Preparation Is The Key To Success
Now that you have selected a show or Pop up and have been selected, now the fun part begins. I use an old fashioned pencil and notebook. I always have. Its a notebook only for shows. I start a new one every year and keep the old ones for reference.
Now that you have the "tools" to start, let's start. Hopefully you have all you branding already, but if you don't here is a list of the things you need to have for any show you do.
- Business Cards- Including social media links, email and web site address.
- Signage- A simple wood, cloth or vinyl sign with your business name.
- Email sign up sheet- Something I don't do enough. Collecting customer emails is a very important tool for future sales.
I keep all these items in a show "kit" bag, always ready to go. I will talk more about developing your brand in another blog post soon.
Now let's dive into your basics for the show. Tent. Spring, summer and fall shows that are outside usually require a 10'x10' tent. Get a white tent, sides and weights. It's an investment but will pay for itself over time. Tables. Have white folding tables. 6' and a few small ones. Shelving if you need vertical height for visual appeal. All of these items are a ONE time purchase and will serve as a base for any show. Preparation is the key to success.
So now that you have all the tools, it's time to plan what your will be selling and how to display it in a way that draws customers and sales. I use my notebook to begin listing all things I will be making to sell. My list has a theme. It's important to have a cohesive look. Sticking to a theme allows the customer to enjoy what they are seeing and encourages sales. Just because you can make a large variety of thing doesn't mean you should bring them all to one show. Narrow down your list, have colors and themes work together. My last show was a holiday theme. Home for the holidays. The show was early November and customers are looking and shopping for decor. They may purchase some gifts but decor is what I focused on. I do pillows, lots of pillows. I may take one stencil design and do it in a few color ways. Say you did signs, you could do the same design in different colors and a number of each.
I've been asked, "How much do you make for a show" ? It's hard to know exactly how much to make. If you have done your homework on the show, you should have an idea of customer attendance. You need a full booth, not too full and not too little to look sparse. Only make a lot extra than what you think you may need if you have another show soon, is lost money. You want to sell out and encourage customers buy when they see it. Any left over merchandise goes up as a restock on my web site.
Now to display all your items after doing all the collecting, making, pricing. (be sure EVERTHING is priced or has clear signs. You can't sell it if it isn't priced) Start with the largest items and display so you eye looks all through you booth. Group like things together. Add different heights. Store backup so it doesn't look too crowded. There is so much inspiration online to use as reference. Check my Pinterest board, "Craft Show Displays" I've pinned several ideas.
I really love to create a special shopping experience. Customers are everything. After you get a few under your belt, you will get the hang of them. It takes time to get it right, but once you do, you are on your way to having a successful event, everytime. Next blog post will be part 3- How to run the booth on the show day.