So, you just got your application back in the mail with a "accepted" stamped on it for that first craft show. You have finally taken your hobby to the next level and now you need a booth. But what exactly are you supposed to do at one of these shows?
Most indoor shows are held in local school auditoriums or church basements or local arenas, depending on just how big this event is. Some are held to raise money for charity and others are strictly for business and to get the local artisans name out there.
A showing is a great way to get your brand out in public, so you are going to want to set it up right. Most vendors are assigned a particular spot for their display. This usually included a 10 x 10 foot spot or sometimes bigger and sometimes smaller depending on what was available and what you paid. Sometimes you are offered the ability to have electricity, but that will cost you extra.
So, now that you have that organized, you will need to set up your space. You may vision a big wooden structure when you think of your space, but really it is just your portable store in this 10 x 10 foot area. Just how you use that space is up to you.
If you own a display tent, then some organizers will let you use a tent to separate you from your neighboring craft booths. This can be good, because, when a potential customer is going down the aisles, all the spaces can start looking the same.
Amazon Price: $419.95 Buy Now
(price as of Jun 16, 2015)
Instead of just parking a table at the front of your space and wasting all the space behind it, why not try and create a store. Something inviting. A friend of mine, who had done the craft show circuits for years, figured out a great way to display her products in a store like fashion, instead of piled all on one table.
Most of the other vendors were setting up their booths with the tables at the front or possibly 2 turned sideways.. But if you have vendors on either side of you, then really the only place for a customer is at the front of your booth. If you just happen to have a spot with the wall as the back of your space (like in auditoriums) or even if you back on to another vendor, try this layout next time. It will require 3 tables. (most of the craft show organizers will rent you tables as well).
For a great looking booth, put one table across the back of your space and then the two other tables at right angles along the side lines of your space.
This leave the front border open. It creates an inviting area, and you can lay out and display more products. Try and take yourself out of the square, and stand somewhere else, so that customers can have a good chance to browse.
This setup works well in busy shows, because when those doors open, many potential customers, basically get shoved down the aisle, and it becomes difficult to stop at too many vendors tables without holding up the aisle. This way the customer can get off of that "path" and into your store.
Setting up your spot in this way, allows them to take the time to enjoy your crafts and products. Display them nicely, and make sure they all have price tags on them.
Also make sure and have table cloths that will cover all three of these tables, you will need a few, and make sure they are plain in color. Find a complimentary color such as deep blue, burgundy or deep green, something that will accent your work and make them all the same colour.
Also make sure the table cloths in your craft show booth are long enough to cover the sides of the tables, this way you can keep your coats and supplies and other products under the table without looking messy.
Just because they only gave you a 10 x 10 space, doesn't mean you can't use it to your advantage. Many vendors will simply set up a table at the border of their craft show booth and then the customers have to stop right in the aisle to look at the work. Which tends to clog up the aisle.
Then the vendor is sat down at a chair on the other side of the table, basically starring at the customer, which makes them uncomfortable, or they may be the opposite, by sitting there reading a book and eating snacks with total disinterest.
If you are trying to set up a craft show booth, then try to invite the customers into the area. They can then see products along the back and both side of the craft booth. Spend some time on the craft displays and hopefully you will make some sales. Be available for questions but don't hover.
You are not wasting any space this way. As many vendors, not only just set up that one table, but then they pile up the rest of the space with boxes, tubs and their coats. Use the space to the best of your abilities. This of course does depend on what you sell. But even if you use turn styles and props for selling your crafts, create a craft booth with space enough to get the customers off the busy path.
If they feel relaxed in your "store" then they are more likely to pick something up, look at it and hopefully buy it. You can set up your "cash out" at one corner of the table, and also have a "sign up sheet" for any newsletter you may offer, or give them business cards with your website on it, if you also sell online.
The more organized your craft show booths look the better for your sales. So, most vendors do not like setting up, and that really shows at some of the craft booths. This setup is a reflection of your craft business. Try and set it up well.