You sit down with a mug of tea, as you are alone because the family have popped out giving you quality time to spend with yourself. So instead of relaxing and getting into that book, you keep wanting to start, you decide to look at your marketing idea list in your cute little notebook. To see how you can sell more of your products and increase your business awareness even more. Next, on your list you see a local craft show happening a few months from now, and you start to ponder whether that should be your next move…
So as you ponder whether to look at a craft show as a serious contender for your business. I am going to give you the best in all you need to know about craft shows, so you can make a very informed decision on whether to move forward in this area. If you are new to the world of craft shows then here are a few advantages of why you and your business can benefit from them. They are a way of marketing your business and selling your products in the process. Craft shows are also a good way to help test the waters on a new product line you may have. But making sure the customer base is part of your target market would make your results even better.
Plus meeting fellow creatives and making connections that can be grown offline and online is also a positive personally and for your business..
Check out the following craft shows that range from the usa to the uk, to give you an idea of what you expect, however these are on the larger scale of craft shows. smithsonian craft show | stitches and craft show | saline craft show | craft show nec . If you have links to local craft shows or further a field do share in the comments below thanx:)
Remember attending craft shows takes a lot of work preparation and managing to make the day run smoothly and be successful. I have done my rounds of reading from great creatives who have shared their experiences and knowledge, that will help you in getting ready mentality and physically for taking part in a craft show. This detailed in-depth compilation of information will become your go to craft show guide. Even if you are not new to craft shows, learning something new from fellow makers will only add to your knowledge and help you be even more successful at your next craft show event.
The 1st place to start is with which craft shows are available to you, these can be local craft shows or further afield.
Which ones to apply to and knowing what your deciding factors should be can be a daunting task.
However Dixie Nicols from handmadelives.wordpress.com (@HandmadeLives) has got you covered with the Craft Show Low-Down, on Picking your craft show. You will find out why you should do craft shows, how to evaluate the audiences and the selection procedures for shows. What made me laugh is when Dixie says
If you are approached and offered a special deal don’t be flattered. It means they can’t fill their show
You will look at costs to consider for the whole event. One which popped out was about using the venues internet connection and how some charge for the service. But don’t be down-hearted with all the costs piling up, for you can get tips on how to trim down some of those costs, which is always good on the wallet.
Kathleen Ashon from Sparkplugging.com (@sparkplugging) continues the pre-craft show discussion on 10 things to know before you go. A few points she goes into are being registration savvy, insurance which is an important section to take note of and having a dress rehearsal which is an awesome idea, try and see problems before the actual day.
Do you have a tent?, well if a craft show is outside, and the thought of bad weather sends you into a worry, a tent is probably something you should consider purchasing. Don’t fork out the expense if you are not planning to do many craft shows, but saying that you never know when that tent will come in handy.
Rosalie Gale at AOhmyhandmade.com (@ohmyhandmade) moves you onto a needed printable Craft show to do list template: Don’t start from scratch. You know I am all about getting your tasks and goals on paper out of your head, so having a printable to do list done for you is a great idea. All you have to make sure is that you print it out and use it. Her to-do list is a good lengthy list, for she simply shares what she personally does for herself.
This to-do list is super essential because it mainly focuses on marketing your efforts online.
Getting the word out about where you will be attending and when. I mean think about it, just because you are attending a craft show doesn’t mean your online community, followers, fans, pinners etc.. won’t want to know about it. Of course, they will, many may even be able to attend to support you even further. An those who can’t make it, I’m sure will be more than happy in helping you spread your message via their social circles.
The list breaks it down from being accepted as a seller at the craft show, a month before the show, 1 to 2 weeks before the show, attend the show and after the show.That’s your online marketing plan under your belt.
Now Indie Foxx from indiefoxx.com (@indiefixx) share’s another detailed checklist but this time you are looking at Craft Show Checklist: what to bring with you. The list includes important elements like credit card processing, first aid kits, having a change of clothes, having helpers and strangely enough having a fishing line. That’s just a few from her list of 61 items. She focuses on outdoor craft shows but many of the items will work with indoor shows too.
Back to Dixie Nicholas and her Craft Show Low-down on Preparations. When it comes to this area you will be looking at how much stock you will decide to take. If you create different products deciding on which ones will work best is also a factor to consider. Your craft show displays, signage and display materials you might use. She also lists what to pack for the show, which is a great addition to Indie’s list above.
You now know what to do beforehand, what to take, now it’s time to focus on the heart of the craft show for your business, which is your craft stall or stand.
Chrisse Freeth from Ukhandmade.co.uk (@ukhandmade) is helping you with how to design your craft stall. I know you are eager to get your stall looking its best and so you should. As your craft stall will be the place where all the action will be happening, Chrisse help’s you look at your business by asking a few questions that will get you in the right frame of mind in designing your stall. As you know your craft stall has a number of jobs to do before you even open your mouth to say anything.
First, off your stall needs to tell your potential customer the 2 big W’s which is Who & What. Meaning who you are and what you do. Then your stall needs to be able to show off what you have to offer which is linked to the layout. You got to pull all those new potential customers over to your stall, by stopping them as they wonder by is linked to design. An being prepared with printed or hand created material that will help inform your potential customer better is linked to labelling. An finally you want to ooze confidence even if you are shaking like a jelly on the inside, this is linked to professionalism.
Wait there’s more via branding and themes, you look at what materials you could use, the use of colour, props to maybe use to help tell your story and packaging. You’ll also find a few more questions to help you get the very best from your stall. You want to have a great first impression and a great lasting impression, so taking note of your answers and applying them accordingly can only help make your presence more professional and coherent with your brand.
One of the main reasons to attend a craft show is of course to sell your products.
Any ideas or suggestions in this area are more than welcome right? Achieving more sales is what you want right? Well, Indie looks at this very subject in her 15 Tips to increase your craft show sales. Number 4 from her list is the one that you can easily start doing if you are not careful. Brushing up on these 15 tips will also help you be, feel and act professionally for your brand.
This selection of great information could not be complete without including a really great podcast from Jess Van Den from Createandthrive.com (@jessvanden). This podcast is called The Craft of Markets ~ The best advice on how to run a successful market stall, hosted by Jodie Maloni & Cintia Gonzala. It covers a wealth of information including marketing committees and applications, sell-sell-sell and partnerships just to name a few. You can listen to the podcast by clicking here.
An if you thought i was done, I am but i just want to add another awesome resource all thanks to Hilary Pullen from ukcraftblog.com (@craftbloguk). She has a long list about Craft Fair Display Tips and Ideas, it hosts 30 more great resources to add to your list. Plus she also has a list of places you can get craft show image display inspiration and yes one of them takes you to pinterest 🙂 And i have already bookmarked that page, to start pinning those images to my boards.
Just before i end this lengthy post don’t forget to document your day and share it on your blog. If you have a lot of information and images share it over say 2 to 3 blog posts or even turn it into a mini blog series.
One more very important point have a great time at the craft show.
Now your turn, Got a tip you wanna share or anything else that will help your fellow creative out regarding craft shows, get it in the comments quick 🙂