Whenever I sign up for a craft show, I always have visions of customers flocking to my booth and throwing money at me for the items I have worked so hard to create! That basically never happens, but I usually do very well! There is no secret recipe to having a successful show, but there are things you can do before and during it to help you do your best. I have compiled a list of ten tips that I always follow for every show. While each craft show is different, these tips can be applied to all of them and will definitely lead you to success! To go along with these tips, I have also created a free printable craft show checklist. Use it to help keep you organized when packing so that you don’t forget anything important! I even included a few blank spaces for easy customization. Read through the tips to see how it applies to having a successful show!
1. Have a variety of items.
When you are first starting off with craft shows, try to have a wide variety of items for sale. Keep track of what sells best and focus your attention on making those items for your future shows. Also, be sure to cater some of your items to the season! I have found that holiday-themed crafts with candy sell best. Simple baggies of candy with a cute phrase and low price always are great sellers for me. Plus, if you have leftover inventory, at least it’s tasty!
2. Do a practice setup.
This is a very important pre-show task, especially if it is one of your first shows or if you are adding new inventory! Turn your dining room table, living room floor, or kitchen counters into your booth. Arrange your items and make sure your have enough baskets, shelves, and signs to make it look neat and attractive. Take a picture with your phone so that you can easily copy the look when you are setting up!
3. Make your booth stand out.
It is so important to make your booth memorable to customers! If they see something they like and want to come back for it later, you need to make sure your tables sticks out in their mind since they probably spent the day browsing other booths. Have something bright on your tables, like a unique tablecloth, runner, or banner that can be seen from a distance. Before the customer leaves for the day, they will think, “I need to go back to the booth with the red checkered tablecloth for the cute wreath! There is nothing else like it here!” Finding your booth will be no problem and the sale will be coming to you in no time!
4. Be organized!
Download my free printable craft show checklist to help make sure you have everything before your leave! Craft show setups often start early in the morning, so it’s easy to forget something. Pack up the night before and run through your checklist. I have found that plastic storage tubs are the easiest way to transport everything you’ll need (and more). Reserve a tub for display items and other supplies and keep your inventory in their own tubs. Make sure everything is packed securely!
5. Always pack extra supplies and tools.
When transporting your items, it is very likely that something will fall off or break. When that happens, its important to be prepared and have a way to fix it so that you don’t lose out on a sale! I always bring a small hot glue gun, scissors, and tape in case something like that happens. Honestly, I almost always need them! The items that I bring are on the free printable checklist, so be sure to download it!
6. Bring a small table for behind the scenes.
A small table to have next to you in your booth is a must! This way, you will have a place to organize your change box, pens, phone, calculator, etc. You don’t want all of that stuff on the tables with your inventory! I have a little pink fold-able metal table that travels really well! You can pick up a plastic outdoor side table for a reasonable price or you can use one of your inventory tubs in a pinch.
7. Offer free mints or candy.
Free things always draw customers in, even if it’s small! A bag of candy or mints is only a few dollars and is definitely worth the customers that it will attract. Just fill a bowl or mason jar with the candy and display a “Free, take one” sign in front of it. This will encourage customers to take a look around and may even lead to a sale!
8. Price your items strategically.
Even if you have a Square Reader for your phone, most customers will pay in cash. Try to make it as easy as possible for them! I’ve noticed that items priced as $1, $5, $10, or $20 sell best because it’s simple for a customer to pull one of those bills out of their pocket. Obviously, you can’t mark all items that way, but you can try bulk pricing for smaller items. If you have products that worth are somewhere between the $1-$5 range, price them as 1 for $3 or 2 for $5! Customers will almost always opt for the bulk deal.
9. Lower your prices near the end of the show.
At most of my shows, the last few hours are usually the slowest. I have found it helps to lower prices slightly near the end. You don’t have to give your products away! Just take off a few dollars on some items that haven’t been selling well. When customers see you marking down your products, it will draw them over to your booth! Also, I have found that if a higher price is crossed off and “markdown” is written on the tag with a new price, the customer will be more likely to purchase it. Everyone loves getting a bargain!
10. Be friendly and proud of your work!
You’ve spent countless hours on your crafts! Stand behind them with pride! Engage with customers who are interested in your products. Talk with them about what inspires you. Share your process and tools for making a specific item. They will be interested and more likely to buy something if they know the amount of work that went into it. Of course, always smile and greet those who approach your booth!
I hope these tips will help you at your next craft show, whether it is your first or tenth! Do you have any words of advice for participating in craft shows? Let me know in the comments!