NEW Downloadable Content: Christmas Coloring Page!

12/05/2019
by Michelle Just

We have officially entered the holiday season...

Between sending off socks, hats, and gloves to good little boys and girls, the NEAFP elves were busy creating the December coloring page!

You're sure to be hosting open houses and participating in holiday markets, fairs, and festivals this month... Hoping to entertain your youngest alpaca fans?

We've got you covered with a free downloadable coloring page!


Find it here on Facebook, or download a full-size, printer-friendly version at the bottom of this article!

Download the printer-friendly files here!

PDF Download - Christmas Alpaca Coloring Page

High Resolution JPG Download - Christmas Alpaca Coloring Page


Have an idea for a future graphic? Email us your ideas to support@neafp.com

Thanksgiving Shipping Schedule

11/22/2019
by NEAFP Co

NEAFP's mill and office will be closed Thursday the 28th and Friday the 29th for the Thanksgiving Holiday.

All orders placed by the end of the day on Tuesday the 26th will ship Wednesday before we close.

Any order placed after then will ship when we return to the mill starting Monday December 2nd.

Thank you and we hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Our 2019 U.S. Alpaca Holiday Ornament is here!

11/14/2019
by NEAFP Co

 

2019 Limited Edition

U.S. Alpaca Holiday Ornament

We are excited to release our 2019 U.S. Alpaca Holiday Ornament! Designed, Cut and Engraved in house by NEAFP, these ornaments are great little keepsakes to share with your customers during the holiday season.

2019 was truly the year of U.S. Alpaca so we wanted to make the alpaca take center stage in this unique one of a kind snowflake designed holiday ornament.

The snowflake patterned ornament is cut from sustainably sourced 1/4" Bamboo hardwood with the year engraved below a white acrylic alpaca inlaid into the bamboo.

We are producing them in a limited small run, once they are sold out they are gone for the 2019 holiday season! Our 2018 U.S. Alpaca ornament sold out within 4 weeks of being announced!

The 2019 U.S. Alpaca Holiday Ornament is made from sustainable Bamboo hardwood, left in its natural unfinished beauty. This ornament measures approximately 4” wide by 4” high.

Get one for yourself, a few as stocking stuffers,

or take advantage of quantity discounts and offer them to your biggest alpaca loving fans!

Available now in our Gift and Accessories category!

NEW Downloadable Content: Thanksgiving Coloring Page!

11/12/2019
by Michelle Just

We loved seeing completed Halloween coloring pages from your latest events, so we're following up with a Thanksgiving coloring page for the month of November!

You're sure to be hosting open houses and participating in holiday markets, fairs, and festivals this month... Hoping to entertain your youngest alpaca fans?

We've got you covered with a free downloadable coloring page!


Find it here on Facebook, or download a full-size, printer-friendly version at the bottom of this article!

Download the printer-friendly files here!

PDF Download - Thanksgiving Alpaca Coloring Page

High Resolution JPG Download - Thanksgiving Alpaca Coloring Page


Have an idea for a future graphic? Email us your ideas to support@neafp.com

Free Resources: Support your Local Alpaca Farm on Small Business Saturday!

11/01/2019
by Michelle Just

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday looming, we’ve all been inundated with marketing for the hottest deals and steals of the season. Let’s face it: as an alpaca farmer, your morning chores may prevent you from standing in line at 3am, and while the internet has allowed you to reach new customers, local community support has always been the key to your success. There’s no need to say “Bah Humbug,” however, as Small Business Saturday is the perfect opportunity to capitalize on the after-Thanksgiving shopping rush.
 


Small Business Saturday began in 2010 as a joint venture between American Express and a number of other parties, though it has since evolved and taken on a life of its own. The shopping holiday, which falls on the last Saturday of November, is now in its 10th year. Held this year on November 30th, Small Business Saturday urges consumers to shop at locally owned small and independent businesses.

Last year, the holiday drove record sales to small businesses, while also illustrating the joys of shopping small, as “96% of consumers who reported shopping on Small Business Saturday said the day makes them want to Shop Small all year long, not just during the holiday season.”1

Why Does Small Business Saturday Matter?

