10 Things to Take
to Art and Craft Shows
Taking essentials to art and craft shows is well… essential (excuse the pun). Take these 10 things to art and craft shows your experience will be much more pleasant.
1. Enough merchandise-Take more merchandise than you can sell. Art fair booths not well stocked look picked over. Customers imagine the good stuff already sold and won’t even stop to look.
2. Tables and Chairs-Bring your tables and chairs unless you’ve made arrangements with the show promoter to rent them (expect to pay for this service). Choose sturdy displays, tables, and shelving you don’t want them to fall injuring customers or damaging merchandise.
Cover tables with a table cloth or a sheet. Make sure coverings fit tables properly and extend all the way to the floor.
3. Professional Displays-I have seen displays from uncovered falling down tables to artfully and carefully thought out booths. Booths should help customers see themselves buying and using your crafts. Help their imagination by creating a theme that goes with your product. Pack any tools needed to set up your display in a rubbermaid tote and keep them there.
4. Change-A secure coin box can discourage thieves at shows. Have a jewelry artist make you a necklace/keychain you can wear at all times. Keep keys to your lock box and car on the necklace around your neck at all times.
Having enough change for customers is really important. Take at least $100 (maybe 2 or 3) in small bills and coins. The exact amount needs to be determined by your prices and if you’ve included sales tax. You need less pennies or nickels if you round prices up to the next even number. If prices are closer to $20 expect people to pay with bigger bills so include in your change box more 5, 10, and 20 dollar bills. If you price handmade crafts at $19 instead of $20 so that customers perceive them as being under $20 you will need to take more $1 bills.
-For outdoor shows take a canopy
or awning to protect yourself and your crafts from the weather. All canopies fly with enough wind, check the manufacturers recommendations for canopy weight
types and sizes.
Discuss with show promoters when to take down craft show canopies so you know when it is okay to close up early. Use common sense when it becomes dangerous it’s time to take down pop up canopies.
6. Helpers-Take someone who knows your crafts to shows. They can watch your merchandise while you unpack the car, watch your craft show booth while you go potty or eat, run to get more change, etc. Offer a neighboring craft vendor a small piece of merchandise to help out if you can’t find someone to go with you, offer to do these things for your neighbors.
7. Food and Water-Food at shows is often greasy, messy or expensive. Take your own if this will upset your tummy or pocket book. You can still treat yourself if there is something you want in your price range.
8. Emergency Phone Numbers and Cell Phone-Take a list of places you need to call in case you are late, your car breaks down, or there's an emergency.
9. Your Identification, credit cards, and wallet-They are necessary to check into and pay for hotels, gas, car repairs, extra tools or supplies, food and water.
10. Luggage and Medication-Take extra clothes even for local shows you never know when you might spill on yourself. Take clothing needed each day plus a few extras. Don’t forget your medications.
What’s your best tip?
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Art Festival and Craft Show Expert
Shasta McLaughlin provides articles, hints and tips, checklists and more for artists and crafters that sell handmade crafts who want to save time looking for shows, packing for fairs, and get more sales at festivals.
Now she is revealing how to collect your customers contact information, follow up with them and make more money while working less.
Go to http://www.extravaganzacrafts.net to get her newsletter. The Extravaganza Craft News, will help you avoid mistakes, and save time and money when preparing your craft show booth.