We had our first craft show over the weekend and we sure did learn a lot! We learned what we need to do next time and one very important not to do for next time. It was a great experience overall, and even if we did not make that much money (we still made a profit) we gained a lot of value from it. We gained so much we want to make sure we share it all with you – hopefully you can learn a thing or two before your first show or your next show.
We are going to get right into the don’ts. This is a lot more valuable to most of us than the Do’s, as the Don’ts typically come with a price. That price, money, is a big thing for us that are just starting out and doing our first show.
Make sure you do your research on the craft show you are about to attend to learn the history of the show and the individual running it. We had someone reach out to us and invited us to her craft show and we felt honored! We didn’t even think about looking into the show she was putting together, how many times she has had this show, or where she plans to do her marketing. Turns out – we should have looked into that more!
This was her first show, she picked a good location and day, but thats all she relied on. Her marketing was senior citizens homes. Yes, senior citizens homes where they typically do not have access to cars or extra money to be spending on crafts! Our mouth dropped when we approached her about the horrible turn out and that was her response.
Her price for a booth was $100. Like we said before, she picked a good location and day but the $100 was more than 3x any other place we looked at. Of course, we looked at pricing the day after our show as we didn’t know to do that before hand. There are some extensive, massive 3 day craft shows in a much larger neighboring city that cost $150 for the weekend ($50 a day) and this show was $100 for the day. We did end up selling almost $300, which is roughly a $200 profit. Even with that, it was a huge learning experience of what we should do before agreeing.
Now we know, next time, we need to see the history of the show and the pricing of the show. A typical one day show at a high school or church should be around $20-$30 for the day and large weekend events should be around $50 a day. Also, we know to see how long the craft show has been going on. A craft show that has been going on for a few years or months will have a better turn out than a first time show (most likely). We were better off going to set up at the local flea market for $15 that day. Lastly, the person running the craft show should not be reaching out to vendors, vendors should be trying to reach out to the craft show to get a spot. If its a good show, you’ll want to get it, they wont be reach out to you via Facebook messenger.
This is just a few tips we learned that really helped us stick out, even when there was not that much traffic.
Your Booth Is Your First Impression
Make your booth as big and welcoming as you can! We requested a corner spot to make sure we could have as much floor space as possible. You can see a lot of our booth set up and pictures on our Crafting Instagram Page. This is your first impression so you need to make it good! People will see your booth from a distance the better you display everything and it will draw them towards you. They will automatically put two and two together of a well displayed booth with awesome crafts and items for sale.
We had a lot of people ask if we had an actually store just from how we had everything set up and displayed. They thought we did this every day at a store location and were shocked when we told them this was our first show. They all loved it and it attracted them to us.
Make Friends With Other Vendors
It was pretty easy to make friends with the vendors as we all had one thing in common – rage! We couldn’t believe the lady running the show got us to believe that we were going to get our money’s worth of a turn out.
This is great way to also find out about other shows as well. We had a lot of people message us after the show and talk about upcoming shows they think we would do good in. The majority of our sales at the end actually came from other vendors. The guests and the vendors just really loved our booth and ideas and they wanted to help us out. We are all small business and trying to grow, helping everyone out the best way we can will always work out for everyone in the end.
Be Active With The Customers
We feel we did the most sales out of all 58 vendors. We were set up in a corner but that was also the exit for the vendors. As a lot of them were taking down their displayed and carrying their items outside, we heard so many of them talking about how they didn’t break even, didn’t even make $100.
A lot of them just sat back, upset with the low traffic, and just were not in a good mood at all.
Even though the traffic was low, the pricing was high, and everything was just poorly done, we made sure to engage with as many people as possible. Every person that stopped at our booth we got up and talked about our items and before they left, we passed out our business cards! These would help them remember us for the next show, find our social media pages, and possible get a few sales from our etsy store!
We feel we did pretty good considering this is probably the worst craft show we will ever be apart of. We were still able to get a handful of sales, enough to make a profit, good friendships, and were able to spread our name out there. We gained a lot of knowledge and know what to look for when going to do another craft show, what to expect, what we can improve on, and how much we should be paying. We feel we did pretty good considering this is probably the worst craft show we will ever be apart of.
Hope this helps those looking to get into some craft shows here soon – just be sure to do some research!