Sep 26, 2007
Thanks for being patient with me as I finally get to answering some of your questions about craft shows. I’ll try to answer as many as possible over the next couple weeks, but tomorrow starts the countdown of FIVE new releases from My Favorite Things!! You’re gonna love ’em! I’ll pick up the craft show Q&A once the countdown is done.
Question from Geny C.
My biggest question is how do you find information on craft shows that you want to participate in?
1. Tell all your local friends and family that you’re interested in doing craft shows! The majority of my craft shows are booked through friends, coworkers, and family members who may go to a church that holds an annual craft fair, have children that attend a school that hosts a craft fair, belong to a charity league that holds a craft fair, etc. etc.
2. Call local churches and schools and inquire as to whether they host an annual craft fair. These seem to be the most common places to have craft fairs, but you could also call your local park and rec department to see if there are any street fairs or outdoor flea market/craft fairs in your area.
3. Keep your eye out for signs as you’re driving around town! I’ve found a few shows this way. Many churches and schools will advertise upcoming fairs on their signs. Just make sure you’re focusing most of your attention on driving! *wink*
4. If you’re still unable to book any craft fairs, consider asking your friends to host a card party for you. Make up a bunch of cute invitations for them to hand out to friends and then set up your items in their home and allow people to purchase on the spot. You can spice up the party with other fun things as well… door prizes, food, hostess gifts, demonstrations, etc. etc.
Questions from Suzy
How much does an entry/registry fee usually cost? Do you get to pick where you are set up? Which is the best place to be set up?
–I have paid anywhere from $35 to $100 for a table at a craft show. It’s probably common sense, but usually the more expensive the table, the bigger the show and the more traffic you will have. However, more traffic doesn’t always mean more sales so choose carefully! If you pay $100 for a table and sell $100 worth of stuff then essentially you have made nothing for your time and efforts. My mom always told me to start small so I’ll pass that tidbit of advice on to you as well! There are also commissioned craft shows. At the conclusion of the show you will pay a percentage of your sales (say 10%) to the organization hosting the craft fair. These shows normally have a centralized checkout and keep track of your sales for you.
–If it’s your first time at a particular show, you normally do not get to pick where you are set up. If you do the same show annually you usually get to pick where you’re set up after the first year. So if it’s your first show at that location, make sure you walk around and check out the other vendors. Keep an eye out for where people seem to be congregating. Also look out for other vendors who seem to be especially busy. If you can set up next to them in the future you’ll most likely get good traffic. It’s always good to be near the door (although not too close) to insure that everybody must pass by your booth when entering and leaving the show.
Question from Angie
I remember you said that the way you display your items is really key to sales and was wondering if you could post some of those ideas again?
There are several things to keep in mind when you display your items. Ultimately, you want your booth to be inviting and organized (not cluttered!). Here are some things that could help you accomplish that:
1. Elevate your displays! Use boxes underneath your tablecloth or other display items to get some of your product off the tabletop. If all of your items are on the same level, people walking by only see what’s in the front and tend to keep on walking.
2. I use a floor standing spinner for my individual cards. This gets my cards off the tabletop and creates more room for other things. I also use baskets if there isn’t enough room to display all of my cards in the spinner. Always organize your cards by theme (birthday, thank you, etc.) so it’s easy for people to find the occasion they’re looking for.
3. I think it’s important to invest a little money in a banner/sign with your logo and a description of what you offer. I think it only costs about $35. It looks professional and allows people to see what you offer from afar.
I hope this information will be helpful for you in your future craft shows! I will focus more on products and pricing in the next Q&A. Stay tuned for the MFT countdown starting tomorrow! Hope you have a great day!