My mom used to paint (quite well) and sold the paintings at craft shows. I remember sitting there as a kid and watching how she sold, how she set up. I remember all the work involved. It is a LOT of work. I've done a few small craft shows myself. My favorite part of craft shows is BUYING from them! I would much rather give $10 for something that is handmade by someone than $2 for something that came from China. I've been to a lot of craft shows, both big and small. One of my favorite to go to is the largest in Oklahoma. The Affair of The Heart. There is one in Tulsa and one in Oklahoma City. I always critique the displays in my head, always notice the little things. Coming home from the most recent craft show, I was thinking of everything I wish I could say to the vendors. But alas! I can! On my very own blog :) How can I get more sales at a craft show? How do I get more customers?
1. BE ON YOUR CELL PHONE:
This should be obvious, but it's not. It used to bother me when I was looking at someones things and they sat there texting or yacking on the phone. Now if I see someone doing this I just walk on by. Have a buddy with you if possible. If you have urgent info, go away from your table and do it. It's just rude to not give them attention.
2. A LITTLE OPENING INSIDE OF YOUR DISPLAY:
I think it's really pretty when a display looks like a castle, or has tons of antiques all around the 'door' with a little opening to go in. There are sometimes hundreds of people walking around the same area at once and I hate the feeling of having to fight people to go through the little hole. Please don't make a hole. It might seem appealing at first but people are too lazy to walk in and out. Or they don't want to be that close to other people.
3. BE ORGANIZED:
There was a product I wanted with just my grand-daughters name on it. The booth sold pretty little bulletin boards and offered free personalization. Then I find out that there's a line around the booth and that the lady selling them is making everyone stand and wait. If you personalize, please just keep a paper and pencil handy. Take the order, tell the customer it will be ready in 30 minutes and let them keep shopping. I have no patience and won't wait. Many many lost sales are due to my inability to stand in line. I know I'm not the only one.
4. HAVE THE PRICE DISPLAYED CLEARLY:
Make a big messy sign, or put a little tag on each individual product. It doesn't matter how you price it, but please DO IT. People get tired from walking for hours and they don't feel like asking how much each thing is. If it doesn't have a price I usually just put the product back down.
5. BE FRIENDLY AND PERSONAL:
I know that it's tiring to stand there for hours and hours. If I'm walking by and someone smiles and speaks to me nicely about their product, the least I do is take a card. Tell me that your sister makes the blankets. Explain the scents that you have that others don't. Show me what your product has that others don't. Personal stories draw me in every single time. Products I never even planned on buying I will buy. Because I like that you made it and I like that you took the time to tell me about it.
A fancy website isn't necessary but if you have a business, people must be able to contact you. It doesn't have to be expensive to make a business card. Write your information on a pretty tag. Write on a pretty piece of scrap fabric with sharpie. Sometimes I don't want to spend all of my money at once place and do online shopping later. If there is no way to contact you, you can't get a sale later on. The more creative you get, the better. My husband wrote out his information on a red solo cup. I thought this was such a crazy idea but everyone who talked to him took one and smiled and thought it was funny. The cups were pennies each, and I bet some of them still remember the funny guy with the red solo cup business cards. Facebook is free to add your business page to. I love 'liking' businesses on facebook and seeing all of the new products. This is a great way to build up fans.
7. OFFER A WORM:
Not a real worm, I don't want that! I've noticed over and over that when people offer a little handmade piece of cuteness for a dollar that I must have it. A big bucket of cuteness for a dollar each, a basket of hairbows for baby for a buck...whatever your speciality is. When there is something in the consumers hand that is yours and they know they will be spending money they are more apt to take the time to look around and maybe add something else to their buy. This also gets your business card and information in their hands. Everyone has a buck. Let them spend it on your awesome product!
8. HAVE ENOUGH STOCK:
When I go to a show, I plan on buying. Sometimes when I go up to a table there are only a few jars/pieces/bags. If there is nothing to buy, you won't sell anything.
9. HAVE CHANGE:
This should be a given, but I've had to put many a product back because the person didn't have change.
10. MAKE IT PERSONAL:
I recently walked by a Scentsy booth. The distributor was SO nice. She explained that she was a military wife and that she offers free shipping to all of her customers as a way to keep her customer base. In that one sentence she had a loyal customer for life! I am ALL FOR helping to support any military and who can say no to free shipping with every order?? It is definitely the little touches that get the sale. It is a hard economy and people are good and want to help out the little guy whose making everything piece by piece. Let them know how awesome you are and make them feel good for buying from you. I truly believe that is what it's all about!!