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Craft Show Tips and Tricks + Join us on Nov. 10th

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While prepping for our next craft show (which is this weekend by the way, Saturday, November 10th at the Woods Church at 14300 13 Mile Rd. - Warren, MI 48088) I've been putting a list together that I thought might be helpful to share for anyone that has an upcoming show of their own. Some of these are pretty basic ideas and items and some are things I didn't think of my first time around. I really wanted to create a comprehensive list of everything you should think about and bring with you.

General Notes:

  • Plan ahead what you might need, think through all steps of the day from transport to set up to customer check-out to tear down and transport home.
  • The biggest piece of advice to remember is: Target the right audience - do the right shows. You can have fantastic products, but if you are barking up the wrong tree it wont be worth your time. I recommend finding all the craft shows in your area for the next YEAR, make a list and decide ahead of time which ones you want to participate in.
  • Take advantage of vertical space - build up to eye level: racks, boxes, crates, shelves
  • Encourage online sales after the event - hand out a free take away with your url and product descriptions and/or a coupon code/free shipping offer
  • Take advantage of any upcoming holidays - ie: if Christmas is coming up, bring your Christmas items.
  • Incentives to buy - free giveaway - ie: buy this and get a free bookmark
  • Be interactive with potential customers. Let them handle and test out your products. ie: if you sell rubber stamps bring a blank pad of paper, a stamp pad and a demo stamp.
  • Connect with people - let your personality shine
  • Go into detail about your products with people, let them learn what you're about
  • Newsletter sign-up sheet with an incentive - ie: join our newsletter and get a free note card
  • Brand yourself, dress the part - don't roll out of bed with sleep in your eyes
  • Brand your table, bring business cards + visually appealing, easy to see table signage
  • Remember everything you do, say and show represents your brand
  • Package your items for transport in water safe containers like Rubbermaid bins
  • Bring a rolling cart to get your items to and from. Some venues offer carts to use, but I never have much luck getting my hands on one of them.
  • Plan your display ahead of time. Get out your colored pencils and make a sketch. This will save you tons of step-up time the morning of.
  • Display clear easy to see price signs, be specific about what that includes. Do you charge tax? Does that note card come with an envelope? Is that card blank inside? How many are in a pack? What weight paper is the card printed on? etc.

Display:

  • Inventory - bring double what you want to sell
  • Display items - A visually appealing display will help you sell more products. Make it look cute and tailor it to your brand. 
  • Tables - some shows provide a table, some do not- find out when you sign-up
  • Tablecloths
  • Cloth backdrops
  • Hanging stands or racks
  • Signage
  • Price Signs or tags
  • Power Strip
  • Extension Cords
  • Lights
  • Rolling cart or a dolly depending on what you need to transport
  • Emergency items - safety pins, zip ties, scissors, rope/twine, duct tape
  • Picture frames to displays products or signage
  • Baskets, trays, and boxes to display products neatly
  • Table card holders to display greeting cards or price signs
  • Vinyl banner with your company name and logo to hang behind or in front of your table
  • Swiffer duster - display items can get dusty and we don't want that distracting our customers attention
  • Votive holders and flame-less candles - they are pretty and attract attention
  • Seasonal decor if that makes sense for your table and show date
Sales
  • Change - cash and coins
  • Business Cards + holder
  • Mailing List (e-newsletter) sign-up sheet, clipboard and a pen
  • Credit Payment System - I use a square reader + smartphone
  • Business/Tax License
  • Receipt book with carbon copies
  • Packaging Materials - bags, boxes, sting, stickers, poly bags, tissue paper, tape
  • Cash box or apron - I recommend keeping your cash on you at all times. Some people like to use fanny packs. To each their own :)
  • Pens
  • Calculator
  • Scissors
  • Twine - baker's or regular, whatever you fancy
Personal Items:
  • Coffee 
  • Water and snacks, pack your lunch bag you're going to be there a while
  • Aspirin, lotion, lip gloss, paper towel, wet wipes
  • An extra shirt - you just never know
  • Extra chair if you have a helper - the fold up camping chairs are super portable or even a regular fold up chair would be perfect
  • Working project if you have down time - this also let's customer get a behind the scenes glimpse at your process
  • Camera (or again a smartphone) to take pictures of your set-up for reference and your blog

And for what's its worth I'm going to mention scissors again for good measure. And there it is ladies and gents. Good luck and happy selling! If you're in the Warren area this Saturday come by and see us.