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Monday, October 17, 2011

Craft show 101 part 2 - How to make the most out of the show

So you've decided to dive in and sell your wares at a craft show. What should you do to make the most of it?
First, I don't care what anyone says, your plan should be to make some money! It's great if you also make connections, use it as a marketing tool, & meet a bunch of great people, but you should make some moula! You deserve it, you've worked hard making whatever you make and people should appreciate that and pay a fair price for it.

What's your break even point?

You need to know how much you need to make to cover costs. The golden standard is to make 3 to 5 times the cost of your booth, whether it's 3 or 5 depends on how much you mark up your product. If the show is far away, you might want to factor in gas too.
Now that you know how much you have to make, you've got to figure out how much stock you should have available for sale in order to make a profit and make sure you've got that, and more available for sale. That's the fun part!

Do your part in spreading the word, yes you!

It always amazes me, that so many artists don't promote the shows they are participating in. I know you want fresh meat, we all do, but if everyone does their part, then more people will find out about the show...

  • Post it on facebook and twitter. Follow other artists and post about their shows and ask for the same in return.
  • if you have a blog, blog about the show,
  • if you have a newsletter, spread the word.
  • If you are part of a collective, ask them to spread the word. Do you belong to, we love posting about our vendors, we even have a shows & sales page!
  • If you have a website, make sure you update the events page to include every single show you are doing.
  • Do you have a customer database? No? Just start leaving a guest book on the table in booth and then you will be ready for the next show.

What do you need for the show?

  • a float. Think about your prices and make sure you've got change for $20's. Decide now whether or not you are accepting cheques. Find out if there is a bank machine near by that you can direct people to.
  • calculator, pens, receipt book, bags, packing tissue, guest book,tape, scissors, pins, clips, extension cords... You are bound to forget something, remember you can always borrow from another vendor.
  • BUSINESS CARDS, pamphlets from upcoming shows.
  • Signage. You should have some sort of sign, it's all about brand recognition. You can make great color copies of your logo, quite inexpensively. String 3 logos across the front of your table on a piece of twine and you are good to go.
  • do you need a table, chair(s), tent? Make sure you know what you need beforehand.
  • How long is the show? Do you need help manning your booth?

Once you are there, make the most of it!

  • If someone is "just looking" ask them if they want a business card.
  • Add a business card in the bag with every purchase.
  • Get them to sign your "guest book", tell them you will let them know about up-coming shows, sales...
  • Think about offering a "show special"
  • Chat up your customers. They want to know about you and what you do, that's why they are there.
  • Make sure you arrive in plenty of time to set up and don't start packing until the show is done.

Above all, life is short, enjoy yourself! A craft show is a great way to get inspired. Check out what everyone else is doing. Meet new people. Try and find out what your customers think about your product. If anyone has anything negative to say, they don't know what they are talking about. Don't let it get you down!

1 comment:

  1. I have this personal little "Rule"... of saying "Good Morning [or Afternoon]" to ANYONE who LOOKS AT and/or comes within so many feet of my Table! It grabs Their attention.

    As for Profits - I'm grateful for ANYthing past "making Table"!

    Bottomline, it's all about prying People's Wallets OPEN! And, Their *Buying* Attitude... Because no matter how Great your Product or Marketing IS, if THEY *aren't* in a MOOD-TO-BUY - it just isn't happening! EVEN in a large Crowd! -- Ottawa really is Bad in that regard!