You receive the congratulatory email/letter/phone call that you’ve been accepted to a craft show. You jump up and down, tell all your friends and family members, and have a celebratory glass of wine. Now, comes the hard part. You’ve got to get prepared for the show.
You want to try to get the most out of each craft show. You’ve probably paid money for your booth space, and you’re going to spend a lot of time at the craft show selling your stuff. So, you want to make it worth the time, effort, and money that you put in.
There are some things that you can’t control like the weather or the amount of people who attend the craft show. But, there are many things you can control. Here are my top 10 tips for making the most out of your next craft show:
1. Make more products than you think you’ll need. You should bring at least three times the amount of products that you think you’ll sell or want to sell. If you want to be safe, make it five times the amount. People want options when they shop in your booth. Plus, if your booth looks barren, people will probably walk right by.
2. Set up your table display ahead of time. If you’re selling at an outdoor craft show, set up your booth outside. You might need to weigh down your products, so they don’t get tossed around by the wind. Also, make sure you have a rain plan and practice it as well.
Your display is SUPER important. It’ll make the difference between people just walking by and people stopping in your booth. Look at your display from all angles, and see if it stands out if you’re 15 feet away.
3. Say hello to each person who approaches your booth, and let them know you’d be happy to answer any questions. You want to welcome people and make them feel like you’re approachable, but shoppers don’t want you breathing down their necks. Give them room to shop, and please don’t stare at your customers like they’re zoo animals while they’re in your booth.
4. Stand up and smile. You’re going to get tired after standing for hours. The show might not be going well for you, and you might be in a funky foul mood, but you need to learn to fake it. In my experience, people are much more likely to approach my booth if I’m standing and smiling. If you look miserable, shoppers will just move on to another booth.
5. Bring refreshments and a friend. You’ll need someone to man your booth while you use the restroom and gobble down a snack. If you get busy, your friend can take money and write receipts while you answer customer questions. Make sure you have plenty of water and snacks that are easy to eat without a lot of mess.
6. Get to know your neighbors. After you’ve finished setting up, introduce yourself to your neighbors. Friendly neighbors can make a craft show more fun and enjoyable. If you couldn’t bribe a friend to come along, let your neighbors know that you’d be happy to watch their booths if they need a break and ask them if they wouldn’t mind doing the same for you.
At the last craft show we did, we got to know one of our neighbors really well, and we started sending customers to each other. It was a lot of fun and we both got more sales.
7. Bring your marketing materials. Give business cards to people who purchase your products and to people who seem interested but don’t purchase anything. Ask interested people if they’d like to sign up for your email newsletter to get information on your products and receive discounts. And if you really want to stand out among the crowd, go home and email the people who signed up for your newsletter that night. You’ll be fresh on their minds, and they’ll be surprised that you followed up right away. I know you’ll be tired, but that extra 20 minutes will really make a difference.
8. Price your products. This is pet peeve that I see on a lot of art and craft forums. People don’t like to ask you how much something is, even if they really like it. You could lose a lot of sales if you don’t price your products.
9. Bring change and a cash box. This is pretty self-explanatory.
10. Learn from each show. Pay attention to the items that catch people’s attention and which items sell the best. If the craft show is longer than one day, learn from the first day and rearrange your shop. At our last craft show, we were aware of the items that got people to stop, placed some of them at the front of our booth and then let customers know that there were more of those items in the back. This encouraged customers to walk around our entire booth and look at things they might not have noticed.
Did I leave anything out? Leave your best tip in the comments below.
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