With Spring comes lots of craft/art shows. Today I am going to share tips with you about my experience as a crafter selling my craft & an organizer of a craft show.
lil' alice use to do a lot more craft shows when I first started out. I thought that was where it was at. The money, that is! And the people that have the money!
Some of my experiences were: I would pay money for a table only to barely make it back. Other shows I did really well at. There were reasons that I didn't do well at some shows & there are reasons why I did do well at others. Most had to do with the effort that was put into advertising & promoting. Some were great at promoting & advertising, other's it never occurred to them that they should advertise & promote, (no joke!)
Craft Show Tips:
~Find out how they publicize their show. Do they promote it via social media, newspapers, local cable station, signage on corners, postcards etc. If they don't publicize it, it may be a waste of your time. Who is going to know about it if they are not shouting it from the roof tops! Don't waste your time!
~How many spots are available for crafters? Big sounds great, but it's just more competition for you. If you make & sell jewelry, how many other jewelry tables will be there? Small isn't a bad thing, less competition = more sales.
~What is the cost of the table? Cheap isn't always better. If you are paying $100 for your table, then that means you believe you can get that $100 back & then some from your sales that day. This weeds out crafters that won't make their $100 back. This brings in crafters with beautiful items that will sell. If a table cost $15, that means that you may be sitting next to a crafter that is selling her toilet paper roll holders that were popular in the 80's.
~Promote the show yourself. Shout it from the roof tops! Add it to your social media sites & make others aware of it! The craft show that I am participating in in April gives crafters 20 postcards to pass out! Genius!
~Have business cards available. Spend some cash on these. Make them personal, use a picture of your craft or your own logo. Get quality pictures with something more than your iphone camera! Add a QR reader to the biz card that will link them to your blog or etsy site! Use both sides of your business card with pictures & information! Use all the space that is available, you are paying for it!
Set your biz cards on the edge of the table for people to grab! Attach one to each of your products! I use a hole puncher & ribbon & tie it to each item!
~Do you only accept cash and checks? If so, you are limiting yourself to a small selection of people who may not have cash on them. Personally, I don't have a check book that I carry around either. Check into getting a Square or something similar. It hooks up to your phone or iPad & you can accept debit or credit cards. Let's be honest, you & I spend more if we are charging! So will people that are coming by your table! If you accept credit cards & debit cards, you have widened your customer base!
I had an open house at my house right before Christmas. Several ladies charged or used their debit card while there. Pssst..... I made more money there than I did at the December craft show & I did really good at the December craft show! Truth!
~Don't blame the coordinator for no sales. Let's break this down folks. I organize a Holiday Art Fair at my church the first weekend in December. It was already established when I took it over 4 years ago. A lot of people in the area know about it etc. That is helpful, but that doesn't ease the pain of a crafter who hasn't received a sale all day! But don't blame the coordinator that you haven't received a sale. If they have done all their advertising & promoting, then that's all they can do. If people are at the show, but you still are not making a sale, you need to analyze your presentation or your product! If the people are not showing up & they have done the advertising & promoting, ask why are they not there. Location? Weather? If it's really bad, don't do that show again!
~Deals! Everyone likes to think they are getting a great deal or a sale! Have deals that are only available at craft shows!
~Have a bowl of individually wrapped suckers or candy. This will draw the kids, then it will draw the parents that are getting their kids away from the candy! This is your chance to strike up a conversation with the adult!
~Clear Pricing. I have struggled with this. No matter how or where I put the signs, people still ask, "How much?" So for my upcoming show on April 13, I am pricing each item. But I know I will still get asked, "How much?"
~Smile :) Be personal with people! Give a compliment! Something to start a conversation. By nature, I am not a talker. Shy. Reserved. But over the years I have had to bust out of my box. In certain environments I am okay, others I want to crawl in a corner & rock back & forth! Craft shows are one of those places. It's a lot of strangers in one place & it's hard for me to chat it up all day long with strangers. But try as I may on April 13th!
~Dress professional. Craft show set ups are early. I get it. But don't wear your cookie monster pj bottoms unless of course you are selling cookies..... maybe! Dress for success & look presentable!
Do you have some craft/art show tips? I'd love to hear them!
lil' alice has a craft show in a few weeks. April 13 (9:00-4:00), to be exact. I'm hoping it's a bit warmer by then. It's at Plymouth High School in Plymouth Michigan!