Whether you are brand new to the world of selling goods at fairs and craft shows, or if you are a seasoned expert, today’s economy dictates that just a bit more legwork is required in order for crafting to be profitable. Here in our neck of the woods we have our share of craft fairs, which seem to be growing in popularity.
This last weekend the kids and I jumped both feet in the water with a relatively new craft fair and vintage flea market called Humboldt Junkies. One Blessed Acre joined forces with Bluebird Mom – Chalk Couture. So, in addition to all of our great goat milk bath and body products, we had custom chalked signs on rustic wood boards and vintage windows.
In order to properly prepare for our booth, a couple weeks ahead of time we got together and ran through a trial set up of the booth. This is a must if you want to be prepared on set-up day at the actual fair. While it still took us three hours to completely set up the booth, it would have taken us several more hours if we hadn’t done this pre-preparation. When we got to the fair, we found out we had the front booth, the very first booth everyone would see as they were walking in. As soon as we saw this we realized we needed to adjust our layout to allow for the side entrance for customers to walk right into our booth. Being flexible was essential to our success.
Tables are a must for craft displays. Think outside of the box for display tables; not only functional ones but unique pieces. Risers and displays need to be creative, varying heights and textures. This allows a customer’s eyes to wander and observe your entire booth. We also combined products to show our customers possible gift giving ideas or ways to display their bath products at home.
Did you know you have 3 minutes or less to impress upon someone to walk into your booth and actually engage with your product? This is not a big window of time, so make sure your displays are sharp and easy to view. The “Rule of Seven” applies here; The Rule of Seven is an old marketing adage. It says that a prospect needs to see or hear your marketing message at least seven times before they take action and buy from you. So, above all have great signage. We had not only two large banners, but individual signs telling price, sizes, scents and product names. It’s important to have your business name and website displayed so customers will see it.
The day of the fair everyone was in a good mood. Make sure you are thoroughly rested and have a smile on your face. You only get one chance at a first impression and you want it to be a good one. How could you resist this adorable face asking you to try our goat milk lotion? Trust me, NO ONE did! Be sure to wear comfortable clothing and comfortable shoes! Standing on your feet all day can be quite painful.
Creating a theme for your booth is another way to be successful at craft fairs. This was the first year we attended this craft fair so we wanted to make a lasting impression upon our customers. A coherent stall with strong branding is helpful in getting our customers to remember our booth. If you can, carry your branding into your packaging so that when a customer buys something they will be taking it home in one of your paper bags with a business card included. Think about who your target market is and tailor your booth to this clientele.
At the end of the day, a successful craft fair means that you had a great time at the craft fair. It also means that contacts were made with people that you’d never met before. These can lead to potential sales at future craft fairs. The learning experiences that our children were exposed to over the weekend are innumerable and invaluable. Just a quick few to mention; making change, writing receipts, product merchandising, customer service, product knowledge and sales. Never underestimate these skills and how important they can be to learn. When I evaluated our results for this craft fair, we came right in at successful!