Improve Your Booth Etiquette to Increase Sales at Craft Shows

February 2014

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As with any retail business, craft shows require a certain level of etiquette to ensure you are bringing in as many sales as you can. It isn’t enough to be talented; you also need to be aware of the other aspects of this industry that can result in higher profits. They say you catch more bees with honey than vinegar, and the same rings true in the world of craft shows. 

The most important aspect of booth etiquette for arts and craft shows is to be nice. These shows can be long and stressful, and depending on the weather, they can also be incredibly miserable. However, you can’t let this show to your customers. Always keep a smile on your face and be prepared to grit your teeth when someone asks you the same question for the millionth time that day. By having a positive attitude during the entire process of a customer’s transaction, they will be more likely to return, maybe even with friends. It isn’t just the customers you need to be nice to either. The vendors surrounding your booth will be your neighbors for several hours so you might want to stay on their good side. Even if you aren’t the biggest fan of them as a person or what they are selling, being pleasant to them will keep the day going smoothly and keep an air of positivity around you and your booth. 

You should also be prepared to stay open until the end of the show or festival. If you start packing up your wares early, your customers may feel like it’s time to go home. Those customers are the reason you are putting money in your pocket, so you want to provide them with as much of an opportunity to buy your products as possible. Fellow vendors are also likely to be bothered by an early takedown since it may drive customers away thinking the show is over. 

Above all, be professional. This may be a hobby for some, but a job for others. Don’t treat the area as your own personal trash can and pick up after yourself when you make a mess. That should be a given since we are all adults here. If you consider your booth to be your place of business, act like it. You want your customers to feel confident when making a purchase from you. If you’re friendly, professional, and ready to stay open past the time of closing, you will definitely see a marked improvement in your booth sales. 


Nice and good tips each vendor should be thinking in mind.

By Meenu Madan on February 27, 2014

Thank you so very much for writing this article!
I am working on starting my own craft business and everything you have mentioned is more for me to learn and remember as I go through my journey.
Great suggestions, tips and advice!
Thank you,
Sharon Greene

By Sharon Greene on March 5, 2014

Great information !

By Kelvin Gilbert on March 10, 2014

I’ve been making hand made jewelery for almost 3 yrs. now, I’ve learned it on my own by reading lot online. I’ve sold lot of my jewelry just one on one.  I bring my jewelery with me everywhere I go. I advertise by wearing jewelery on me. Sometime, I’m lucky, that people will ask me where I got my jewelery. Sometime, that how i get my orders. Showing people my work, it gives ideas what true colors, style, sizes. Also, this way, I can answer there questions right there and then. I feel, pictures on webs, don’t always give them very clear looks, true colors, and the style.  I don’t know anything about starting business, but same time I’m scared to start on my own. I can’t drive, due to my physically disable and use power chair to get around. I will admit, that I’m totally clueless, where to go, or get support to sell my jewelery. Any feedback, suggestions, or advice will be great.  Thank you.

By Gracie 2004 on March 10, 2014

I’m also looking for places to sell my handmade hair bows, barrettes & head bands. And the hand made items are for all ages. I also make perfume oils , all natural for men/women, of all ages . Please keep me posted on places to sell. I’m not set up yet with my tax I’d #. But, I do know there are many other craft shows to attend without..Thanks again, Sincerely Tina

By Tina Lewis on May 7, 2014

I am a Thirty-One consultant and I have to admit that vendor events are a new concept for me, but one that I am excited about. I have seen a lot about insurance. Could you please tell me more about this. I want to make sure that I do everything correctly. Thank you so much for your article.

Dana Collins

By Dana Collins on May 30, 2014

Best advice I can give to new vendors is don’t get discouraged, you may do several events and sell very little or you may sell great one time and not so good the next 3 or 4 times.  you have to learn areas that your product sells the only way to do that is take your product to different events in different areas;  and sometimes the same area a couple times

By ATUDYES on June 17, 2014

I’m glad to see it in writing I have seen several business leave early but I usually drag my feet. Seems like if one business packs up then the rest starts, Some are already driving off when I am just breaking down the business. I had a lovely conversation with two lady vendors after the show and we exchanged more craft show events. I probably would not have been aware of these events if we had not taken the time to talk a little while packing up. Thanks for the clues.

By Jestina Jeffries on November 21, 2014

I make crochet items. Like hanging kitchen towels, table runners, doilies, dish/wash clothes, and some baby blankets.
When I lived upstate NY baby items were hot sellers along with my hanging kitchen towels. I moved to Tn three years ago,and my baby items don’t move but my hanging towels have been moving along with the wash clothes. I started making wash clothes about a year and half ago.
I have done some of the new scarfs with sashay yarn.
How do I find out what is new coming out for next year. A lot of crafters find out what is new but I don’t find out until I go to shows. I don’t know how they do it.
Please let me know how I can do it

By Pat on December 18, 2014

I have been selling jewlery for three years now.  I have learned a few things that might help others.  WHAT NOT TO DO. lol.  My first year I sold a few sets at almost every event.  Second year was better and I had better quality of jewls to sell.  Third year I got desperate.  I felt hurt if someone tried on my items then did not buy them.  I felt I had to talk to EVERY person that passed my booth.  That was not working.  Finally I decided to be quiet for a bit.  IT WORKED!!!  ii was trying to hard.  Once a learned to sit back and let the jewelry sell itself the festival went much better.  Do not be offended if someone doesn’t buy every time.  RELAX,  enjoy the day!  Don’t try and force a sell, There may be 100 different reasons why they did not buy that one day!  They might be back tomorrow.  It really did make a difference in my sales.  Do not let anyone hurt your feelings. It will drag you down and your sales with it.

By Debbie on March 3, 2015

I feel for all the comments I have read today.  Most of us turn to crafting or jewelry making simply because our bodies do not allow us to be out in the work force full time standing on or feet or many other reasons. 
Crafting and actually selling it is so very difficult for home made crafts.  Other countries can sell it for so much cheaper that it makes a never ending chore of trying to find unique things that people will buy.
  Step back people and remember what Debbie said on March 3, 2015.  DO NOT TAKE IT PERSONALLY.  That has been my biggest problem.  What did I do wrong.  Trust me, we are doing nothing wrong.  The key is to find a big variety of people in one place.  I just signed up for FairsandFestivals and I hope they will help.
  I am new to my area and so I know no one and have tried to do a few flea markets at a local place.  Either the weather is bad or well, you know the drill.
Do Not LOSE CONFIDENCE.  We can do it.  Heck. we put too much time into it to quit now, RIGHT?????      Do not under price your items in panic.  Remember, there is a match for every item you lovingly make, the key is to be around enough people to find that person.
GOOD LUCK ALL…        sorry, I am frustrated too and it’s nice to share.
Have a profitable day and   keep smiling, even if it kills you…

By on October 1, 2015

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