Saturday, October 15, 2011

Craft Show Ideas......I am speaking as a customer

My daughter and I have started a tradition of going to local craft shows and trying to see what treasures we can find.  It is our girls day....

I never have something I want, or something I am looking for.  I personally look for something that is unique and different that I haven not seen before.  I have had a craft booth before.  My grandmother retired and ran her own quilting business for over 20 years and as a teen, twenty year old, and 30 year old I went to every craft show.  She had great success with her business.  I designed her business cards, ordered handmade personalized sewn on tags, Designed and made signage and sold all of her quilts.  She always priced things way to low....she need me to be there and be the bad guy.   I even made alot of her displays.     As a marketing person I had few suggestions to draw attentions and potential customers to your booth.  I only hope to help and not to criticize.  I am using my observations as a customer.  Please feel free to comment on some ideas you have.  I AM GOING TO RAMBLE..I hope I don't forget anything.  You don't have to spend alot of money to make a wonderful booth.  The more booths the more you will learn what works for you.

1.  SIGNAGE.  There were over 200 hundred vendors at this craft show and maybe 50 had any signage at all.  It is so nice to have some little sign to tell who you are and what you sell.  Some booths Had a few people blocking tables.  I couldn't even see what you were selling?  Signage is soooo easy.  You can make a sign in Microsoft Word using 11x17 layout and then take it to your local office supply store to print and laminate.  It will cost less than $5 for a full color sign....Make your own sign using a try putting it together with scrapbook paper and sticker letters....If you are a quilter....QUILT A SIGN.  If you are a knitter...Wrap yarn around some inexpenisve foam letters...Or try THIS.  Or purchase some wooden letters and a wooden plaque.  You can find many of them at a the dollar store.  And old chalk board can be fun as well.  I know for a fact you can purchase chalkboard paint for $1.69 in the acrylic paint section of your craft store.  I have made a few signs for gifts.
SIGNAGE IS ALSO IMPORTANT FOR...returning customers.  If you have the same booth every year folks will want to find you....OR if they are not ready to purchase from you right now....(example baby on the way but no sure if it is a boy or a girl...)they may see you sign an take a business card...Keep your business cards out on your table.

I was just web surfing to find some ideas and The owner of Etta + Billie made her sign with an old sheet and some T-Shirt transfers.  You can't fit all of the words on one page, but look how wonderful.

2.  YOU ITEMS NEED TO BE SEEN FROM A DISTANCE.  I walk and glance as I go.  As I was leaving today I kept thinking.  I wonder if I missed anything?  I didn't see hardly anything I was interested in.  Don't lay all of your items FLAT on a table...Expecting folks to come and dig on your table.  Most folks decide to stop by first glance. I am looking for something to catch my EYE.  If you sell jewelry lay some flat....but prop your best selling pieces up... Here is a great jewelry holder tutorial.  If you can't get a peg board you can use needle point plastic...They come in lots of colors...and they are really cheap.  Or aluminum screening from a home depot Sometimes they come in 12x12 squares.

I saw quite a few knitters and crocheters just toss all of the hats and scarfs on the table.  It was so sloppy and unprofessional.  You worked so hard on those crafts....Don't just toss them on the table.  Put like items in a basket with a tag on the outside...If you don't have a head form to display a hat...Use a doll.  Barter with a photographer to use your hats as props for their clients in exachage for photos...of the clients with our product on display.  (happens all the time.  Place those 8x10 photos behind a basket of hats...)  IT WILL ATTRACT ATTENTION.  My little girl LOVES crochet hats. dig with her at my side...They should be CHEAP....well I decided to pass and just look on etsy.  Check out this display...LOVE IT.  I love the colors.  Doesn't it just grab your attention???
I love this headband display the handbands are on Large PVC/plumbing pipes covered with can just stand them don't need to build an acrylic box like this

this would be a great way to display might even sell this for a cute addion to a little girls room...

I love this simple handmade hat rack.  Weigh the bottom and it will not blow over in wind.

This is a more complex display...but I love the prices at the top and how easy this would be
to maintain....

Look at this...this would be easy to store your products in...and then just hang it to display it

I love this display idea for handmade cards.  I don't think a customer could see them as well if they were flat on a table.

3.  YOUR BOOTH LAYOUT.  I saw a few booths I wanted to look at more.  BUT I had to squeeze into the booth...with my little girl and I felt cramped.  My little girl is very very very good, but.... I didn't like it.  There were several booths like that.  I don't want to enter your little closet...Open your booth up...Make it to where several customers can purchase at the same time.  Don't underestimate moms with strollers...they came to buy and love handmade items..Don't make it where they can't shop.  I know sometimes there are some space constraints but try your best.  Open it up...Use your vertical space.   I love it when folks pull there table back......and put some other tables on the side...Like a Gaint E without the middle line...I hope that makes sense??..Don't box me in.

4.  DECORATE YOUR BOOTH.  A first glance attracts people to your both.  Your booth should welcome customers.  If you use a tablecloth Think about your colors.  It doesn't have to be something expensive.  Your local fabric store sells cheap fabric on clearance.  If you can't sew...Barter with someone who can....OR use a liquid sew to make your make your seams.  If you sell small items...that will fit in the palm of your hand....Use a very plain tablecloth.  If you have a pattern on your tablecloth it can complete with your product.  OR place your small items on a tray....

I made 4 purchases today.  No one asked me to follow them on Facebook.  No one gave me a business card.  No one asked for my name and address...(you can have a drawing for a free item)  I really liked those items I wouldn't have stopped if I didn't....I may want to see something you have in the future.  You need customers....Don't through away opportunities....READ my blog post on QR Codes.
You can do everything right and some customers will not stop at your booth.  Don't take it personally.  I don't purchase make-up, and I don't usually purchase food or mixes, I also don't purchase hair bows...I have a hairbow lady already.  I also don't have any babies in the family so I don't stop at baby booths...But sometimes I break the rules.  I purchased a headband today....