5 Common Mistakes Doulas Make at Baby Fairs
Doula Amie Bogart's baby fair table with doula information and handouts including a baby dress.

If you’re gearing up for a baby fair, you’re probably excited to connect with potential clients and showcase your awesome services. But, let’s face it, these events can be a bit overwhelming if you’re not prepared. So, let me share some insights on the five common mistakes I’ve learned to avoid at baby fairs:

1. Being Unprepared:

Picture this: you’re all set to rock the baby fair, but when you arrive, you realize you forgot to ask some crucial questions beforehand. Is a table provided? A chair? What about a tablecloth? And don’t forget about electricity—trust me, it’s no fun realizing you can’t power your computer for that awesome video you prepared. That’s why I’ve learned to plan ahead and ask all the right questions to avoid any last-minute surprises.

2. Lack of Clarity on Goals:

Setting goals for the baby fair might sound like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and forget to define what success looks like. Personally, I like to set specific, measurable goals like adding a certain number of names to my email list or scheduling appointments. It keeps me focused and motivated. But hey, setting goals is only part of the equation—you also need to make sure you’re capturing those leads efficiently.

Will you do that on paper? Sure, it’s an option, but let’s face it, it can get messy and time-consuming. I recommend other methods, like a QR code system that collects and shares your info. Or, if you prefer to keep it simple, bring an electronic device for attendees to quickly add their names and info. Remember, people get tired of writing and typing at these things, so you want to make it easy to get their information.

3. Failing to Stand Out:

Imagine this: a sea of booths, all vying for attention. How do you stand out from the crowd? By being unique and relevant. Instead of generic candy, think outside the box. Try offering honey sticks, saying, “I carry these in my birth bag,” or sour suckers, exclaiming, “These are great in labor!” Finding creative ways to catch people’s eye is key. Here are a few ideas:

  • Birth ball
  • Pelvis
  • Peanut ball
  • Baby models
  • Breast models

4. Neglecting Engagement:

As a solo doula, it’s easy to feel a bit awkward approaching strangers. But trust me, engagement is everything at a baby fair. Instead of sitting back and waiting for people to come to you, be proactive. Stand up, put on a smile, and be engaging. You don’t have to be a carnival barker and holler to the crowd, but simply being approachable can make a world of difference. Consider even standing in front of the table sometimes—it invites people in and makes you more accessible.

And here’s a pro-tip: think about showing them how to use the birth ball or massage tools. Not only is it a great way to engage with attendees, but it’s also an excellent opportunity to involve partners if they’re present. Building that connection early on can leave a lasting impression and set the stage for meaningful conversations.

5. Picking the Wrong Giveaway:

It’s easy to give away the wrong thing at a baby fair or to skip it altogether (mistake!). Instead, opt for tangible items that provide value and promote engagement specific to your booth. Consider creating inexpensive handouts like a single page of tips on what to pack in labor or how to pick a doula. These are practical giveaways that can be made in bulk to accommodate the anticipated number of attendees. Knowing the target audience can be really helpful. Are these expecting parents, or is this a general health fair?

Now, about those door prizes. Many baby fairs require a fee to attend and ask vendors to contribute a door prize for a larger giveaway. While it’s tempting to donate services, it’s generally more cost-effective to offer something tangible. Think pregnancy or parenting books packaged neatly with your business info—a memorable giveaway that keeps your brand top of mind for attendees.

By sidestepping these common pitfalls and following these friendly tips, you’ll be rocking your next baby fair like a pro!

Read more baby fair advice!

 

Photo © doula Amie Bogart, www.dovelionessdoula.com

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