Sunday, February 23, 2014

Thinking Of Booking A Craft Show/Preparedness

You’re thinking about booking craft shows and all the questions are flowing! Look no further, I am here to help.

Booking your first show is frustrating, exciting and sometimes overwhelming. So where do you start? Think of shows you have been to and heard of. There are many resources online to find shows in your neighborhood. You have to search for them and it can be complicated. In PA, you can go to the free site, and search down to the county.

I recommend starting off with a small show and getting familiar with the scene. There is a unique crafting world out there that you haven’t seen yet! If you get the chance, go visit shows in your area. Here are some things to look for when you’re there:
•Table Display – What kind of display props are they using?
•Prices – You’re not obligated to buy anything.
•Booth layout – Do you find it convenient and comfortable as a shopper?
•Items – Are they selling? Are they popular?
•Booth Cleanliness – Are they presentable and clutter free?
•Business Cards – These can help you network with other crafters in times of frustration.

These are just a few things for you to look for that will help guide you along the way.

Are you Prepared? What do you need to have ready?

Layouts and items can depend on the season and indoor/outdoor settings. Indoor shows vary from outdoor shows.

Here are some items you may need to take with you to an indoor show:
•Tablecloths – Make sure you have one long enough in the front to hide your extra inventory underneath.
•Helper – I always recommend a helper for the first few shows. It will help with your nerves and they can cover for you if you need a potty break!
•Drinks/Food – It is usually cheaper to take your own. Be sure to stay hydrated so you don’t get a headache with all the stress!
•Extra Price Tags – Most people won’t ask you if it isn’t marked, they will simply move on. Have a price on everything.
•Custom Order Forms – I have gotten plenty of orders at shows and I always have an order from available on a clipboard, with a pen!
•Business Cards
•Change – 10′s , 5′s, and 1′s should get you started for the day.
•Purse or Money Box – I always use a purse that is on me at all times. This way nobody can steal your money or money-box when you’re not looking.
•Bags – Use brown paper bags or order some online if you need a bigger size. Plastic grocery bags aren’t very presentable.
•Your mind! – It can be crazy your first couple of shows. Get plenty of rest and pack your vehicle the night before so all you have to do in the morning is worry about getting yourself ready and drive away!

Here are some items you may need for outdoor shows:
•All of the above for the indoor shows.
•Chairs – You will need a place to relax for a couple of minutes!
•Canopy - You will also need items to secure your canopy. Weights, steaks, hammer and thin rope. You may also need to use canopy walls if required.
•Small Garbage Can – Keep it under the table and use it for your garbage only.
•Sun Screen
•Jackets or Sweaters

Do you have enough inventory?

Depending on what your craft is, you can take as little or as much as you would like. You want to keep your table looking full so they have lots to look at. When you book a show, ask for the table size or space given. If they provide a 6x3ft. table, measure it out on the floor and run a test display with all your items. See if you have empty space or if you need more for all your items. You can find all kinds of display ideas online that use tall displays to create more space.

Booking the show!

Here we go! This is really happening! You’re taking your first step by filling out the application and mailing it in. If you have any questions about the show, contact the person in charge before you mail your application and payment out. They are usually happy to help. Ask them anything, even if you think it is a little silly!

These are some of the tips and tricks that I didn’t know when I first started. If you want me to add anything else or have questions, comment below or email me at

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