December 2007 - Fairs and Festivals.Net Monthly Newsletter

March 2009

The Craft Show Advisor - Beginner's Guide to Your First Productive Craft Show - Author Bryan Johnson Blue Haven Tees

Tip 1 - Location, Location, Location

We've tried many different locations within a craft show and getting the key spots may be the key to doubling your sales. If possible, try to talk with the person arranging the booths to see if you can get a corner slot (i.e., on the end of the row), and even better, the closer to the entrance (if there is one), the better. There will typically be one main entry point where people will start from (or perhaps two), but try to get a spot towards the front, and a corner if possible. Also try to avoid locations where the rows are smaller and crowded. You can observe this at other shows to give you an idea of the best locations. Notice how busy the food vendor areas are? Not a bad idea to locate next to them!

Tip 2 - Go Vertical

Your display is a key as well to attracting visitors to your table, and if you lay all your products flat on the table, it's very hard to see in a crowd. They may have no idea what you're selling without some 'vertical marketing'. So try to set up a few products vertically (in our case, some shirts that are displayed on cardboard) or even just a nice looking sign with your company name and product information can be the eye-catching vertical element to your display.

Tip 3 - Work While you Work

People also like to see how products are made and like to see their product made to order - it conveys that custom special feeling, particularly if you are actually customizing the item with name, logo, etc. for that customer. Even if you're not (like in our case with tee shirts), you can still make the product in front of the customer at your booth. This will still attract attention to your booth - you're not just sitting around at the cash box - you're actually practicing your craft!

Tip 4 - Set Up Your Booth for Maximum Exposure

Remember to allow plenty of time to set up your booth, well before the show opens. With more experience, you can likely cut down on this time, but for starters, let's just say it always takes longer than you think it will take to set up your booth.

Another tip, use a tablecloth or cover to completely cover your tables down to the ground, and choose your colors wisely - i.e., something that will show off your products and complement them nicely (i.e., black covers work best for jewelry).

Tip 5 - You're Selling Yourself as a Crafter Too!

Remember, you're not selling to an Internet purchaser who clicks and buys. At craft shows, be conversational, be proud of how you make your items and explain how it's done. Don't just sit there like a bump on a log - be personal and your sales will greatly increase. I promise you on this one!

Tip 6 - Establish a Network of Crafters - Make Connections

Before and after the show, talk to other crafters, regardless of which products they may be selling. They are likely more experienced than you and will likely share with you further tips and where the next big show is! These relationships can last many years and you'll find that you will save yourself countless hours by picking up tips 'on the job' at shows. Many fellow crafters may become good friends!

Craft shows are great fun, can be a family event if you have a family-run business and can be very rewarding! Just remember for your profit margin, not to spend more at other craft booths than you actually take in at your own booth!

Bryan Johnson is the President and Co-Owner of

Blue Heaven Tees offers innovative and unique Christian Tee Shirts, Christian Hoodies and Sweatshirts and other great Christian gift ideas. Check out our new fall line now in stock for that perfect holiday gift this season!

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