Sunday, July 29, 2007

Lemonade Stand.....NOT! or How To Prepare for a Craft Show

Don’t we all wish that selling in craft shows is as simple as selling lemonade when we were kids? Never that easy! I’m preparing for another craft show next weekend and it’s great timing that the theme this week for Etsy Bloggers Street Team is “How To Prepare for a Craft Sale/Show.”

So here are a few pointers on how to prepare for a craft show. I sell jewelry but some of these pointers apply to whatever type of goods you create.

  1. Rehearse – if you are a newbie to craft shows, do like a dress rehearsal. Practice setting up so you know how long it takes you. Set up your booth at home. See how it looks, make adjustments. Imaging your buyers going through your booth, what do they see first, what do they see last? Take a picture and bring the photo with you to the show to help you remember your set up. Then pack up your stuff as if you were ending the show. I added a candy dish to my booth with mints or chocolates.
  2. Tags – I like to tag my pieces, although I find a lot of people don’t. The tag not only states the price of the item but also the materials. As a shopper, I’d like to know what materials were used in any handcrafted item. The price on the tag makes it look professional and not something just thought of on the spot by the seller. Besides, I have a poor memory so I can’t really remember all my prizes!
  3. Have a door prize raffle – have a sheet and pen in hand for customers to enter their name, address, phone and email address for a chance to win a prize. Tell them you’ll contact the winner after the show. This also helps you to create a customer base/distribution list for your newsletter. Just because someone didn’t buy from you at a show doesn’t mean they won’t buy online from you later.
  4. Simple Displays – I like to keep my display simple. I’ve seen too many displays where there was just too much going on that you could hardly make out the jewelry. So keep your display simple, drawing the eye to your jewelry/ merchandize. And they need not be expensive. I use decorative gold colored radiator screens to display my earrings and short necklaces (found them in home depot for $5!). They can hold about 50 – 60 pairs of earrings with room to spare!
  5. Jewelry and tools – I like to bring my beads and tools to a show. My bracelets are often on the shorter side because it’s easier to lengthen rather than shorten. When a customer needs a bracelet longer I can easily do that on the spot with beads and tools on hand.
  6. Bring something to eat and drink, especially if you will be alone. Some craft show organizers are thoughtful enough and bring snacks to their vendors but more often you’ll need to feed yourself. You really don’t want to spend time away from your booth (other than that unavoidable bio-break!).
  7. Bring your smile with you! Ignore rude and grumpy people!
  8. Sleep well the night before and be at the show on time!


Yazmin said...

Those radiator screens are a great idea! I would love to see a picture of them.

I used to use something like that myself...picture frames that I backed with screen door netting, but have since moved on to a different type of display.

Athena's Armoury said...

Yeah, the radiator screen tip is awesome. I love finding out about new and original display ideas. Thanks.

TwoCatStudioJewelry said...

My first attempt at a craft show (3 years ago!!) was a disaster!! I had no idea what I was doing. This sure helps me with ideas for displays if I decide to give it another try.

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