A few weeks ago I participated in my first craft show, now this obviously doesn’t make me an expert in all things craft fairs but I wanted to share a few quick things you can do and think about before committing to and while planning your table.
1. Table price
Generally, the higher your space costs the better advertised and well known the event is which in theory means better sales. Since this was my first event and I didn’t want to feel overwhelmed, I did a small local event. Despite the great turnout, when I signed up for the show I was only thinking about how affordable it was and not so much about the potential demographic. I still ended up ahead, covering my table and some but definitely consider how much you’ll get back for what you’re putting in.
2. Table/booth set up
Have a cohesive theme and style that suits your brand or product, use props to display your merchandise and get creative! Re-purpose cool items you have lying around the house or go scour your local thrift store. I did a bit of both while also commissioning my better half to build me some custom displays. Don’t over stock your table, your products should have room to breathe and be visible, most shoppers don’t like to dig through items. Finally, I strongly recommend setting up your entire display at least once before the event to really get a visual sense of your display. I had a relatively simple set up and still regret not doing this. There are a few things I missed that couldn’t be whipped up once arrived at the location.
3. Table Cloth
Measure it! Even if your boyfriend tells you “yes honey, this will fit your table” measure it or test it out on your table if you are using your own. Lucky for me I had some back up who could run out and grab me a second table cloth which ended up fitting perfectly under the one I had originally purchased. Also, iron that bad boy, that was another oops for me.
4. Have lots of change and a card reader
The more accommodating you are to your potential customers, the easier it is to make a sale. Be prepared with a cash box and lots of change and I suggest investing in a card reader so you don’t lose out on sales from customers who maybe dropped in unplanned and don’t have any cash on them. I signed up with Square which takes a small percentage of every swipe but they will also send you the reader free of charge in exchange for the service fee. In my opinion, totally worth it. Something I didn’t think of however was to advertise that I could take cash or credit. I recommend making a little card stock sign to let your shoppers know!
5. Business cards
I know, this is a given but if any of you are teetering on the fence about investing in business cards, it’s definitely worth it. I designed my own and had them printed through vista print. I’ll admit, I was disappointed in the quality of the printing (the first batch came out discolored, so they sent me a new order free of charge which still wasn’t A+), but they were totally affordable and they have great options to fit your price range and needs and even to help you out creatively if you don’t know how or don’t own any design software. If you do anything custom, business cards are especially crucial, it gives your customers a way to get in touch with you without having to try and remember your business name. I just placed mine in a copper dish on the table, easily accessible for everyone just passing through.