Are you a non-profit organization looking to ignite your community around local food? Hosting a Fill Your Pantry Event is an excellent way to engage the community, help your local food sellers clear out their stocks, and raise funds and awareness for the local food ecosystem.
We’ve compiled 4 tips to help make your event a success!
- Start planning early. Identify a date, venue and time of day well in advance. This puts a stake in the ground for recruiting sellers and developing your marketing plan. Early planning will give you a jump on logistics. A longer runway will help pave the way to success.
- Clearly layout the benefits to invited sellers. Sellers participating in a Fill Your Pantry event experience many benefits. As you recruit sellers, it’s helpful to remind them of how the event can help grow their business both in the short and long term. Benefits to the seller include:
- A great opportunity to sell value added goods and storage crops in bulk quantities
- The possibility of marketing next season’s CSA’s, and soliciting sign ups
- Increased brand visibility while taking the marketing burden off the seller
- Possibility to attract net new customers
- Consider taking pre-orders online. Pre-orders lock in sales and can relieve anxiety on both the part of the seller and the buyer. Knowing pre-event orders have already been placed and paid for helps relieve sellers’ “Will I sell anything?” anxiety. Being able to shop and pre-order goods gives buyers the confidence their desired products are reserved and will not run out.
- Make sure your online ordering system is easy to use for both buyers and sellers
- Have the right reports – Order Fulfillment, Sales and Accounting to keep you organized pre- and post- event.
- Start your marketing early! Marketing has a rule of 7 – customers usually need to see or hear something 7 times before they take action.
- Send e-mails to your existing e-mail list
- Encourage participating sellers to include the event in their e-newsletter
- Get the word out on social media
- Ask for a write up in your local online and print publications