Editor’s note: This is a great opportunity to get your Vermont made product in front of a lot of eyes. I had the opportunity to participate many years ago and it was worth it.
The Vermont Building at the Eastern States Exposition (“The Big E”) showcases the authenticity, quality, and spirit of Vermont. Each year, companies from across Vermont head down to West Springfield to share their products with fair-goers who appreciate the high-quality products on sale in the Vermont Building. For 17 days each September, the building is a feast for the senses, from the sweet smell of hot cider donuts to the warm comfy texture of authentic wool and flannel.
The Vermont Building provides companies with the unique opportunity to share their products with an audience of over 1.5 million people eager to experience the quality of Vermont.
Vendor Booths at the Vermont Building
Booth spaces are offered for both retail and food/beverage products. Vending opportunities exist for the entirety of the 17-day fair, 8-9 day rotating spots, and occasionally 3-4 days. While most booths are inside, there are additional spaces on the grounds for products deemed an appropriate fit.
Eligible businesses are those that are registered with the Vermont Secretary of State and have been in business for over one year and are in good standing with the State of Vermont.Companies.
Harvest New England Day: Friday, October 2, 2020
Businesses interested in trying their product out at the Big E without a multi-day commitment are encouraged to participate by vending at Harvest New England Day, a single day event. Vendors participate in the farmers market-style event on front lawn of the Vermont Building. There is no fee to participate at this level. The application process is separate from multi-day vendor participation.
Please submit an application to be considered for participating in 2020 Harvest New England Day. Application deadline is June 30, 2020.
- Dates: September 18 – October 4, 2020
- Hours: The Vermont Building is open to the public: 10am – 9pm each day. Special programming may occur on Vermont Day where vendors hours may be extended.
- Deliveries: Deliveries may be made each morning/evening at designated times.
- Booth Design: Vendors are responsible for programming and decorating their own space. Each booth space is different and should be treated as a retail space rather than a tradeshow space. VAAFM will provide some design parameters, layout information, and photos of the booth space for new vendors to plan their booth space ahead of time.
- Permits, Codes and Regulations: It is the vendors responsibilty to acquire any required permits necessary to sell or sample their product. All vendors must adhere to anyrequired health, safety, building and fire code and regulations as provided by West Springfield, MA. Additionally, they must abide by any requirements of Vermont Department of Buildings and General Services deemed applicable to their booth.
- Product Storage: Limited dry storage space is available within the Vermont Building. Space is allocated based on how many people request it per year and will be assigned ahead of the fair. This storage is not secure. “Dead Storage” may be available through the Eastern States Exposition for on-grounds long-term parking of larger vehicles. No electrical access is available. VAAFM provides a service to vendors by offering freezer and cooler space at no cost. Space is at a premium and is not meant to hold all products for vendors for the duration of their stay, however, off-site options are available nearby.
- Cost to Participate: Vendors are due a 12% commission on all sales done at the Big E, payable to the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets. These funds are used for maintenance, management, and programming of the Vermont Building.
How to Apply
Businesses interested in participating in vending for multiple days at the Vermont Building must submit an application to the Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets, to be reviewed by a selection committee. Application period is December 18, 2019 – February 17, 2020 at 11:59 PM.
1. Download the Vermont Building at the Big E 2020 Request for Application (RFA).