Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Craft Show Check List

Setting up for a show is overwhelming. Its easy to forget things and if you are just starting out in the whacky world of selling your wares you are bound to not think of something. Here is my general checklist. Obvious things are included and well as the less obvious.

1. Table
2. 2 chairs. One for me. One for intern Ruth.
3. Tent
4. Tent sides
5. Tent weights
6. Bungee cords or whatever you use to attach tent weights
7. Tablecloths (Press them!)
8. Any display items
9. Work that is boxed up in an organized fashion. I make myself notes on boxes on which to unpack first. With ceramics its easy to lose track and I want to be able to find work quick if a customer asks for something that isn't on my table.
10. Bag (multiple sizes)
11. A few empty boxes just in case I have a big sale
12. Packing tape
13. Wrapping material
14. Lots of business cards (more than you think you will ever need)
15. Mailing list sign up
16. Flyers with my classes listed on them for hand out
17. Receipt books/Cash/Change/Cash Box
18. Credit card swiper do-dad
19. Pens
20. More work than you think you need. The rule of thumb is that a good show will have earnings 10x your booth fee. Therefore a $100 entry fee should be a $1,000 show. Not always the case. But if you only have $1,000 of merch prepared you are limiting yourself to only selling $1,000. I've been in shows where I have barely broken even and I have also had shows that garnered 20x the entry fee. Worst case scenario, you have less work to make for you next show. Or the leftovers can go on Etsy.
21. A positive attitude and a smile. I absolutely hate when I walk into a booth and a vendor is totally ignoring me and reading a magazine. You need to greet your customers and engage them. Acting like you don't care if they are there or not doesn't help you sell a thing. If I learned anything from retail hell its that your body language can effect the shopper. Sitting around with your arms crossed also bad. Look happy. Even if its a slow day. No one knows that. You have great work and need to show people the personality behind it.
22. Don't complain about the show or the other vendors in front of customers. Go home, pour a glass of wine and THEN complain. We all have our unprofessional moments. Keep meltdowns and criticisms to yourself.

Well there's my list. I'm sure I forgot something. But hopefully it helps when you start to prepare for a show.

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