I wrote a blog post about how to prepare for a craft show back in 2009, oh boy, so much as changed!!!
Some of the same things apply, such as the checklist, etc. -- I may need to update that to be more current!
Even though I've been doing shows for awhile, I am still learning through trial and error!!
1. Share your booth. If you can share your booth with someone, do it! This helps so much with upfront costs! It also helps when you want to walk around the show or have a quick potty break! There are some shows that require the booth partners to have similiar products, maybe not the same products, but the same market. I do well with jewelry, because we market to the same crowd -- women.
2. Be PREPARED for EVERYTHING!!! Oh yes, I capitalized that! Oh my goodness, this is my downfall. I am such a procrasinator! Have a check list ready of all the things that you need to bring!
From experience, I usually carry a medicine bag, like band-aids, aspirin, etc. But at one of the shows, I forgot it. The wind was blowing the BBQ smoke to my area, and we were next to the concert area so the base and the noise was so loud... I had the worst headache that day to the point that I felt nauseous all day. No, it was not my best show b/c I couldn't greet anyone b/c I felt so sick! Since my husband watches the kids while I am at these shows, he is not always able to get me what I need. This is one of those times. It was miserable. I felt miserable. Don't get stuck in those situations like me! Have a check list! It may feel like you're packing up your whole house, but it's worth it!
3. Meet and Greet. This is not just for the people that are walking into your booth, this includes your neighbors. I will admit, I am not a morning person. I do not open well to others when I first meet someone (unless you're famous, then my wall just breaks right down! ha!). But it is so important to know who are you next to. If you are at the booth by yourself, your booth neighbor may be helpful enough to watch your booth while you go on a potty break. Some booth neighbors would love to see you do well and may send customers your way! Your booth neighbors can be your friends and your customers. I love seeing these sellers again at different shows. I keep up with some, share advice, etc. It is all based on your personality. Don't force yourself to be best friend with some of them if they do not want to be. So, keep your distance if they are not ready to make new friends, but do let them know who you are and get to know what they sell (during the slow times, obviously, not when you have people at your space).
4. Inventory. I think this is really important, and one of the hardest things for me. Keeping an inventory to know what sells well, and what doesn't. Every show has different market of people that come to the event. Maybe if you want to come back to this event again, make sure you have enough stock of the products that sold well. Keeping a list of what you sell and keeping track of how much you sold is important!
5. Think positive. This is important. As much as we love our craft, there are going to be some busts. From experience, I had a show where I only sold $4 the whole day. it made me sad. As disappointing as it may be, it's not a complete bust! There are lessons that I learned from this to make sure this doesn't happen again!
Are you just starting out in craft shows and fairs? Have you been doing shows for awhile? If so, what are some of your tips? We would LOVE to hear them!!!