  • In 2018, U.S. consumers reported spending a record high of an estimated $17.8 billion at independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday.
  • Small businesses comprise 99.9% of all United States businesses. 
  • Small businesses employ over 58.9 million people in the U.S.A.
  • Small businesses invest more of their revenue into the local economy, community, and employees, and are more likely to be socially and civically engaged in the community.
  • Locally owned businesses are often more invested in the financial wellbeing of their employees, while shopping at big box companies drives income inequality.2
     

As an alpaca farmer, you are already in your prime sales season, so seize the day and host an event, join a market, or have an open house on Small Business Saturday! Be sure to let your customers know the benefits of shopping local!

Free Resources:

Click Here --> Downloadable Shop Small Alpaca Banner

Click Here --> Downloadable Shop Small Alpaca Infographic

Click Here --> Downloadable Shop Small Alpaca Logo

 


The American Express Website has some free resources available for businesses to gear up for Small Business Saturday:

Customizable Marketing Materials: https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/shop-small/studio?intlink=us-mer-sbrc-sbs-studio
Shop Small Map: https://merchant-global.americanexpress.com/login/public-profile

 

1,2. Statistics from https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/shop-small/about?linknav=us-loy-homepage-learnmore & https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/advocacy/2018-Small-Business-Profiles-US.pdf

Happy Halloween from everyone here at NEAFP!

10/30/2019
by NEAFP Co

Happy Halloween!

BOLD Cable Beanie is new and improved!

10/18/2019
by NEAFP Co

**2019 Update**

This classic alpaca hat just got better. We've completely overhauled the design of the Cable Knit Beanie to make it softer, warmer, and more comfortable to wear. The fit has been improved so it wears like a typical beanie style hat and an inner headband lining has been added. The lining helps block the wind and keep your ears and neck warm while the top of the hat still breaths so you don't over heat. Soft, warm, and stylish!

 

Available in Black, Denim Blue, Mulberry, Slate Grey, & Royal Purple

Article: Tools and Topics for Implementing Healthy Soil Agriculture

10/17/2019
by NEAFP Co

Healthy Soil
 
For the past year I have been implementing Healthy Soil Practices on my farm with exciting results including lower feed costs and healthier animals.  I am most excited to see a clear roll for alpacas in the climate battle we are currently facing.  Alpacas among other things are grazers that help maintain pasture while producing a number of climate friendly products.  It is my belief that every farm should consider a herd of alpaca not only for  the revenue they generate but the climate friendly benefits they provide.  I've written a whitepaper that discusses the benefits of Healthy Soil and the barriers to entry.  Please take the time to read the paper and email your thoughts to me.  I would be very interested in them.
 
Thank you for your time,
Chris Riley
chris@neafp.com
President
New England Alpaca Fiber Pool
 

 

NEW Downloadable Content: Halloween Coloring Page!

10/11/2019
by Michelle Just

As the weather gets cooler, you're sure to be hosting open houses and participating in markets, fairs, and festivals. Hoping to entertain your youngest alpaca fans?

We've got you covered with a free downloadable coloring page!


Find it here on Facebook, or download a full-size, printer-friendly version at the bottom of this article!

Download the printer-friendly files here!

PDF Download - Halloween Alpaca Coloring Page

High Resolution JPG Download - Halloween Alpaca Coloring Page


Have an idea for a future graphic? Email us your ideas to support@neafp.com

Article: Successful Social Media Marketing for Alpaca Farms

10/09/2019
by Michelle Just

Do you have a Facebook or Instagram page for your farm or farm store? If you don't, you could be missing out on new avenues to sell your products! Perhaps you already have one but you aren't getting the traffic you were hoping for. It may seem daunting to manage multiple social media pages on top of the work you do as a farmer on a daily basis, so we've put together some tips to help you be more successful!
 

Start with a Goal or Plan in Mind
   

As you begin exploring social media marketing, take a moment to decide what you want to gain out of the experience. Your business pages on Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms can serve you and your customers in a number of capacities, so it is easy to get overwhelmed by the possibilities.

You may decide to:

  • Use your social media presence to bring more physical traffic to your farm and farm store
  • Use social media as an avenue to advertise or sell product directly to your consumers
  • Advertise your own public events and find other relevant ones in which you can sell your products
  • Curate a library of media (video and photography) that establishes an identity for your brand
  • Connect with your existing client base to establish an ongoing relationship
  • Discover new and untapped avenues to market your alpaca products beyond your local community
   
Understand your Audience

 

There are many active social media platforms, but which one will get you the response you’re looking for? A 2019 Pew Survey of US Adults points to YouTube and Facebook being the most popular social media platforms, but that doesn't mean you should discount the others. Take into account factors like the intended age and gender of your prospective customers. Facebook is consistently popular with both younger and older adults, while others like Instagram and Snapchat attract young adults almost exclusively. On the other hand, Pinterest users are more than 3 times more likely to be women. 

