Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Craft Show Checklist

Craft Show Supplies:

These are some items from my own personal checklist for craft shows.  I sell crocheted hats, scarves, booties, slippers, etc. and I only do indoor shows (in the fall), so your needs may be different.  (This post will be revised as I add photos and more tips, so be sure to bookmark it!  The photos I'm adding now are from my first shows, before I streamlined my displays to be less cluttered.)

Click here for a PDF version of this checklist.

My very first craft show.  My table was a hot mess!  I was supposed to have two tables but had to condense everything onto one table.  It poured rain for the first half of the day and I didn't have a tent...luckily my neighbors let me squeeze under their tent!  This was the one and only outdoor show I ever attended!

It may have been cluttered, but I was proud of my first hats!  

This cute little girl loved her new hat and wore it the rest of the day...even though it was over 80 degrees!  

Another happy customer from my first show.  

Personal Convenience:

nail clipper
gum or breath mints
pain reliever
cell phone
snacks and drinks in case you can't leave your table
cell phone wall charger

Second craft show, slightly better.  Everything is still very cluttered but at least my table had some height for the display.

Items Needed for Sales:

fanny pack or apron for money (then you don’t have to worry about a cash box)
change ($30 - ones, $40 - fives, $40 - tens) 
extra price tag labels 
business cards
business card holders 
square app or paypal app on smartphone to accept credit cards
receipt pad (I record all of my sales with a description, size, color, & price)
money receipt pad (if you want to take orders at the show, make them pay in full first!)

bags for customers (I use nice brown paper bags with handles, they are a little expensive but I want to come across as more of a "boutique" and they coordinate well with my business cards.  They cost me about 25 cents per bag, see links below.  I also bring a few brown lunch bags, they work perfect for small items like flowers and coordinate with my other bags.)

here's a great small assortment of bags:

Fourth craft show.  Still cluttered, but this show was a huge success, I had a ton of sales!

Add-ons for Sales:

extra buttons (give customer the option to add a flower to any hat)
fabric flowers on clips (have extras on hand to add to any hat)
clip on hair bows (give customer the option to add a bow to any hat)

Customer Convenience:

hand mirror for customers to see what they look like in the hats
master price list to refer to if something doesn't have a price:
Digital photo frame to display photos of the items being worn/used
Candy or balloons for the kids this will draw people to your booth!

Display Items:

table(s) - if not provided
chair(s) - if not provided
tablecloths - if not provided
banner or signs for your business
wire cube display
jewelry holder for crochet headbands
basket for flowers
mannequin heads to display hats
newborn size doll for displaying newborn hats and booties (people LOVE my reborn doll)
"over the door" hooks (if you are using the wire cubes) I hang bags from them on the back of my cubes, and hats in the front.  You can get single ones and multiple hook ones from walmart or other stores.

My display from the back side, where my bags are hanging very conveniently.

sheets to cover your display if you set up your table the night before
cart/dolly for bringing your bins in from the car
camera - to record what your display looked like so you can make changes next time, or repeat it.  Also, when customers purchase a hat, ask if you can take a photo, I’ve gotten several cute pictures of hats on babies, kids, AND adults this way.

You might find customers that are thrilled to model for you!  

Handy Items (never know if you’ll need these):

lint roller
hole punch
paper clips
binder clips
measuring tape
paper towels
wet wipes (come in handy for cleaning off a dirty table before you set up)
paper and marker to make impromptu signs
small crochet hook to work in ends if you discover you missed something
plastic bags for garbage

Slight improvement at this show, but still a long ways to go before I'm happy with my display.  Here you can see the jewelry stand that I use for my headbands, it spins and works great for this purpose.  

Tips I've Learned:

Add height to your display for visual interest (risers, wire cubes, etc.)

Don't put too much on the table, have extra stock under the tables.  You can always pull it out if the customer asks.

Set up your display at home a week or so before the show so you can tweak it, take photos, see what you might be missing, etc.

Rearrange your display often as you figure out what is popular.  I adjust my display all day long.

If you're alone, try to have a friend or family member visit you at the show so you have someone to watch your booth while you run to the restroom, or get something to eat.  Your neighbors will usually help too, but if they get a customer, they may not be able to watch both booths.

Announce your craft show on facebook, your blog, twitter, whatever social sites you use!  

Click here for a PDF version of this checklist.

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