Tuesday, June 3, 2014

How to set up a craft show booth like a pro (part two)

Do you ever wonder what goes into prepping for those craft shows you visit? Have you been thinking about selling your work? We asked Jenny and Sabrina of The Pig and The Peacock for their expert advice on being a vendor. And they delivered! Check out their earlier post if you haven't already …

Prep for Doing Business
One or two weeks before the show, gather everything you need to do business and ring up transactions. Pens, calculators, invoice/receipt books, shopping bags, are must-haves.

Make a bank run to get change – think about your price points and plan your change based on that. If you take credit card payments via Square or any other device or app, make sure they are in working order and that you remember passwords for apps. Another thing we do is create a cheat sheet of all of our items pricing with tax. At the bottom we have every price point from $1-$100 with tax added for quick reference.

Prepare for the Day
Bring bottled water or soda and snacks even if there will be food/drinks on site. You may be too busy to take a break! Be sure to snack when you can so you don't run out of energy toward the end of the day. It's also great if you can recruit friends to help, whether it is to drop off lunch, give you a break or support.

Prepare for the Unexpected
Know that no matter how much planning you do, you can't plan for everything, but you can try your best to be prepared so if the unexpected does happen, you have it covered. We always bring a disaster kit. In this kit, along with our pens and invoice books, we keep the following:
  • Stapler
  • Scotch tape
  • Duct tape 
  • Packing tape (no joke we bring 3 kinds of tape with us and have used them all!)
  • Kleenex and napkins
  • Safety pins
  • Advil (you will be glad you had it)
  • Calculator
  • A multi-use tool
  • Lighter
  • Power strip
  • Extension cords
  • Bungee cords
  • Band-Aids
  • Purell
  • Sharpies
  • Blank index cards (for ad-hoc signage)
  • Business cards
  • Notebook – we like to take notes of things we forgot or wish we had and items customers asked for that we currently don't make
  • We also bring a hand truck and a thick floor mat to stand on

Have Fun Selling
The best part of being at a craft show is being able to talk with your shoppers, and tell them about your process and your passion for your craft. Have fun selling and they will have fun shopping.

If you are on the shy side, think about an opening line to break the ice – perhaps something that makes your items special or what inspired you to make it. Instead of answering questions with a yes or no, take advantage of the opportunity to tell people more about the item too. Even a simple hi and a smile will go a long way to make people feel welcome. We like to chat with people and ask them how they are enjoying the event as a whole, and find out what cool things they have seen at other booths. 

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