Tables – Make sure you have enough and make sure they will fit in your booth! Find out if your show will be providing tables for you.
Chairs – We always bring one extra chair because we often have friends or family stop by and sit for a bit. That being said though, you want to make sure your booth is not too congested with friends and family and that it feels more like a store than a coffee shop!
Canopy - If outside a canopy is your best friend. Never rely on good weather! If inside, check with your organizer to ensure they are allowed. Some buildings do not allow canopies inside. Walls can also be a good investment! If outside and you need a canopy, weights will be your best friend!
Think outside of the box. Picture frames don’t have to house pictures, why can’t they showcase your jewelry or hair clips? Take some time to think of unique display ideas; scour the flea market, garage sales and estate sales for offbeat finds which are often a steal! Show your products in action! Reversible apron? Flip up a corner of the fabric on a dress form to show its versatility!
Remember the word height! Think of ways to vary the height of your wares. For small items, plant shelves and pie plates work well to give differing heights and for larger items, hanging things from a canopy make a shopper look up! Even simply covering boxes with fabric will give some height to your booth! Not to mention these will often give you more room on your table!
Freestanding walls work great for hanging artwork and are available on the Internet and in store fixture shops.
Table covers - Be careful that your displays and table cloths don’t detract from your wares. A coherent color scheme will do wonders for making your booth look professional and mature!
Detailed jewelry or beautifully patterned purses will stand out much better on a monotone table cloth rather than the cute dancing monkey sheet. Even though you may adore the fabric or display, think about if it is too much! Editing is very important in displays!
It is also smart to do test runs of your booth. This will help you figure out what works and what doesn’t and helps to alleviate unwanted stress during set-up!
Don’t forget to model your merchandise if you make something that can be worn!
Above all, be creative!
*SIGNAGE & BRANDING*
Always think of way to brand your company. Consider putting your logo on your price tags as well as your signage and business cards. Make sure you have something that has your company name on it! You want people to remember you and your products!
Business cards, flyers for upcoming shows or promotional giveaway items. It helps people remember you if they have something to take home with them, purchased or not. They may not buy something at that particular show but with a card or flyer, they can contact you in the future or visit your upcoming shows!
Guestbook. Some artists offer email updates for their shows, sales and news. If you plan to collect addresses, it is best to be prepared and have somewhere for customers to sign up! Remember to bring a pen!
Electricity. If your show offers electricity hookups and you have paid for that, make sure to pack extension cords! Most shows will not supply those for you. If you are doing an outdoor show at night, lights are a necessity and will also need to be brought by you!
Change. Many artists will factor in tax to their prices so making change is a cinch; no need to mess with coins! Dollar bills are invaluable though so make sure you have plenty of those!
Payment. Decide what forms of payment you will accept. If you plan to accept checks, make sure you get driver’s license numbers along with a phone number in case the check is bad. If you plan to accept credit cards, make sure you have electricity in your booth if not going through a cell phone and make sure the facility offers Wi-Fi if you need that. Signage noting what type of payments you accept are often helpful to your customers.
Snacks. Many shows will have vendors selling food but if you’re a penny pincher like me, you’ll want to bring snacks so you save money!
Mirror. Do you sell a product that people wear? Providing a mirror will discourage people from asking to take items to the bathroom to try on and will ensure the safety of your merchandise!
*ATTITUDE & BEHAVIOR*
One the greatest things about doing arts and crafts shows is that you have the opportunity to speak with your customers face to face. Make sure to take advantage of that! Greet the public, be happy and welcoming, and be positive! If you enjoy yourself, your customers will enjoy themselves as well.
While you do want to be friendly and personable, you also don’t want to hound your shoppers! Greet them, let them shop in peace, answer questions when needed and offer information on pieces if they seem interested. Nobody enjoys going into a store and having an employee following them around while they try to shop!
When eating, it’s best not to eat a burger with extra onions and a side of garlic. Remember you’ll be dealing directly with the public so odorous foods are smart to stay away from! Also, try to keep your food and drinks behind your displays or in your lap or have a friend babysit your booth while you eat elsewhere. Keeping these things in view of your customers will detract them from shopping in your booth.
Even if a shopper does not buy anything, be sure to thank them for their time! You want them to leave thinking positively of their experience in your booth.
Visit other shows and observe which booths you like and why. Need more inspiration and tips for the big day? Here are two of Oklahoma's own crafty ladies who are full of good advice! Take a moment to visit Audrey Eclectic and Lollywood! Have great advice of your own? Please feel free to leave links in the comment section to share!