Thursday, November 3, 2011

Craft Show Tips - Part 2

If you're new to craft shows or would just like some tips on Preparing for a Craft Show, read Part 1 of my Craft Show Tips blog post.
I've been attending craft shows as a vendor for about 6 or 7 years now. Along the way I've learned a few tips that I hope will help you have a successful show :)

Checklist Time
*Make a list and check it twice! Before you even get to the show, make yourself a list of everything you will need and make sure you have packed it in the car. There is nothing worse than realizing you've left something important at home!

Mind Your Manners
*Be friendly and outgoing. Customers don't like to be stalked, but they do want to know that you're approachable. A simple "hello", "good morning" or "how are you today" works great. That way you break the ice and let them know that you're ready to chat if they have any questions.

 Look Busy But Approachable
*Bring something to work on, but don't let it occupy you. I'm one who doesn't like to be bored and during lulls in the show, I like to have something to keep me busy. (Otherwise I tend to fidget!) I don't suggest books or magazines, because I think they make you look unapproachable. Bring something that you can set down and pick up numerous times without messing up or losing your place. I usually bring a sheet of digital embellishments that are ready to be cut out.

Play with Height and Your Sight
*Use height to your advantage. I have a vertical display, but I've been using tables more lately with my glass and wood items. Using risers can give you more room on your table as well as draw attention. I put my Engraved Wood Photo on a tall riser in the middle of my table at my last show and it got a lot of attention :) Things at eye level will get more attention than things that people have to bend over to look at.

 Be Ready to Talk
*Have a couple "lines" prepared. When I can see someone looking at my Engraved Wood Photo, I tell them: "Those can be engraved from both a print photo or a digital photo." That gets the ball rolling for them to ask questions and get more interested. This also gets others interested. I usually have one person looking and 4 more come over to see what I'm talking about :)

Have an Attention Grabber
*And on that note, have items that draw people into your booth. I've noticed...the more people you have in your booth...the more people that want to be in your booth. They assume that if lots of people are there, there must be something great! A dead booth seems to remain a dead booth until someone comes over...and draws others with them.

Open Up to Custom Orders
*I encourage you to take custom orders. I take between 2-10 custom orders at each show. Decide which items you can/will offer in custom options and be prepared to take orders. Have order forms ready so you know exactly what information you will need to take down. Get sizes/colors/themes/etc. that you'll need to complete your order. Get the address and phone number and give them an expected completion date.
I require full payment up front for all custom orders as well as the cost of shipping. I have never gotten a complaint about this. (People complain more about shipping than the cost of the item...LOL!)

QUESTION: What has worked for you at shows?

Edi is the creative mind behind Memories for Life Scrapbooks (and Laser Engraving). She has been paper crafting for over 15 years and recently purchased a laser engraver that is keeping her creativity at an all time high!


Anonymous said...

Great info Edi! You always see what to bring lists, but never how to act and what to plan ahead for in terms of strategy. This is great, thanks!

BeadedTail said...

More great tips Edi! I've started my list already for my upcoming show! It is important to not stalk people although I've seen so many people do this or they're pushy with their products. That just makes me want to run! It's kinda like when a store clerk asks if they can help me find something I always say "no thanks" automatically even if I do need help. I like to look on my own!

Rose Clearfield said...

Great tips, Edi! I agree with Nancy that it's great to get advice that goes beyond what to bring. All of your tips about how to approach customers and how to make your booth more attractive are great. I think having more vertical displays for my last show really helped. I'll continue to do this.

Splendid Little Stars said...

I hate being stalked; I will run. So this is good advice. A seller also has to look ready to respond to a customer as well. can be a fine line sometimes.

Set out business cards on your display so people can take them. Have a book where people can sign their home address and email.

Judy Nolan said...

These are great tips, and timely, since many of us will be doing shows at this time of year. I appreciate what you said about a simple greeting so that folks don't feel stalked. I have observed people walk into a booth, only to be pounced upon by the seller with information before they have even looked at anything. Predictably, they leave as soon as they can. You really have to be a good observer of body language.

storybeader said...

scissors are a great thing to take to a show. I used to cut and fold paper at past show. Never thought about custom orders... Many people have told be not to sit. I would get too tired, so I got a bar stool to lean against and sit at. Brings you up to the customers level. Works well. {:-D

Leovi said...

Good building trusses!