Before You Go: Craft Show Preparation
There are some questions you need answered before you start getting
ready for the show. These may seem obvious, but you'd be surprised how
many don't ask.
Plan ahead. Can you do the show alone or do you need someone
with you to set-up, break down, or "cover" for you during
any necessary breaks or to help with rush hour crowds.
Display: How many tables and/or chairs are provided, or do you
have to provide all your own display set-ups and materials. Some shows
offer both, you can rent tables or bring your own displays. You can
buy or make your displays. Keep in mind they must be portable, and easy
to transport in the vehicle you have along with the inventory you need
for the show. Make sure the fabric you are using to cover your tables
match, don't have stains, and are large enough to drape to the floor.
Is electricity offered? Do you have enough lamps, extension cords and
bulbs? Be sure to bring lots of extension cords (outdoor grade) and
outlet strips. There are times you only have one outlet to work from.
And be sure the wattage of your lamps does not exceed the capacity of
that outlet. Many a booth has been stuck with intermittent lighting
as their expensive high-wattage lamps keep blowing the circuit.
Show policies and procedures. What if a buyer approaches
you that wants to buy wholesale, or place your work on consignment
in their shop or gallery. Will you offer special order? What
is your return policy? Do you want to take orders for custom
Do you have printed hand-outs ready? Always have at
least a business card, brochure, price list or show schedule
ready to use as a bag stuffer or a hand-out to potential customers.
leads to future sales after the show. This is especially important
when you main marketing is in craft shows at different locations
every week., people need to know how to contact you other
than at a show. You can often get Business
Cards printed free from online print services.
Be sure to find out ahead of time
- what times you have to be ready and fully set up in your booth
- is there a rule about leaving early?
- how early you can begin to set up your booth
Organize your inventory into bins by section or type, so that you can
easily put up a section, and then take it down and store it. Have separate
bins for administrative materials (sales forms, staplers, tape, handouts)
and for utility items (extension cords, table risers, table covers,