Take into consideration the intended purpose of each platform as well. While it may behoove you to create a personal LinkedIn page as a business professional, you will be hard pressed to find customers there! Instagram and Pinterest tend to focus on the visual while Twitter is textual. Knowing the difference between each platform can help you cater your content to your intended audiences.

Be sure to utilize the various analytics pages available to monitor your page performance. Facebook and Instagram analytics provide useful information, including when people visiti your page or posts, what is most popular, and who your audience is based on their age and location. Use this information to hone your social media marketing skills!

 

Be Responsive
   
Think of social media as another avenue for conversation. Customers will use it to chat with you, ask questions, and review your products and services. Become an active participant by "liking" comments, responding to questions in a timely fashion, and regularly posting updates about your business. You may receive negative comments or critiques regarding your services, products, or animals. If this happens, always keep a level head to prevent escalating the issue. It may be helpful to think of possible responses ahead of time. For example, if a social media follower accuses you of cruelty for shearing your animals, have a thoughtful response ready to explain why alpacas need to be sheared on an annual basis.
 
   
Rely on Visuals

 

Social media marketers find that they rely heavily on visual media when reaching out to their customers. Data on visual content marketing from the past few years illustrates that captivating visual media is necessary for high levels of customer engagement with your pages.

There are a number of ways to incorporate video and images into your social media marketing. Original content in the form of videos, shared content like related graphics and memes, as well as product, animal, and lifestyle photography are all great ways to go visual. Videos should be short enough to keep the attention of your viewers and photographs and images should be at a high enough resolution to be viewable!

Don't think that visuals are that important? They certainly are if you're hoping to create a paid ad for Facebook. If you plan to promote your business through a paid Facebook News Feed ad, only 20% of the image can have text on it, or it will not pass through Facebook's filters!

 

Stay on Schedule
   
Timing is important when it comes to social media for many reasons. Regularly posting keeps your followers interested and engaged, while platforms like Facebook have a number of built in features like post scheduling and event hosting that can help you reach your intended audiences. Here are a few ways to stay organized.

1. Create a social media calendar to keep track of when and how often you should post to social media.

Monday: Post a candid barn photo or video of an alpaca

Wednesdays: Post a photo of one of your products and a link to where it can be purchased.

Friday:  Remind your followers where you'll be selling products that weekend (ex: "Stop by the farm tomorrow from 10am-2pm!")

2. Schedule Posts in Advance during Peak Viewing Times

Did you know that people tend to check social media at certain times, and it differs between platforms? Different businesses have greater success depending on the time of day as evidenced by this chart on prime Instagram posting times.

Hootsuite found in their research that the best time to post to Facebook for Business to Consumer brands is 12 p.m. EST on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday. Take advantage of Facebook's ability to schedule posts in advance through Publishing Tools. That way, you can make sure your content gets out there and better yet-- you don't forget to post it on your busiest days!

3. Schedule and Share Facebook Events

If you're planning a farm event, be sure to create a Facebook event to organize all the pertinent information that an event-goer, potential farm visitor, or shopper may need. This includes a clear event title, thorough description, concrete location, and exact start and end times. The event can then be shared easily by both you and your followers. When setting up your event, use tags for relevant keywords. Interested parties may decide to stop by when searching for things to do using Facebook's calendar.

   

Social media is constantly evolving, and while it can be hard to keep up, understanding the ways that these platforms can work for you can make your business more successful in the long run!

We hope that these Business Resource Blog Posts have been helpful. Is there a topic you'd like us to cover in a future post? Write to us at support@neafp.com

 

New Product: Textured Alpaca Slouch Beanie

10/01/2019
by NEAFP Co

Just in time for the cool weather,

introducing our Textured Slouch Beanie!

Adding on to the popularity of our Mountain Eve Alpaca Slouch Beanie released in 2018, we’ve created a unique textured beanie with the same slouchy silhouette. 

