Sunday, September 5, 2010

Thoughts While at the Craft Show

I have been thinking about this and what to talk about for the Craft show series. I came up with a couple of thoughts.

1) Dress Code- there is none. Wear what you are comfortable wearing. I personally wear nice jeans and a shirt. I try to dress in layers since you never know the temps of the room.

2)Be grateful for your spot. If your spot is 4'x 8'--that is all you get. You don't get 5'x 9'. That 8' spot- unless it is noted that you are also paying for an 8' table... means that you probably will have to have a 6' table since you need space to wander around your table. You don't get to hog-- just because you got their before your neighbors.

3) Your money. I use a fanny pack-that way my money is with me and I don't have to worry about sticky fingers. I generally bring about 50 dollars in small bills for change and about $5.00 in coin change. And I will tell you-- I am not that desperate for a sale to have some ya-hoo try to buy a $3.00 item and pay me with a $50. bill and take all my change. I will tell them to come back when they have the change- I tell them nicely. But really- who comes to a craft show with large bills??

4) If someone comes by and wants me to hold something for them.. I will- but I tell them that I will only hold it for an hour. It does happen that people ask you to hold something and never come back and then you might have been able to sell that item. It depends if it is a great seller or not. I might not hold it.

5) Along with Money-- count on being friendly with the person who has the space next to you-- and that vendor might 'watch' your booth while you take a bathroom break- But it is NOT their responibility to make sales for you- they have their own booth to manage. I would not leave my money with them- they can easily tell a potential buyer you will be right back. (and do it-- short and sweet--no wandering around the show and chatting at every booth).It is more than I want to do- to watch your money for you and mind my own too. Especially if I get busy.

6) Make eye contact with your customer-- Don't have your head in a book, or magazine. Or talking non- stop on a cell. Like anywhere else- we don't want to hear your phone conversation. We all call home to check on things or someone from home calls us for somethintg- that is not what I am talking about. Some vendors will have meaningless convos while customers are left standing there- and they wonder why their sales were bad!

7) I am not really sure how to handle this one- it happens at shows.. You will get vendors who are doing poorly and come over to you to complain. I really just try not to even engage them. I don't want a vendor or anyone at my booth complaining about anything- I don't want my potential customers overhearing. It really doesn't matter if sales are slow- complain after the show. It is really the luck of the draw- some shows are great and some not.

8) I have said this before-Stay Until the end. It is good business practice.

9) This has happened to me- I don't really know how to stop it. I have had well meaning friends who also have a booth at the same show- come over to my booth- when I have customers and if my customer is hesitant- try to talk them into something at their booth! To me that is not my friend being friendly- it is my friend trying to steal my potential customer. The customer will be wandering around and looking at other booths-- vendors need to stay at their own booths and mind their customers and not worry about someone else's booth.
AND if another vendor has similar to your things and maybe at a higher price. You don't get to steal others customers. Stay at your booth and wait for them to arrive. If the customer comes to you and realizes that they bought higher- oh well- not your problem. Maybe you can talk them into something else.

10) Bring Business Cards-- I just make mine on my computer. But you can certainly pay to have some made. I enclose a business card with every sale- I put it right into the bag. I also have a dish with them on my table for potential customers to take.

11) Remember- be friendly. Pass out your cards. Just because someone does not buy from you then- you don't know their circumstances-they might have no money, but wanted a day out of window shopping- they will remember your kindness and hopefully buy from you when they have money.
One of my best compliments is that people say I do quality work. I am happy to hear that. If they buy- yea- but if they don't at least they noticed that.

12) I don't tell people how much money I made at a show- it is not their business- vendors do ask- I would not discuss my W2 with them- I don't discuss this either. I always just say I did fine. That is all. Whether I did poorly or really good. You decide on your own.


  1. Hi Thanks for the follow..Following you back!! Cute blog!! And animals!!

  2. Hi from your lastest follower. Thankyou for stopping by my blog. Love you pets and I love quilting too. I have just started my own blog hop and would love it if you stopped by.

  3. Very good advice. I've only made one quilt in my life, but now I'm working on some yo yo's. Not sure what it will end up being.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  4. I've been following this whole series and can vouch from experience that your advice is excellent. What I used to do with my Business Cards was I made 2 sets. There was the normal ones for anyone to grab on my table and for those that purchased from me, they got one that was attached to a magnet for their refrigerator. I bought a box of those magnets from office max & they fit perfectly to the back of the cards.