Prepping for a Craft Show

Just finished my yearly craft show.  Yeah, that’s about all I can manage is one a year.  There are some people who can take their crafting and do shows all year long, but I’ve got a lot of obstacles in my way, and one a year is all I can manage (maybe two with a bit of luck).  With every experience at a craft show, though, I do manage to learn something new.  This year, I learned about prepping, and a few things that I forgot to do before hand that ended up costing me a few sales.


My Scarf Collection
My Scarf Collection (Photo credit: andreakw)


Create as much as you can.  If you think that you have enough, make double.  You cannot have too much inventory.  Just don’t put it all on display all at once.  I had to remind myself a couple of times: even if it doesn’t get sold at the craft show, it will get sold eventually.


Take inventory.  This is important to know what you have in stock for several reasons: If anyone asks about a certain product in a specific size or color, you don’t want to have to rifle through everything just to tell them that you don’t.  AND, it makes it easier to keep track of what you sale and what sort of a profit margin you are looking at.  If you sold five different scarfs, but you don’t know which scarfs you sold, how do you know how much of a profit you made off of your scarfs?


Label EVERYTHING.  I actually learned this lesson last year, when I tried to have a few big price signs instead of individual ones.  People don’t read big signs.  And they certainly don’t want to ask about every product: how much is this?  So, to just eliminate any confusion, and unnecessary conversation, label each and every product separately with size, cost, and care instructions.


Update your display.  Maybe you’ve got new items, or have changed out old displays, or something has gotten broken, or needs a paint job.  UPDATE!  Do NOT underestimate how important the display is either.  Your display can very easily make or break a good craft show.


Colourful Scarfs
Colourful Scarfs (Photo credit: iamlemonfilm)


Leave children at home.  I was unable to do this this year and had to keep all three of my kids (aged 4, 3, and 2) with me all day.  They were good, and stayed out of the way, but I am sure cost me a few good sales simply because I had to deal with them instead of focusing on my products.  There were a few other vendors who had a kid or two with them this year too.  I know one of the vendors had to rush her toddler to the potty several times, but another vendor had her older daughter really helping out.


Have fun.  It may seem like a “but I’ll be working”, point, but really!  Smile, laugh, talk to people about what you are passionate about.  I get a LOT of “It’s so good to see someone young who knows how to crochet”.  Be friendly.  If you are having fun, your customers are going to see that, and it may even give you a few more sales.  I mean, I certainly don’t want to purchase anything from a cranky sales clerk, especially if she’s cranky about stuff that she’s made herself!






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