This past Saturday I participated in my first craft show!
Pretty exciting stuff. If you ready my Catching up with Cori post in August, you already know I have been a jewelry making maniac for the last couple months. It all came together in the end (thank goodness) and I had a great time!
I also learned a few things. I thought I would share them, just in case anyone else out there is new to the craft show world. Here are the lessons from my first craft show:
1. Don’t be a helicopter artist.
You know you’ve heard the term “helicopter parent”. This is the same thing. You don’t need to hover around every person at your booth. At the start of the show I was worried that people would think I didn’t care about their presence, but I quickly learned that hovering could be intimidating. Say hi and then just feel the person out. You’ll know if they are a Chatty Kathy or a Leave-me-be Laura.
2. Bring freebies.
While the display is really the biggest way to draw people in, having little freebies is a thoughtful way to start a conversation. The show we did was outdoors in a neighborhood which meant a couple of things: 1. It’s Louisiana. So it’s going to be HOT. 2. People will be walking around with their pets. We made home made pup treats and had plenty of cold bottles of water to hand out. It really made people feel more comfortable with us and ended up making them hang around longer!
3. The Leave-me-be Laura that isn’t buying anything but is hanging around is actually your friend!
I noticed that we had an increase in walk ups when someone was already standing there. People just seemed more attracted when they saw other people hanging out around us. They wanted to see what all the buzz was about! So don’t be quick to get irritated with the person who’s just wandering around you. They are actually doing you a favor!
4. Talk to the vendors around you.
Especially if you are new to the show, or just craft shows in general! We got some great tips on displays and different upcoming shows from the other artists around us. They were SUPER friendly and not at all competitive or secretive with their knowledge. It’s like a little family that wants everyone to succeed! We even got a couple sales from them. Artists supporting artists. It’s a great thing.
Got this little blue guy from one of the artists next to me! I’ve named him Beardsley. Isn’t he the cutest?! Get yours here!
5. Offer an array of price points if possible.
Obviously if your trade is something very specific, it could be hard to have a variety of prices. Since I make jewelry, it’s pretty easy for me to have different levels of items. Most of my items in my Etsy shop are between $20 and $60. In preparation for the show, my mom and I made tons of little friendship bracelets that we sold for $5 and $10. There were a ton of families at this event, so when the kids came up with their little velcro wallets and wanted to buy something, we actually had something to offer. The parents were very thankful for this!
6. Have fun!
I was SO stressed about making back the money I had invested and making sure everything was perfect and in the right spot and blah blah blah that I almost forgot that this is supposed to be a fun thing. I started my Etsy shop because I love creating things, not to have another source of stress in my life. Thankfully, I brought my husband, mother, and mother-in-law who helped to remind me to enjoy what I had put together!
So that is what I’ve learned so far. I’m sure there will be tons of lessons in the future and I welcome them.
Have any of you participated in a craft show? How did it go? Any pearls of wisdom to share with us newbies??