Simple Tips for Success with Craft Shows

March 2012

Image courtesy: renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.netImage courtesy: renjith krishnan /

Despite the fact that crafted products are readily available online, people from all walks of life continue to enjoy going to craft shows to shop in person. Taking the products you make to shows of various kinds can help you make a name for yourself and provide you with a great income if you go about things the right way. Here are some simple tips to help you enjoy success with craft shows.

Choose Shows Carefully

There are many different types of craft shows available, particularly around holidays and as seasons begin to change. Some are juried, meaning that a panel decides which crafters can participate based on perceived quality; non-juried craft shows allow everyone to participate. Non-juried shows are often a bit more diverse, and they normally cost a bit less to enter.

Booth fees should be based on the quality of the show, and if fees seem high, ensure you are getting a good return on your investment in terms of advertising and amenities, such as tables. After determining which shows you want to attend, find out how to apply, and reserve your space as soon as you can.

Follow Show Rules

No matter what type of show you are attending, be sure you follow all the rules regarding booths, equipment and what you are to wear. Be on time for the show, and set up when it is time to set up. Also, do not tear down your booth earlier than permitted. Every show has different rules; what is encouraged at one show may be disallowed at others. Be sure you read, understand and follow all rules and you’ll be fine.

Focus on Sales

Ensuring your booth is a place people will enjoy shopping in is just half the battle; now, you’ve got to sell. The good news is that people do not want you to follow them around, talking incessantly while they are trying to shop. Instead, they just need a simple greeting, and they may want some answers to some questions. Be yourself, and act natural to enhance customer comfort, but refrain from chattering away.

Product Presentation

Be sure customers can see merchandise clearly without the need for craning their necks or stooping low. This is one reason why vertical displays work so well – they allow the eye to fall on desirable items, and do so quickly. Of course, some items do require floor space, and others should be hanging. Jewelry ought to be in a lighted case; no matter what, though, be sure your eye level area is appealing.

In addition, keep plenty of stock on hand. If you walked into a store that had only five items displayed, do you think you would buy anything? Probably not. Keep your shelves full to fulfill the customers’ need to browse. Add filler items to hide empty space if you run out of stock – floral arrangements, decorative lamps, or other items that go with the general theme of your booth. 

Remember to bring a friend to keep you company and watch the booth while you take little breaks, and ensure you establish a method for dealing with shoplifters. Dress the part, put a big smile on your face, and enjoy yourself – after all, that is partly why you have chosen to participate in the first place. By following these tips, you’ll be more likely to experience success with craft shows.


my friend want me to start working with her to sell her jewelry and I was just reading your ad for some tips on how to go about things.

By sue sheehan on March 29, 2012

I was just reading your tips

By erlinda dona on March 30, 2012

Thanks for the tips, I am having a vendor show this coming April.I hope it will be successful.

By erlinda dona on March 30, 2012

Some good ideas here! Just starting out, so I"m sponging up all the info I can get to sell my books and some tribal products from Thailand. Elaine Masters

By on April 30, 2015

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