Part 2- It’s Show Time!
Welcome to part 2 of our craft show tips and advice. This part is all about setting up your show, how to behave during your event and how to really have a great time being part of the handmade marketplaces! These tips will be just what you need to have a successful time so I hope you enjoy these tips from myself, crafty friends, fellow vendors and coordinators!
During your show/event
One of 2 birdcages for coin purse display!
“Locker Shelf” from the dollar store for elevation!
My prized Vintage display!
My $2 garment rack for purse display
My newest display for purses, a little 3.5 foot tall body form!
Feature elevation in your display. Elevation draws customers. This is particularly important if you’re near the entrance. Iron your tablecloth.
“My set-up is evolutionary… It changes dependent on the show, the audience and of course the space – its also changes whether I am setting it up by myself or if I have the help of the “herd” (4 kids + hubby) It took a few years to realize that I needed to be adaptable for different shows/spaces. I remember packing up from some of my first shows and it taking close to two hours…. way too long – I found my groove and now a complete dismantle can be done in under an hour (I know some may think that’s still too long but seriously I have A LOT of small things) Crafters need to adapt to individual shows. What I may do for a show in my hometown or Hand of Man in Peterborough or Seasons in Toronto or back here could be 4 very different looks and set-ups
And if you forget something – in my experiences most vendors are more than happy with sharing some tape or lending scissors etc..
I also use a lot of my containers that I transport my goods in sometimes as risers and cover them with cloth” Jeannine from Wylde Rose
“Offer a draw for a prize at your booth for spenders. Ask on the ballot if they’d like to be contacted when you’re going to be at a show again. This helps build your contact list for potential customers.” Cheryl from 30 Craft Markets
Dress suited to to your craft and whenever possible wear something you’ve made, people will notice this! This is my favourite tip being someone that sews! I love taking a couple days to pick out the perfect outfit and sometimes even make a top to wear and I made myself a craft show apron too! Don’t sew? why not wear one of the scarves you make, jewellery your create or have your favourite item you’ve made close by to show that you love your items too!
“Key is listening, listen to what is being said even if its negative. You can learn a lot by doing so, it will help along with taking notes. As you will know how to or make changes for the next time you attend that event.
It may seem silly but say Thank You after each purchase. Never take your customer for granted!” Paula from Bark’n Up the Green Tree & P.S Brooks Designs
“If you can, have a project on the go, especially if you make something unique, it can draw people in.” Vanessa from Beadness
Network with other vendors and consider trades. Networking can be the biggest part of your show and can be your biggest success! I try to talk to at least a few vendors at each event and besides who doesn’t love to have fellow crafty friends who enjoy handmade as much as you! I have made so many friends just from attending events. If it wasn’t for Annie from Studio Luma buying me shims for our tables, our connection might not have been as strong! So make friends the old fashioned way; just say hello :)Never ask vendors how they have made for sales. This is more of a pet peeve than a tip. Personal finances whether for business or personal are never anyone’s business. Asking how your day is going is perfectly acceptable but asking how much your neighbour sold/made is not! It could be someone’s first show so they might not sell much and by asking you could make them feel awful, so I always say, when in doubt don’t ask!
“Have something small for the kids to buy. They love to be able to buy something!” Laurie from Laurie’s Crafty Creations
Stay to the end! Most shows require you to stay to the end but I always notice a few who leave early the second things get slow. In the last hour of a show I always notice people will spend more and it’s the best time for vendors to shop or make trades! If you trade with vendors please make sure it is an equal trade. I have come close a few times where I have had people try to give me a lower priced item for one of my higher priced things. Just be sure you are on the same page trade-wise!Smile! If you’re having a bad day or in a bad mood don’t be hesitant to have someone else watch your booth. Smiling is the easiest way to make a sale and talking about the weather never fails either. Especially in Canada where the weather changes in the blink of an eye, you can never go wrong talking about it!
I hope you all have enjoyed my tips and tricks on how to plan for a craft show! If you are looking for more tips and advice check out the Made By Hand shows listing of tips and advice!
I would love to see pictures of what you do for your set up and any advice you could share for fellow crafty people. Send me an email of your set up and maybe I will do a feature of just set ups too! Helping out the handmade world is the best thing we can all do for each other!
Happy Sunday and happy crafting 🙂
Reposted from 09/22/2013