Even if you make a majority of your craft sales in an online shop, craft shows are still big money makers for most crafters.
They can be a big commitment and require a lot of time and energy, but they are also the best way to show off your work within your own community and open new doors for your business in your local crafting circles!
To call it a success, here are some tips from top Etsy sellers based from their experiences:
Craft Show Display Tips
“I am always trying to improve my displays, so I started to carry a notebook where I could write down things that I notice.” – Jennifer Tyson from LadyInPurple
“Have a price range of items available. Browsers are the best impulse shoppers so having some $1, $2 & $3 dollar items will help offset the cost of your booth space. I learned this early on so now my expenses are covered. Enjoy the day smile and be natural with people. Fall shows seem to be the best for me as shoppers are already buying for the holidays.” – Donna from DonnaLeeBags
“Learn how to merchandise your work. Make it easy for customers to find what they’re looking for. I don’t think I know how to still. But when I group my items based on colors, I double my sales.” – Rosa Czarnomski from SerasiJewelry
“I think one of the biggest things I do to prepare for shows is set up my booth at my house beforehand. I figure out where I want everything to go and how everything sets up and breaks down. Setting up a booth late the night before or at the crack of dawn is easier if you already know how you want things to look. It also makes it easier to break down the booth at the end of a long day, or three, of manning your booth.” – Olivia Bajko from BayCompany
“I put my jewelry cards in little cello bags for display because it contains everything and keeps the dust, fingerprints, cotton candy bits, barbeque sauce, etc out… And then I have little paper bags for purchased items, if they want it. I bubble wrap my larger glass pieces.” – Cheryl from csmartglass
“For outdoor shows, it is impossible to have too much weight to hold down your tent. Never bring stuff to read, and keep your phone in your pocket ( I know that is an impossibility for “some” people). Pay attention to the customers ” – Alex from woodenaht
“It’s important to have tough skin. You will hear “I could make that” about 1,000 times a day. Some people will appreciate your work, and some will not. That’s life–you just don’t hear their comments when they’re shopping online. Enjoy relating to the people that really appreciate what you do.” – Elaine Dillard from AldaandCompany
“Never underestimate being nice. Try to be always professional and pleasant, even though sometimes you feel like doing the opposite (I know me too). I say to myself, I’m not there to push my opinions on others, I’m there to listen, to solve problems and therefore to sell. I was once in a slow show, quite a discouraging atmosphere. A lady mentioned that I was the 1st person being nice to her, she just had to buy something from me. She bought 3 pieces from me. Hope that helps.” – Rosa Czarnomski from SimplySerasi
First Aid Kit And Snacks
“Bring a small first aid kit, fold up chair with cushion, and bottled drinks (stay hydrated) and portable snacks.” – Rose from SewBohemian
“Have the ability to take credit cards! Even if you need to make an arrangement with another vendor to do so on your behalf. The last show I did, I had a really big sale because I could accept cards.” – Iris Collins from HandicraftsByIris
“I wear a small waist apron to keep change for cash paying customers and keep all cash on me. Also, at the end of the day when packing things up, don’t let your guard down. One time at the end of the day I put my cell phone down on the table right in front of me, there were 6 of us packing up. Out of the blue a guy came over asking for directions to a fast food restaurant and before you know it he quickly grabbed my cell phone and ran off. Lesson learned keep phone hidden or in apron pocket at all times!” – MindyG from MindyG
“Make sure you have insurance that covers you at craft fairs. If wind picks up your tent and blows it to a neighbor and it wrecks their stuff – that’s on you! If a customer trips in your booth or a table falls on them – that’s on you. You can tell yourself this stuff will never happen, until it does. Protect yourself and your business!” – Alexis Clare from WhippedUpWonderful
Now you should be prepared to tackle that busy craft show season and make it your most profitable yet!
If you have tips that you want to share, please let us know in the comment box below.