to me. I participate in one of their events every year (they are always in Oct since that is Breast Cancer Awareness month) I just left Restaurant Depot and was able to find suitable containers for $.09 each so that lowers my cost per by $.41 from the normal boxes I use. Good idea on selling water too!

post #7 of 42
So long as you are able and willing to make up the $1,000 - it might not seem like a lot to sell amongst 8,000 runners plus their friends and family but $1,000 is a lot of money.
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post #8 of 42
Thread Starter 

Sure it's a business risk but it will give me tons of exposure. You never know what you can achieve if you never take risks. I think it is better than paying for an ad which would cost $500-$800 because people will actually get to taste my product and I think THAT is what sets me apart. I am confident that I can cover my costs, but if not then I think the longterm return will be worth it. AT least I HOPE so! lol And even if I don't I can feel good knowing it went to a good cause. Last year my 15 year old niece had a double mastectomy and my (step)Mom did several years ago. And it is all a write off!

post #9 of 42

That sounds like a great opportunity, good luck! just an idea, maybe they will allow you to put a flyer, or $1 off coupon in to the running package? I think if there is a coupon then they will be more likely to stop by your tent and purchase something.

post #10 of 42
Whenever I do something like this I want to make chocolate high heels filled with my homemade truffles, mini cakes, six or seven different flavor combos, etc. lol I do the same thing so don't feel bad!
That's great that it will be indoors so you don't have to battle the heat. My next event is going to be a bridal show and if I had my pick between something like this and a bridal show I would do the show, but that's me! I know those people going there are getting married/friends of someone getting married/etc.
Your right though its for a good cause, and at the very least if it results in 3 people ordering wedding cakes from you as a result from the exposure you've made your $1000 back. Yes your paying for ingredients, extra business cards, a larger banner (oh by the way, vistaprint had a sale for their banners usually starting at $15 down to $5-they had discounts for everything from business cards to pamphlets-I've never ordered from them before but they seem very reasonable!) etc but aside from the baked goods you will always need business cards, boxes, and the banner is reusable. I've never done an event centered around a race but it sounds like there will be lots of people there. You have to look at things like this as an investment.
Definitely see what other vendors will be there, if your going to make custom cakes or something to show off your talents I'd just make one maybe two (or take a dummy) if you want to show off a bit and let people see what you can do. I would focus more on the cupcakes in smaller batches or some cake pops/cookies, stuff that people can walk around and eat them. I wouldn't want to carry a cakebox around with me, and when I see things at events and think oh I'll go by there before I leave-most times I forget! If your doing decorations on the cupcakes I would do simple things that are geared toward kids! I love those push pop containers, they're fun, and easier for me then cake pops.
If you do the drawing make sure you get email and home addresses so you can reach out to these people afterwards also.
I'm excited for you, please post pictures of your stand and keep us posted!
post #11 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by nadushka View Post

That sounds like a great opportunity, good luck! just an idea, maybe they will allow you to put a flyer, or $1 off coupon in to the running package? I think if there is a coupon then they will be more likely to stop by your tent and purchase something.

That's a good idea too, but if your main focus is on cupcakes I'd go more for buy 3 get one free-or even larger.
post #12 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smckinney07 View Post

Whenever I do something like this I want to make chocolate high heels filled with my homemade truffles, mini cakes, six or seven different flavor combos, etc. lol I do the same thing so don't feel bad!
That's great that it will be indoors so you don't have to battle the heat. My next event is going to be a bridal show and if I had my pick between something like this and a bridal show I would do the show, but that's me! I know those people going there are getting married/friends of someone getting married/etc.
Your right though its for a good cause, and at the very least if it results in 3 people ordering wedding cakes from you as a result from the exposure you've made your $1000 back. Yes your paying for ingredients, extra business cards, a larger banner (oh by the way, vistaprint had a sale for their banners usually starting at $15 down to $5-they had discounts for everything from business cards to pamphlets-I've never ordered from them before but they seem very reasonable!) etc but aside from the baked goods you will always need business cards, boxes, and the banner is reusable. I've never done an event centered around a race but it sounds like there will be lots of people there. You have to look at things like this as an investment.
Definitely see what other vendors will be there, if your going to make custom cakes or something to show off your talents I'd just make one maybe two (or take a dummy) if you want to show off a bit and let people see what you can do. I would focus more on the cupcakes in smaller batches or some cake pops/cookies, stuff that people can walk around and eat them. I wouldn't want to carry a cakebox around with me, and when I see things at events and think oh I'll go by there before I leave-most times I forget! If your doing decorations on the cupcakes I would do simple things that are geared toward kids! I love those push pop containers, they're fun, and easier for me then cake pops.
If you do the drawing make sure you get email and home addresses so you can reach out to these people afterwards also.
I'm excited for you, please post pictures of your stand and keep us posted!

I do way more cakes than cupcakes but I agree that at an event like this most people will probably be looking for something small so I am focusing on cupcakes. I now am thinking of just doing individuals and a sampler pack of 6 minis. I have been dying to do one of the fancy lacy bra cakes SO I will do 1 as a demo. Vista Print does offer this specials but then by the time you pick a suitable cardstock do your design, make it glossy, etc..it comes out pretty costly. I have a guy that designed my cards, does thick glossy double sided cards for $35 for 1000 including shipping. He also did some car door magnets for  me and will probably do my banner. I found him on Ebay and have ordered from him 3 times and he is awesome! Have not checked his banner prices but I found some other guys on Ebay that will do a 2x6 with metal grommets for $25. Funny you said 6 or 7 flavors...I picked & flavors that I HAD to do. I was looking at the individual cardboard CC boxes and they were at a minimum of $.50 each. I found little Styrofoam containers with large clear domes for $.09 each. I am just going to stick a small pink ribbon to them. I still have a lot of details to go over with Lisa.

post #13 of 42
I haven't ordered from vista, just looked around. Can I have a link to your guy on eBay? That's an amazing price-I never even thought to look there! I have been wanting to get one of those magnets for my car when I do deliveries. The boxes you found sound great too, that's a really good deal. I focus more on cakes as well but cupcakes will be good just so people can try your product. I couldn't resist walking by a cupcake booth icon_smile.gif
I'm sure your presentation will be lovely with the ribbons. I'm seriously so excited for you that I wish I was closer so I could come taste some of your cakes!
post #14 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by BatterUpCake View Post

 I have a guy that designed my cards, does thick glossy double sided cards for $35 for 1000 including shipping. He also did some car door magnets for  me and will probably do my banner. I found him on Ebay and have ordered from him 3 times and he is awesome! Have not checked his banner prices but I found some other guys on Ebay that will do a 2x6 with metal grommets for $25. 

I would also love your info on this Ebay guy, if you have a minute! I use Vista because they are the least expensive I've seen and put out a good product. But I will ALWAYS entertain better avenues. 

 

Question: If you are donating all of your proceeds to the organization, will they allow you to advertise that? People *might* be more likely to buy from you if they know "all proceeds will be donated". This way you have more people testing out your product, it would be tax deductible (I think, but could be wrong), they get a tasty treat (even if it's to take home to a child, spouse, grandchild...), and most importantly you would be helping an organization that you care deeply about! 

post #15 of 42
Thread Starter 

I planned on putting a nicely framed sign on the table stating just that. Will PM you the EBay guys info.

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