Getting Ready For A Craft Show

Posted on September 30, 2011 in Archives, Build Your Brand by Katie Oskin

After doing Craft Shows for over six years now, I have some tips and some pointers that newbie crafters (or even craft show pros) may find helpful.  I’m writing this in timeline form so that it is easy to follow.
1 Year Before:
  • Visit the craft show you are thinking about being a vendor at.
    • Watch the people
    • Canvas buying habits
    • If you are a jewelry artist and there are 15 jewelry tables, all with items similar to yours, you may want to re-think the show.
    • See what the clientele of the show is (fancy, casual, discount/bargain)
1 Year – 6 Months Before:
  • Sign up for the craft show.
  • Pay your fees.
6 Months Before:
  • Decide what “season” you will be showcasing.
    • ie: Do not take all Thanksgiving items for a “winter themed” show; likewise do not take all snowmen to a show in the heat of July.
      • It’s okay to take some off season things, but don’t make that the bulk of your items
  • Decide you median price-point based on what you discovered when you visited the show.
    • Don’t take all $25 items when the economy is rough and the majority of sales are $10.
  • Get to work on your new designs, showcase features, event sale, & displays.
    • Designs: Is there something new you want to roll out for the show, especially if you’ve been a vendor there before?
    • Showcase features: Often it’s a good idea to showcase 1 or 2 “spotlight” features of your best work.  These can be high priced items…you are not taking them to “sell” per say, but rather to showcase your best work.
    • Event Sale: Are you going to offer a special for this show?  I often will have a $5 inventory of seasonal items special for that show.
    • Displays: How are you going to showcase your items in an eye catching and pleasing way that will highlight your work and showcase your talent, as well as be “easy” on the eyes?
3 Months Before:
  • Go through your inventory and see if you have enough “pieces.”  The worst thing you can do is plan poorly and have minimal inventory on your table.  However, don’t let your table be overwhelming either.  That is uninviting to your clientele.
  • Order extra business cards if you are running low.
  • Think about signage, banners, etc. for your show.
1 Month Before:
  • If you have an online store, REMOVE / DEACTIVATE those pieces that you are taking to the show that you want to have as showcase or highlight pieces.
  • Price all your pieces that you are taking.
    • I often have most of my items CHEAPER at shows than I do in my Etsy store.  The primary reason – fees & shipping do not need to be accounted for.
  • Decide how much liquid cash you will need to be taking with you for your “kitty”
1 Week Before:
  • Go to the bank & get money for your money box.
  • Go through checklist of things you need to take with you.
  • Make final decisions of what pieces / items you will be taking with you &/or featuring
  • Go through your “business box,” clean out and restock.
  • Fix any broken items from last show
  • Make any “last minute” items
  • Make sure EVERY item has a price tag
The Day Before:
  • Gather everything and place it by the door for hubby to load *grin*
  • Consider reducing the price on any unsold items from previous shows
  • Set your clipboard and notebook out to jot down any last minute notes.
The Day of the Show:
  • Eat breakfast (and make it a good one)
  • Pack a lunch & snacks
  • Grad something “to do” in case the show becomes slow
  • Make sure your car is packed
  • Go over your clipboard & notebook for last minute details.
  • Make a cup of coffee in your travel mug.
  • Double & Triple check to make sure you have the key to your lock box (I have left mine behind on numerous & embarrassing occasions).
  • Arrive early to meet, greet, & talk to other vendors.

Thanks for joining me today. Join me next week to Build Your Brand on Etsy & experience success.

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7 Comments for this entry
Faith Caroline
October 5, 2011
12:12

>Oh, thanks so much! After about a decade, I'm going to do a craft show this winter! This advice is great!

Reply
ZudaGay
October 5, 2011
11:06

>Well done Katie!! Great information for those of us…like me…who are NOT organized. Thank you!

Reply
Julia Badgley
October 5, 2011
11:04

>This was great to read. Thanks!

Reply
Sue Runyon
October 5, 2011
10:51

>Great post. I would add that it can be so worthwhile to purchase or borrow a dolly to wheel your items from the car to your booth site!

Reply
Lizzi
October 5, 2011
10:40

>I have considered doing a show but it always seemed so overwhelming. This clears it up a lot and puts it in bite-sized pieces 🙂

Reply
Katie - ToyStoryNutty
October 1, 2011
07:59

>Thank you Rooee!

Reply
rooee
October 1, 2011
05:20

>lots of good pointers there for something thinking about doing a show. well done and good luck with yours!

Reply

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