7 ways to fail at a craft show

Urban Craft Uprising
Urban Craft Uprising (Photo credit: bre pettis)

We are coming upon craft show season, which hits in the spring, summer, and fall seasons. Everyone is doing research on display ideas and working on the stash for selling. Even if you are preparing for your very first show, you tenth show, or even you umpteenth show, here are some things you can do to ensure that you “fail”

  1. Don’t purchase a table or booth space. The number one cause of a “failure” at a craft show is the failure to participate in the first place. Some shows can seem really expensive, and it can appear overwhelming to plan and prepare for one. However, if you don’t try, you can’t succeed.
  2. Lack of planning and preparing. Depending on the time consumption of your craft, and where you receive a majority of your sales, it might be wise to start preparing several months in advance. I can whip up a decent stash and display completely from scratch in about two months. However, the more time you have, the better off you will be.
  3. Spend little to no time on your display. These displays are super important for the selling of your wares. A bad display will result in few sells while a good display can skyrocket your profits. Do not expect a flat table with a dull tablecloth to be “good enough”. If you want to fail, give your display no depth, no personality, and no thought whatsoever.
  4. Forget to practice your display. Even if you have the most spatially minded brain that is amazing for planning out details…it isn’t going to work exactly as you have pictured in your head. Practice your display several days, or better yet weeks, in advance, and then you have plenty of time to make the appropriate changes.
  5. Crafts for Fun and Profit 7
    Crafts for Fun and Profit 7 (Photo credit: sallysetsforth)

    Dress like a slob. You don’t have to dress in black suit with heels, but dress like you take your job seriously. Be a professional.

  6. Ignore your customers. There is a balance to achieve between hovering (also a no-no) and ignoring. Give your viewers some space and respect their personal bubbles, but still be available to answer any questions and accept the sale.
  7. Arrive when or after the doors open to the public. Get to the place just as early as you can. Even if you’ve practiced your display, it will take time to set it up, and you might have to make last minute changes. Have everything done at least five minutes before the first customer walks in.

There are lots of ways that you can “fail” a craft show. Keep in mind that every show is going to be different, and each one should be a learning experience for you. If you would like to add to this list, please leave a comment below! As always, don’t forget to “like” and share this post with your friends 🙂


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