First Craft Show!
After researching ways to bring more business to my Etsy shop I decided to register for my first craft fair and I was wondering if I could get any advice from seasoned vets???
#1 is Business cards. Include one with every purchase. Always have plenty to hand out in case you get stuck on the end of an aisle and people might have run out of money before they get to you.
#2 If you can, take paypal and/or credit payments as well as cash.
#3 Talk to other sellers about swapping if you see something of theirs you like. I find that most people in the crafting community are more than willing to swap for something of equal value, and it's a great way to get your name out there.
#4 Facebook and other social media can be in invaluable resource. If you have a fan page for your shop, share the show's info there. Ask your friends if they wouldn't mind sharing the info as well. I do shows all the time and I find that most of the people I talk to at my table were invited to the show through word of mouth or some sort of social media invitation from a friend. Share the info with as many people as you can. Even if you don't get any sales at your first show, if the organizers hear what an effort you made to get the word out about their show they'll be more inclined to invite you to the next one.
#5 Don't be discouraged if you don't make any sales the first time out, especially if you do a lot of custom or one-off pieces. You may find that you get several orders after the show from people who snagged your business card. I didn't make any sales at all at the first couple shows I did, but the third show I sold nearly half my inventory by the end of the night. I have shows where I leave without selling anything, but come home to messages from people who picked up my card and are interested in custom pieces. Craft shows are half about networking and half about sales. It may take a while to start seeing real profit from them, but as long as you're confident in your work and willing to keep putting it out there, it'll be worth it in the end.
I hope that helps!
Do a trial run of your set up to see how long it takes to set up, how it actually looks and if your items stand out from a distance, you'll be glad you did.
People like things at eye level, many won't bend over to look at things laid flat ion a table. Be creative in your displays, you don't need store bought, upcycled things around your studio or things from nature. Use plain sheets for table covers, I like to bunch mine up, layer the fabric in different ways and tie knots in mine. A cover that hides table legs gives you storage space under your table and looks nice. Price everything, don't make them ask, many won't. Nice signs are a good touch. Remind them your items are lovingly handmade, original, unique, made in the USA or wherever you are from. If its a shoe in your hometown let people know you are a local artist.
Keep a list of supplies you need to take, its different for inside and outside shows but here's some basics off the tip of my head, my list is packed.
Change, change and more change.
Tape, cleaning cloth or wet wipes, pain reliever, snacks and drinks if permitted, sack or boxes for sold items, tissue paper or something to wrap items with, business cards, flyers listing what you make, up coming shows, ordering info, artist statement, including a coupon for future purchase/order can help after show sales. Something for trash, markers, pens, receipt book, name tag, signs displays, table covers. My mind went blank. Google craft show set up, there are many lists online, ideas for no cost displays and tips.
Don't read or sit when people are in your booth but don't crowd them. Let them k ow you are glad they are there and you are available to help or answer questions. If possible have someone with you for bathroom and food breaks. Relax, get plenty of sleep the night before, smile and have fun.
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