The Textured Slouch Alpaca Beanie is made from our softest U.S. Grown Alpaca and features all over contrasting rib & cable knitting using naturally colored alpaca yarn, which creates a subtle 3-Dimensional design.

The slouch beanie has that hip loose look on the top while still keeping your head warm in a wide range of conditions.  The headband area features a microfleece lining, keeping the hat snug on your head and blocking wind on your forehead, ears, and neck. The top of the hat stays breathable so you feel comfortable while staying active in the great outdoors. This hat is finished with a faux suede sewn on tag, bringing the hat and the alpaca brand itself to new heights. 

 

We've designed this hat in house from the ground up to be as stylish as it is warm and cozy and we couldn't be happier with the results!

 

The story behind this homegrown product is as good as it feels. The natural and renewable alpaca fiber used to make it is grown by small U.S. alpaca farms. Century old textile mills spin this fiber into yarn and a 4th generation family run knitting mill knits the fabric. Then the fabric comes back to us here at NEAFP where we cut, sew, and finish the fabric into a finished hat. From there it goes back to alpaca farms to share with their local communities, truly coming full circle! This is what makes U.S. Grown, U.S. Made Alpaca feel so good.

  • Content: Outer Shell: 80% U.S. Alpaca, 20% Recycled Nylon. Inner Headband Lining: 100% Microfleece
  • Care Instructions: Hand Wash Cold Water, Lay Flat to Air Dry
  • Suggested Retail: $54

NEW Downloadable Content: The 16 Standard Colors of Alpaca Fiber

09/27/2019
by Michelle Just

Hoping to share this graphic on social media?
Find it here on Facebook, or download a full-size, printer-friendly version at the bottom of this article!


Check out our other downloadable graphics in previous blog posts:

1.  The Camelidae Family

2.  4 Common Alpaca Myths

3.  Earth Day: The Sustainable Alpaca

4. Celebrating Motherhood: Alpaca Mothers & Crias

5. 5 Great Reasons to Visit Your Local Alpaca Farm


Feel free to share this graphic online or print it and use it at your next farmer's market as an educational resource.

Download the printer-friendly files here!

PDF Download - The 16 Standard Colors of Alpaca Fiber

High Resolution JPG Download - The 16 Standard Colors of Alpaca Fiber


Have an idea for a future graphic? Email us your ideas to support@neafp.com

NEW Downloadable Content: 5 Great Reasons to Visit Your Local Alpaca Farm

09/19/2019
by Michelle Just

Just in time for National Alpaca Farm Days on September 28th and 29th!

Hoping to share this graphic on social media?
Find it here on Facebook, or download a full-size, printer-friendly version at the bottom of this article!


Check out our other downloadable graphics in previous blog posts:

1.  The Camelidae Family

2.  4 Common Alpaca Myths

3.  Earth Day: The Sustainable Alpaca

4. Celebrating Motherhood: Alpaca Mothers & Crias


Feel free to share this graphic before your National Alpaca Farm Day event or print it and use it at your next farmer's market as an educational resource.

Download the printer-friendly files here!

PDF Download - 5 Great Reasons to Visit Your Local Alpaca Farm

High Resolution JPG Download - 5 Great Reasons to Visit Your Local Alpaca Farm


Have an idea for a future graphic? Email us your ideas to support@neafp.com

Need it for National Alpaca Farm Days?

09/17/2019
by NEAFP Co

Need an order for an upcoming

National Alpaca Farm Days event?

For all time sensitive orders we ask that you get them in to us as soon as possible and let us know in the Order Notes box during checkout. Currently we are shipping all orders within 1 business day.

 

We recommend all time sensitive orders check out with UPS Ground or

better as USPS Priority does not guarantee their delivery times.

 

Look up your zone in the UPS Transit Time map below and this table will let you know the last day you can order

for UPS ground to reach you by the end of Friday September 27th.

 

UPS Ground Transit Zones - Last Day to order for NAFD 2019
YELLOW BROWN GREEN RED ORANGE

Wednesday

September 25th

Tuesday

September 24th

Monday

September 23rd

Friday

September 20th

Thursday

September 19th

 

 

We hope you all have a great open house!

Article: Agritourism on the Alpaca Farm

09/06/2019
by Michelle Just


Is it worthwhile for you to use your farm for agritourism experiences? Opening your farm up to new entertainment, recreational, and educational activities may create a new revenue stream that bolsters visitation to your farm and sales of your products.

 


Defining Agritourism and Similar Value-Added Enterprises

You likely already engage in some forms of agritourism, if you host holiday open houses or participate in the annual National Alpaca Farm Days. Many visitors simply yearn for an authentic farm experience, and opening your farm by appointment or on particular occasions to share your work with the public is the simplest form of agritourism. Might it be time to add some alternative enterprises to the farm?

What are alternative enterprises? According to the Southern Maryland RC&D Board's guide "Taking the First Step,"   

Alternative Enterprises are "marketing an existing farm or ranch product differently, adding value before it is sold, or adding a new enterprise (product or service) to existing enterprises on the farm or ranch. Also referred to as enterprise diversification. Besides the production of food and fiber, alternative enterprises include the following activities:

• Agritourism - Inviting the public onto a farm or ranch to participate in various activities and enjoy an agricultural experience. Agritourism enterprises include bed and breakfast, for-fee fishing or hunting, pick-your-own fruits/ vegetables, corn mazes, farm markets, and much more. 

• Agritainment - Providing the public with fun on-farm or on-ranch activities. Such activities include haunted houses, mazes, miniature golf, yoga, horseback riding, hayrides, and the like.

• Agrieducation - Formal and informal education about agriculture through signage, tours, hands-on classes, seminars, and other methods."
 

What are some examples of successful agritourism ventures? Vineyards offering tastings and events like concert series have become extremely popular, especially when included in a regional "wine tour." Corn mazes and pumpkin patches remain a fall favorite. Don't forget the cider donuts at the end!
 

Agritourism as a Source of Revenue

If you are planning to host an event or recurring series of events on your farm to attract tourists, consider the many possible income streams. Many of the above activities are now lumped into the term “agritourism.” Whether you choose to charge an admission fee, or charge for activities onsite, there are numerous ways to build value into the experience. You may choose to charge a small fee to feed the alpacas or take a hayride, for instance. Some farms provide tastings or sell produce or food grown onsite, while others choose to be full fledged bed and breakfasts! Regardless, as an alpaca farmer, you will probably find that a gift shop for selling alpaca products will be central to your farm’s success.

Perhaps your farm is the perfect event space for weddings and private events? A picturesque landscape might make it the ideal backdrop for photographers willing to rent it out as well. Other farms have had success hosting picnic suppers for the community.
 

Challenges of Agritourism

Opening up your farm to visitors means that you must also manage visitor expectations. If you have open hours, visitors will expect you to be open during that time. Farms can be inherently hazardous, so it is important to prepare your site for visitors, complete with signs and fencing if necessary. Visitors will likely expect ample parking and bathroom facilities, so if you’re putting on a larger event or expect sustained visitors throughout a season, it may be worthwhile to rent a portable toilet. 

Having clearly demarcated areas for visitors is one way to keep your animals and guests safe while on the farm!
 

The Risks of Agritourism

Despite the benefits of broadening your offerings beyond open houses, engaging in agritourism require careful pre-planning prior to planning your events. Before embarking on any agritourism ventures, understand any risks or liabilities. Does your insurance cover accidents and injuries that take place during non-farm related events? You could also run into a zoning conflict, or may be required to obtain a permit or variance, such as an event permit if you hope to use your farm for recreational or educational activities. Financially, engaging in certain forms of agritourism can complicate taxes, and if your farm has employees, using your facilities for agritourism can also alter your compensation requirements.
 



Make sure you understand the potential financial risks and other conflicts that may arise before you invest in an agritourism venture.

 

Interested? Learn More about Agritourism

If you're interested in learning more about adding alternative enterprises to your farm, participating in National Alpaca Farm Days this September is a great way to start, by demonstrating activities that you're already doing on a daily basis. Invite the public to your farm to purchase products, interact with the animals, and tour your farm. If you're able to, offer demonstrations on alpaca care and management, and hands on activities for kids and adults alike. If you find that you're successful, why not investigate the possbility of making your farm an agritourism destination!
 

Agritourism Resources: http://tioga.cce.cornell.edu/for-farmers/agritourism

Getting Started in Agritourism: http://senecacountycce.org/resources/getting-started-in-agritourism

Considerations for Agritourism Development: http://senecacountycce.org/resources/considerations-for-agri-tourism-development

Taking the First Step: http://senecacountycce.org/resources/taking-the-first-step-farm-and-ranch-alternative-enterprise-and-agritourism-resource-evaluation-guide

FAQ: Agritourism on your farm: https://smallfarms.cornell.edu/2019/04/faq-agritourism-on-your-farm/

 

We hope that these Business Resource Blog Posts have been helpful. Is there a topic you'd like us to cover in a future post? Write to us at support@neafp.com

 

Just Released: The Alpaca Farmer's Almanac Winter Forecast!

09/05/2019
by Michelle Just

The Alpaca Farmer's Almanac has officially forecasted the 2019-2020 Winter!

How did your region fare?

Thrive this winter with the help of our U.S. Alpaca products, available at a farm store near you
--> http://bit.ly/alpacafarmstores

 

 

 

Happy Labor Day from NEAFP!

08/30/2019
by Michelle Just

The NEAFP team will be observing the Labor Day holiday on Monday, September 2nd.

Just a quick break before the unofficial start of fall!
 

See you Tuesday! 

p.s. Don't forget to shop our annual Stock up Sale and get some great deals before time runs out!

New Backpaca Ankle Sock!

08/15/2019
by NEAFP Co

The Backpaca Sock was launched in November of 2018 and has quickly become one of our fasting growing U.S. alpaca products.  The fine alpaca hosiery yarn that goes into the Backpaca was years (and many prototypes) in the making and it allowed us to begin making socks on more advanced knitting machines. Giving us a platform to make lightweight U.S. alpaca socks that were comfortable in a wide range of climates and seasons  - we've now launched our 2nd sock in the Backpaca line up!
 

The Backpaca Ankle Sock


This new sock takes the lightweight design of the Backpaca Hiker and
increases it's curb appeal with a rich feature set!

 
Available now!

Article: Finding Success at Fall and Winter Markets

08/12/2019
by Michelle Just



While many of us are still hoping to hold onto summer for just a little while longer, fall brings great opportunities for the alpaca farmer! Farmer’s markets, craft fairs, and harvest festivals will soon lead into holiday bazaars, all of which offer a chance to extend your customer base, boost sales, and expand your brand. Fall and winter are undeniably the busiest seasons for vendors of alpaca products, but how can you make sure that your time and energy are well spent? Take the time now to strategize for fall and winter markets to ensure that your booth is as impressive as the products you sell. 

Start at the Very Beginning

Before you even think about your booth setup, make sure you attend the right events. Ask yourself what type of people will come to a particular market, if the location is easily accessible, and if the event is marketed or advertised. If possible, reach out to like-minded vendors who have worked the event in recent years to hear their perspective and gain valuable insight. While many markets will try to prevent vendors from selling similar products, it is always wise to check for yourself, as redundancy will lead to fewer sales. You want to make sure that your products “fit” within the overall scope of the market, but you won’t want to compete with a handful of similar vendors!

Regardless of how an event is externally marketed, it is your job to market your event on social media. Always share where you will be selling in advance, and be sure to take photos of your booth at the show to create buzz during and after the event! Don’t forget about repeat customers: make sure your website or social media pages are posted on any collateral you have in your booth so that new customers can find you again. Looking to start a mailing list? Put a sign-up sheet in your booth so customers can be notified about future events. 

If you sell a wide range of products, make sure you bring the right products for a particular market. You will likely find that certain products sell better in different locations. In most cases it is important to still offer a variety of products and something for every budget at each show. Be sure to bring smaller, more affordable options for customers who might not be ready to invest in higher price-point items. These more affordable products help introduce customers to your brand and hopefully bring them back for a larger purchase in the future.

We love to share photos of our booths on social media. It's a simple way to get the attention of potential customers who might be interested in perusing your products! We posted this photo during the most recent MAPACA show. Take note of the smaller items for sale on the table: T-Shirts, Bumper Stickers, Key Chains, Pins, and other affordable options! 

Build a Better Booth

Create a booth that is convenient for you and your customers. Ensure that your equipment is easy to set up and take down, and is versatile for different types of events. If you’re given the chance, always set up in high traffic areas, such as those close to the market entrance or on the end of an aisle. A canopy or tent is a great way to protect your products, but it can also make you stand out from the rest of the crowd, especially if it features your logo or information on what you’re selling. If your booth is dimly lit, consider bringing additional lighting to brighten the space and allow customers to better view your products.

Attract shoppers and help them move easily through your booth with a well-organized, user-friendly layout. Placing an inviting table or display towards the front of your booth will increase visibility, while also encouraging visitors to walk in and around it. The more time spent in your space, the greater the chance of a purchase being made! Check to make sure that there are no fixtures, products, or other hazards that could inhibit the flow of traffic.

You will appear less cluttered and disorganized if you keep your fixtures clean and products orderly. Consider using racks, hangers, or clear bins that are easily visible and accessible to shoppers. Fight the urge to put everything out at once. Instead, stay attentive to your displays as you make sales and reorganize them as needed to prevent your booth from looking empty. Pay attention to even minor details. Clear labeling is also key. Many shoppers will choose to walk away rather than ask about pricing, so make sure your customers understand what your products are and how much they cost by using tags and signs.

Our layouts may change depending on the location, but we've made sure our display stands and boxes are easy to move regardless of the situation. Even in an oblong space like this, we made sure there was enough space for customers to flow freely through our booth.

Showcase Your Products

Be sure to use the space in your booth creatively. Rather than simply setting products on a table, think about how you might use shelving, stands, and racks to utilize valuable vertical space and create visual interest. Put the most popular products out front to draw potential customers in to see what else you have available. Place more expensive or fragile items in areas where they are less likely to be handled. Keep less desirable items in view, but not front and center. How can this work in practice? Place your most eye-catching and popular products at eye level, your more expensive or delicate above, and slower moving products closer to ground level.

Just as your overall marketing should tell a story, so should your booth space. Make sure that your booth tells your story while connecting back to the alpacas. Your booth should emphasize your brand through your choice of fixtures, your signage and displays, and any decor you choose. If possible, provide a connection to the actual alpacas that contributed to the making of your products. This could be having them at the event, having photos of them in your booth, or bringing raw fiber for customers to touch. The better the experience, the more likely your visitors are to buy your products.

Alpaca products are not usually static objects, they are meant to be worn or used. For wearable alpaca garments, give customers the chance to experience products as they’re meant to be used. You may find that some customers decide to buy a hat only after they’ve seen it on themselves. Having a mirror in your booth will prevent shoppers from having to imagine what something might look on themselves. Showcasing products on mannequins is another worthwhile technique. Styrofoam heads are relatively inexpensive, and great deals can be found on mannequin busts at local “going out of business sales.”

Check out our stock of posters in the Marketing & Collateral section of our website if you're looking for ways to visually connect your products back to the alpacas!

End on a High Note



Even if a customer is interested in your products, they may decide that purchasing is not worth the hassle if the checkout process is unclear. Therefore, consider your checkout process. Make it clear where customers can go when they are done shopping and ready to make a purchase. If a line forms, have a place for shoppers to stand that does not crowd the booth. Also consider the forms of payment that you will accept. A cashbox will streamline transactions and make your operations look more professional. However,  if you only accept cash, you are eliminating a large portion of your customer base. Look into Square and other forms of credit card processors that can be used easily at your booth. After the transaction has been completed, make sure you have some kind of packing material (such as paper gift bags) available to secure your customer’s purchases. You can sneak in a business card while you’re at it!

It never hurts to be friendly and professional. Get to know event organizers, other vendors, and your customers. Events can get stressful, but customers are buying into a brand, not just the product itself. If you leave them with a good impression they will be more likely to return. Remember not to be too pushy either, or you may drive some interested customers away! 
 

As you think about what products to stock for the upcoming market seasons, remember to give some thought to how you will display them. Check out our previous blog post on market setups, featuring photos of your booths here!

We hope that these Business Resource Blog Posts have been helpful. Is there a topic you'd like us to cover in a future post? Write to us at support@neafp.com

 

Our Stock Up Sale is officially live!

07/31/2019
by NEAFP Co

STOCK UP SALE EXTENDED TIL 11:59pm EST Monday September 2nd!

Free Shipping on Orders over $750

+

Orders over $500 receive Free Gift

1x Love Alpaca Hat Pin + 1x No Farms No Socks Bumper Sticker!

+ Select Product Discounts!

10% OFF when buying 10+ Dozen BackPaca's

Stock up on everyone's new favorite lightweight alpaca sock!

10% Our New Natural Knitter's Yarns!

10% OFF our LEAF Shawl

10% OFF Our New LEAF Shawl Poncho!