Top Craft Fair Tips and Tricks
By April Bailey Waltrip




What's new in the crafting world? I am concentrating on things to help you set up your craft fair display. Having a good looking, not overcrowded, appealing display determines whether or not partons will stop by or keep on walking. I am listing some important elements and then will discuss them in detail.

Supplies:

Table Black tablecloth or sheet Vendor Sign Catalogs, Seasonal Catalogs, Mailing List sign up Sheet, Monthly Specials, product samples Display for Catalogs Door prize forms on a clipboard, Door Prize box or bowl Price Signs These are the items that work for my papercrafting business. Read these tips and tailor your display to your product needs; maybe vintage pieces or bright fabric would better suit your craft's theme. I generally use an 8 foot table and a smaller 6 foot table. The 8 foot holds sales items and my sign and the 6 foot table holds the catalogs, door prize and forms, mailing list, specials and a few outstanding cards that I want to display for the sole purpose of booking parties.

Table setup:

I prefer to use a queen size black sheet because it covers the table better than any size tablecloth I have ever bought. I use safety pins to tack my Stampin' sign to the front of my 8 foot table. Varying heights add depth and dimension to your table, so pick display items that add variety- think baskets, photo boxes, tiered store displays. Don't set up your table with overcrowding- it is overwhelming and VERY confusing to craft fair goers. Patrons will be scared to touch and look at anything because they might bump other products or knock something over. Not people friendly. Spread stuff out and put some items away until you have room for the items. Another thing I have found to be helpful is the "less is more" theory. I keep inventory under the table in plastic under the bed bins. If a customer is looking for specific colors I can pull it from the bin and it keeps me from having an overcrowded table. As inventory sells, I straighten things up and add more product from under the table.

Signage:

Have a large vendor sign that is easy to spot so EVERYONE knows what you are selling. Note: Stand up at your table, booth or tent. It is important to stand up and take genuine interest in your shoppers. Nothing looks worse than a seller hidden behind the table, seated, reading a book, not paying attention to the lovely people taking time to shop at the event. The patrons will be scared to talk to you for fear of disturbing you from what you are doing. Don't let it happen- be alert, friendly, and stand up to greet them. You can have a seat when there are no shoppers around.

Pricing:

It is important to have your prices available to customers. I don't want my customer to hunt for the price and then be shocked by it, so I display the price clearly. I used colored Card stock, with the item name and price printed. Laminating the signs is a good idea is you plan to do frequent shows.

Catalog Display:

I found a 3 tier wicker magazine basket at Pier 1 Imports and it fit my needs perfectly. I put large catalogs in the back, Seasonal in front and designer paper and fabric samples in the small front pockets. In front of that is the yellow door prize vase. I thought it added a little something to the display. Business cards are easily accessible for other vendors who want to network and place special orders. I have a ton of pens to fill out door prize forms and jot down party booking dates on the party postcards I use.

Here is a recap and a few other tips and tricks:

Use a sheet, it's bigger.
Don't overcrowd; you don't have to put out everything!
Have a door prize drawing and show what the prize is.
Use different heights.
Invest in a catalog/info display piece.
Have business cards available.
Stand up! Nothing looks worse than an uninterested seller.
Talk to patrons, offer to help them find what they are looking for.
Ask them if they have heard of your product.
Ask them if they would be interested in ordering anything or getting together with friends for a free class.
HAVE FUN!

These are my top tips on setting up a successful craft show display to attract patrons and engage them in your business. I really enjoy craft shows- it gives shoppers the opportunity to buy local, get handmade gifts, book parties which will give them a creative outlet and fun with friends, and allows me to network with other vendors. It is a way to serve the community and make new friends.

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