February 3, 2023
Vending at agricultural and other consumer-facing fairs is a fun way to reach new customers and expand your market. There are many fairs that take place across Vermont and New England, but the biggest by far is the Big E, a 17-day fair and exposition that takes place each September in West Springfield, Massachusetts.
The Big E is among the top-five largest fairs in the United States. It spans over 17 days in September, boasts annual attendance of over 1.6 million people, and is the premier event of the year for many vendors. Fairgoers from all over New England come to the Big E looking to find unique products and to get a head start on their holiday shopping.
At the Big E, each New England state has its own building along The Avenue of States. The Vermont Building plays host to more than 20 food, beverage, and retail vendors each fall who represent the Vermont brand and showcase the best of what our state has to offer. Last year alone, vendors in the Vermont Building brought in over $1.7 million!
If you think your business might like to join in on the fun and take advantage of this unique regional marketing opportunity – now is the time to apply! There are booth spaces for the entirety of the 17-day fair, for 8-9 day rotating spots, and occasionally for 5-7 days. While most booths are inside, there are additional spaces on the grounds for products deemed an appropriate fit. New this year, VAAFM will also be accepting applications from food truck vendors who would like to sell their products on the Vermont Building grounds.
Any business or organization will be considered that is registered with the Vermont Secretary of State, has been in business for over one year, and is in good standing with the State of Vermont. However, Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets has identified the following product priorities for the Vermont Building for 2023. Preference will be given to products that use Vermont-sourced ingredients and/or materials and align with current regional/national trends.
- Vermont-made cosmetics/beauty products
- Vermont-made pottery
- Children’s toys and games
- Glass products
- Food Trucks
- Producer associations interested in representing a variety of producers from their industry
Applications will be accepted through March 3, 2023. Learn more and apply today!
If you have any questions, please reach out to Kristen Brassard at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for reading the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets’ Marketing and Agritourism Blog! I’m your host, Kristen Brassard. I’m an Agriculture Development Specialist focused on marketing and events for farm and food businesses. I graduated with a master’s degree in Food Systems from the University of Vermont in 2021 and have nearly ten years’ experience in marketing and events planning. Stay tuned every other week for tips on marketing and incorporating agritourism practices on your farm.