The summer craft show season is upon us! But before you pack up your wares and fill up your cash box, check out these Craft Show Success Tips from Crafty Chica, Kathy Cano-Murillo.
Vickie Howell covered all the ways makers can profit from their talents in her class, Monetize Your Craft. But when it was time to talk craft shows, she called up Crafty Chica. Kathy, if you don’t know her already, is a maker who has been working the craft show circuit for years. She’s most definitely been there, done that and she generously assembled her 7 best tips for finding success at a craft show.
Pick the Right Crowd
The demographics of an event can make a big difference in whether a maker’s crafts sell or not. Crafty Chica recommends choosing an event where the audience fits the product being sold.
“If the crowd isn’t necessarily the right crowd, don’t discount it if they’re going to be doing a ton of marketing for it and you think that you can put a spin on it,” Howell says. “But mostly, I would say just choose the right event.”
Choose an Established Event
A new event may not draw as many people as one that has a built-in customer base who attend every year. Crafty Chica recommends choosing a craft show where organizers do a great deal of marketing, a large event, or a new event that is being held in a high-traffic area.
Less Up Front
Crafty Chica recommends keeping your initial investment to a minimum, especially since booth fees can be costly for some events. She recommends steering toward those events that take a percentage of sales instead of a flat booth fee.
If you’ve never presented at a particular event, you likely have no idea how much product to bring. It’s always best to ask the promoter what attendance count the event is expected to have.
When judging how much product to bring, Crafty Chica recommends bringing at least two to three higher-priced items, as well as about a dozen of your lower-priced or most popular items. As Howell puts it, “You want eye candy and higher-end stuff to get people to stop, but more often than not, people are going to nab the impulse buys. Bring at least one ‘wow’ piece. One thing that they can see across the room, even if you know it’s totally overpriced.”
Invest in Branding
You can get tablecloths printed at office stores that have your logo or the name of your brand on them. If not a tablecloth, Crafty Chica recommends investing in signage. It’s really important that people know who you are and how to find you. Howell adds that she would also suggest having your website or online shop URL printed along with your logo or business name. If you have social media accounts, you should add those handles, as well, she says.
“Let people take pictures of your stuff,” Howell said. “People get a little nervous about that. That’s free publicity. Just ask them to tag you so that you have that picture and you can share it.”
Set ‘Em Up
One of the most important things about participating in a craft show is being there early. This gives you a chance to look good when people begin showing up. Howell also recommends checking beforehand to determine what the lighting will be like.
Taylor Hart, owner of Nothing but a Pigeon, recommends sticking to local shows in the springtime, since people buy less during that season. That helps keep travel and lodging expenses from outweighing any profits you’ll earn.
Check out the complete Monetize Your Craft Q&A with Crafty Chica in the video below: