Hello – spring craft show season is upon us and I am a week away from my first spring show. I also have one the week after, so I have been busy making wood signs, home decor, t-shirts and socks. But the week leading up the the show, I switch my focus from making to preparing. I have 3 things to share with you that I focus on the week before my craft show.
The most fun of the three is PLANNING My Space. Each show has a different size booth or space allotted to you. Sometimes the space has electricity (usually an extra fee), sometimes the organization includes tables (may be an extra fee) and sometimes you can request a larger space (again, an extra fee). The show I am doing next week offered 9′ x 9′ booth spaces. I paid for a double space. 9′ x 18′ is a space size I have never had before so I wanted to tweak my layout a bit. Plus I have two new displays that I will be using for the first time. So I get out some paper and pen or pencil and a ruler and start drawing my space on paper. I will either measure in square inch to square foot increments, or in this case I did square 1/2 inch to square foot increments. So every 1/2″ represents 1′ in the booth. I know my tables are 6′ x 2′ and I measured the rest of my displays.
I usually design a U space so customers can come inside the booth and see more of my products (photo above from Fall 2017). I line my tables on each side and place the other displays along the wall. Depending on who or what is next to me, I may flip the design but I won’t know that until I get there!! Some shows allow you to set up the evening before and the morning of, some only the morning of. I always set up my tables and fixtures the night before if I can because that sometimes takes me a while to figure out!!! I need to concentrate which is hard to do if the show opens in 2 hours from the time I pull up with my stuff!!
The second thing that I do the week before my craft show is PRICE my items. I put a sticker or tie a business card on my products with the price on it. I also print off or hand write signs – people don’t always see the price so make it as obvious as you can!! I do not get irritated if people ask what the price is because most people just leave if they can’t find a price.
Once my items are priced, I verify that I have the correct item and price in my PayPal sales inventory, then wrap it and pack it.
The third thing I do the week before my craft show is to PROMOTE myself!! The event planner should be promoting the event, but so should I!!! I promote the show on social media and share the Craft Show Event Page. I usually create my own event page weeks before and spend this week promoting on my page and in groups that allow me to post events.
I also get my marketing supplies ready!!! I purchase kraft or white bags at Michaels and put my logo on them. I ordered these stickers from Sticker Mule. I will stuff inside each bag a Thank You for your Purchase 1/2 sheet, a business card, any flyers that show where else I sell my work and upcoming shows I will be at. Having a stack of bags already stuffed saves me time when I am checking people out and it includes all the information they may need later! How many times did you change your mind after shopping and did not remember which crafter you were talking to?? Don’t let that happen to you!!
I type my Thank You information on my computer using my logo at the top. I can fit two of these per page, and use my paper trimmer to cut them in half. I list all of the shops I sell my products in and include my website for any future orders or communication. I also keep a stack of these and my business cards on my tables for people to grab who may not make a purchase or may only purchase a large wood sign that does not fit in a bag.
I get my business cards from Vista Print – they are affordable and arrive quickly and work great as price tags! I just punch a tiny hole in the top corner and attach them to my products with twine, a safety pin or a tagging gun. Since I offer several different products, I will hand write what they were thinking/asking about on the back so they remember why they have my business card. I have a stack of business cards on my desk and have no idea why!
I also had these Custom Order forms designed by a local graphic designer and had 2 part copies made. I find these super helpful to have ready to go for customers who want to make a special order at the show. It looks very professional and their copy has my contact information on it along with a detailed description of their order.
So there you have it – my 3 P’s – Plan your space, Price & Pack your inventory and Promote yourself the week before your craft show! These three things help me feel prepared so I can enjoy the process and have a great show!! I hope this helps you whether you are preparing for your first show, or you 50th show!!
If you have any tips you would like to share, please drop them in the comments below!!
Note: This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing products through my links, I receive a small commission. That is what helps fund Lori Apgar Creates so I can continue to buy supplies to create projects to demonstrate for you and techniques to teach you! Thank you!