Wednesday, November 12, 2008

10 Tips for a Successful Craft Show

I was very pleased with both of my craft shows this year and would definitely call them both a success :) So, to help out some newbies (and some seasoned crafters) uniquecommodities mentioned in a comment that it would be a good idea to blog about some Tips for Success.
So, here is what I came up with:
1. Offer a variety of items: the same item in multiple colors, variations of the same item, coordinating items, etc.

2. Have enough items to last you through the day: This will vary depending on the show, the items you sell, etc. Not everything has to be out all at once. Just keep your extras in totes under a table or behind a display for easy access when you need them.

3. Have items at eye level: This is something I have done new this year and I got many complements on my pink box display. People don't want to have to bend over to look at everything, so have levels, raise tables, whatever it takes to get things up so people can easily see them.

4. Have plenty of business cards on hand: By the end of my first show, I only had 2 cards left! I made sure to print many extras for the second show. People were so excited I had a website that they immediately took a card. I have already had 5 additional orders and they all got my info from the cards :)

5. If you do custom orders, bring display items: Many of my sales come from custom albums (particularly my custom name and word albums) and I think it is important for people to see what they will be buying rather than trying to explain it to them. I had several variations of these albums out on display. I am hoping to do a laminated flip book for next year with all the different styles of custom albums I offer and just have one or two actual albums on display.

6. Bring a friend or something to work on: I know some people will say not to bring someone with you, but I have a friend who helps me at every one of my shows and she is such a big help :) Be sure to bring someone who is knowledgeable in your area of sales. Personally, I hate to eat lunch at my booth, so this gives me the opportunity to get away for a bit and see other booths as well. (And take a bathroom break!) If you don't have a friend to bring along, bring something easy to work on. Customers can get uneasy if you're just sitting or standing there eagerly waiting for them to come shop. And, working on a project can get people interested in what you're doing and draw them into your booth.

7. Rearrange items periodically and play with interactive items: People may come back by and see an item they had missed the first time by. I try to move things around and flip through my books now and then. I have sold more flip flop albums while looking through one than at any other time. They are an item that can sometimes be overlooked by customers unless you catch their eye. Once one person sees them, they tend to draw a crowd after that :)

8. For repeat shows, get the same booth: This way people know exactly where to find you every time. I have people come to shows just to buy my albums and leave. They want to know exactly where I am so they can get in and get out. People like consistency. Also, having the same booth can help you in setting up and knowing how you want things laid out. Corner booths can be set up very differently from interior booths...something to keep in mind.

9. If you offer a newsletter or have a mailing list, craft shows are a great place to get additional readers: This is a tip I need to follow myself. I had three ladies ask me if I had sale fliers or regular newsletters with new items. I would like for this to be my next marketing step.

10. Some of the obvious: Be friendly and welcoming :) Have enough change. (Keep in mind if your items are even dollars or if you are charging tax.) Be friendly to the vendors next to you :) And always clean up your area and help others if possible :)

Your next craft show is sure to be a success :)

Thanks again to uniquecommodities for the great idea :)


  1. OMG! So awesome! Thanks for all the tips. I will be following your blog!

  2. one question? - How do you find craft shows? How do you determine which shows you will work? Maybe that is the next blog-hee-hee

  3. unique: I basically just do local shows. I could drive an hour and have way more business, but I'd also pay 5 times more for my booth.

    Just do one and then there are usually people walking around with fliers for others. Talk to other vendors to see if they've been to them before and feel out the show to know if you should sign up. Hope this helps :)

  4. Great advice, I especially like the "eye level" idea, I think I will raise some of my displays!

  5. Great tips! I too need to have a sign up sheet for people to give their e-mail for mailing, sales, new items, etc.


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