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Five things I learned at my first craft show

Last weekend was my very first craft show! If you’ve liked my Facebook page, you probably already saw these pictures of my booth setup. If not, take a peek!

 

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I shared a 10×10 space with my husband’s coworker, Jennifer of Creativixen. She has adorable earrings in all colors of the rainbow, and some really awesome hand-painted boxes and handmade cards. Of course, we were in between some long-time craft show professionals and they said we had all the markings of show virgins. But I was totally OK with that. After all, everyone has to start somewhere!  And while I didn’t manage to sell enough to make back my portion of the entry fee, I did sell a couple small items and gave away quite a few business cards so I don’t think my time was wasted.

Plus, I learned a few valuable things. Here are five of them:

1. People love free stuff! The lady next to us made hundreds just by offering samples. Yes, she was selling a food product so that was an obvious way to draw people in. I need to work on an an easy, cheap way to give something out that will get people interested in my business. Some kind of little trinket that I can offer to children if their parents say it’s ok. Something made from a recycled item. Something cute and useful. Pinterest, here I come!

2. Bring a friend. I am super glad that I was able to have someone with me throughout the day. Not only did sharing the space bring the costs down for both of us, we didn’t have to stress about filling an entire booth with our own items (one of my worries!) AND if either one of us needed to use the restroom or grab a bite to eat, the other was there to hold down the fort.

3. Invest in canopy weights for outdoor events. It was pretty calm most of the day, but we did have a few decent gusts that freaked me out a bit. Luckily, I had gotten some weights for the legs of the canopy the day before. Actually, I ordered some that didn’t arrive until after the event, so I had to make a last minute run to the store for the ones we used. They were only 5 pounds on each leg – probably not quite enough but I think they did help stabilize the canopy when it was a little breezy. Oh, and I’ll be bringing some rocks with me next time, to put inside lightweight purses and to hold table signage.

4. Use flexible signage. We had printed some large signage which was spray mounted to foam board. Install some grommets, thread chain through and hang. They looked great and very professional BUT every time a breeze came through, if Jennifer and I were in our chairs at the back of the booth, we were getting whacked in the head. For the next outdoor event, we’ll be looking at something on vinyl or maybe smaller. Something for the front of the booth would be ideal, and I would definitely add a little more info on my sign.

5. Talk to people! Your fellow vendors may have tips and suggestions to share (or they could be a source of entertainment throughout the day!) When potential customers come by, don’t be shy…say hello. It’s less awkward for both parties. Not sure what to say? Compliment something they’re wearing, make friends with their dog or child, and tell them a little about your products. Ask if they’re looking for a gift or just find something in common. Small talk is challenging but the more you practice, the better you’ll be!

 

I had to take a picture of my cutest customer of the day:

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Do you have any tips or suggestions for working a craft show booth (or in-person sales in general)? Please share in the comments!

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