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Craft Show Organizing 101
You’ve done it! You’ve signed up to do a craft show….now what! Where do you start? This is a dilemma most first time craft show participants (sometimes even us veterans) feel shortly before the show. I am going to give you a few basic tips and some tricks of the trade to help make your show go smoothly and hopefully successfully.
The first and most important thing is to be sure to read the rules and regulations of the show. The last thing you want to do is show up and set your table up with fancy lighting only to find out that you weren’t allowed to use 1000 strings of lights. Take careful note of whether or not they supply an electric source, exactly how much space you are allowed to use and whether there are any display restrictions.
While you are preparing your display area, it is a great idea to tape off the size of your allotted space either in your basement or garage (use your living room if you have to) and set up your entire display prior to going to your show. Especially if it’s your first show. Be creative! A flat table with your hard work displayed on it isn’t going to draw much attention. A nice display doesn’t have to be expensive either. Cover some shoes boxes with fabric, get some plastic crates and put some moss and twigs around them, use small shelving units you can pick up cheap at a discount store…use your imagination. Scatter smaller items randomly throughout your display, people are more likely to notice a small item they see several times rather than many small items in a basket.
Once you have your display set up how you like it, you now have everything you will need for the show right there and ready to pack. You will be less likely to forget things this way too. Label your boxes or totes and load them into your vehicle in the order that you’ll need them. You won’t need that box of bracelets before you need the box with the table decorations. Some other items you will want to bring are: tissue paper to wrap your items in (even if they aren’t fragile, some people prefer to have their stuff wrapped); bags to put sold items in; shims (you never want a wobbly table); scissor, tape, extra pens; markers; sales pads; tape measure; string; glue; first aid kit; extra price tags; rubber bands; paper clips; mints; copy of your inventory; small stapler; screwdriver; small hammer; business cards; business card holder; extension cords; extra bulbs; power strips; duct tape (tape cords down); notepad; calculator; display wire; a sign with your company name; and a copy of your sales tax certificate. I know some of it sounds strange, but you’d be surprised.
Now, for yourself, you are going to want to bring some things too. Aspirin, tissues, paper towels, camera (take a picture of your booth after its set up); cooler with soda and water; small snacks; comfortable shoes; cell phone; chair cushion; deodorant; extra socks; jacket or sweater; sunscreen; water bottle; wet wipes; and extra change of clothes (you never know what could happen) and a GREAT attitude. I also recommend buying an inexpensive canvas apron and sewing or fashioning some pockets that can be Velcro’d shut to put your money in. That way you are more free to move around and not tied to a table. Make sure you bring PLENTY of change. It is a good idea to price your items to include tax and round up to the nearest dollar – that way you don’t have to worry about coins.
Another great thing to have is a guestbook. You can make your own or use one similar to those you see at wedding receptions. It’s a great way to sign people up for your mailing list. You might think about having samples to give away with your business card attached. Everyone likes something for free. If you do a newsletter, print some to give out in your merchandise bags.
Hopefully you’ve found some tips here to help you and remember you started crafting because it was fun and you enjoy it, your show should reflect that. Have fun! Share your love of crafting! And smile…you are on your way!!!
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