Sunday, September 13, 2009

Holiday Craft Show Season is Upon Us

Next month I will be starting my venture to craft shows that will keep me busy from now until Christmas. Last year was our first season and although the profits were slim to none, we did learn alot about what to expect and how to "work" a craft show.

These are a few things that we learned and feel every craft show vendor should keep in mind:

1.) make sure you have a variety of price points in your inventory, don't overlook the budget concious buyer, they may become your best regular customer. Create what you love.

2.) If you are willing to take orders or do custom work make sure you post a sign and have plenty of business cards. Be prepared to answer questions concerning deposits, payment plans or any other financial considerations, if a customer is interested in your work they want serious and straight forward answers.

3.) don't overload your booth with only seasonal items, most people are there searching for gifts, not just items to decorate their homes. If you have items that they will use all year they may may become a regular customer.

4.) SMILE. Customers do not want to shop at a booth where the sales personel act like they would rather be somewhere else.

5.) Don't be shy, be friendly but don't smother your customer with details. Make sure they know you are available to answer questions if they have any. A good conversation starter is to tell customers what inspired you to create a particular piece or the methods you use, most enjoy hearing about how you create and what inspires you. This also lets customers know this is an art form and you take pride in what you create.

6.) Listen to your customers, sometimes they may give you an idea for your next big seller.

7.) Be friendly but be aware of people eating and drinking near your booth expecially if you have items that stain. You could post a sign indicating you don't allow eating and drinking in your booth but you don't want to chase away a possible sale.

8.) Watch for "sticky fingers" and I don't mean sticky with food. If you have lots of small items be careful that your items don't walk away without being paid for. It is always good to get help from a friend or a family member to help man your booth if possible. I take my teenage daughter that enjoys, understands and knows alot about quilts and quiltmaking.

9.) If you do have employees or volunteers helping you make sure you brief them on your products so that they can help answer questions. They don't need to know everything that goes into your creations but basic info is always helpful.
10.) Have fun. Customers know if you enjoy what you do and are not just doing it for "business".


Dlsarmywife said...

I too am getting ready for craft show season...and your tips are great. Hopefully we will both have great shows this season. =D

Lzyjo said...

These are such good tips! I love the one, listen to your customers, I was working on some custom pillows for my MIL and she suggested Christmas Pillow covers and then she bought eight! I wish you good luck and lots of sales! (QuiltFinger) said...

Really good points!!! I hope you have a great "season"

GrandmaMarilyns said...

Great advise. I will keep it handy.