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Strategies for Busy & Slow Shows

Lesson 32 from: Secrets of Selling at Craft Fairs: How to Get In, Make Sales, and Grow Your Business

Nicole Stevenson

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Lesson Info

32. Strategies for Busy & Slow Shows


Class Trailer



Craft Shows Should be a Part of Your Business


Introduction: How to Have a Successful Craft Show Experience


Why You Should Be Doing Craft Shows


Is Your Business Ready for a Craft Show?


Now is the Time for Craft Shows


Get Your Product Ready


Branding Your Business


Lesson Info

Strategies for Busy & Slow Shows

So let's talk about busy and slow shows what are some strategies or some some issues that you face during busy and slow shows I think we've already kind of mentioned a few of them slow show you have a minute write these down actually so slow show you have um yeah yeah well we have that annoying vent the annoying neighbor vendor what are some other issues that's a solution which I don't want to talk about what was that get tired tired you want to leave early slow slow slow yeah take changes and when you fail when sort of this kind your kind of your mental status change it's like you're moving just like mac so yeah it goes down um what was the one time there was one right before the mood that I wanted to leave early once yeah you want teo release your commitment you want to release yeah maybe a little further on that crap tastic says you know when it's slow I kind of lose my mo jonah want to reduce the price yeah no mojo you want to go all in for all in for um bargaining yeah well there ...

might be two answer we'll just uh okay that's great what about at what about a busy shows what are the issues you faced in busy shows all the customers yeah how to handle the customers um take a break I'm just gonna write bathroom their bathroom and food that's really what we have to do when we need a break most the time uh well breathe some people like to breathe um what customer service could go down because you're so busy? Yeah, so down in your service standard's not able to restart running out of change that's a great one let's just solve that one right now get extra change way I feel like we have a lot here do you have anything else to wei have a lot I'm donna says possibly running low on merchandise if you're super busy, I'm I really like this one they don't have a user name but on a slow day just knowing how to make a customer feel welcome without being overbearing when you only have that one person under the tent yeah, so that's kind of like our service standards to write because our service standards are you know, being engaging and doing that story telling but when you're like so excited to see that customer, you're kind of like a puppy and you're like hi how's it going hey, hey, hey, um way have a lot and, uh I'm definitely going toe talk about I think all of these except for no change, which just I have lots of change eso at slow shows here's what here's what I like to do to handle these kinds of issues network with vendors you know, this is my number one thing that I like to do in a slow show, usually when you're at a show it's super busy, it's like you don't have time to meet anybody, and these are your appears, these are your people, you know, you want to hang out with, and this is where this is, when you have time to do that, sharing that we talked about it, the resource in the conferences and the blog's and, you know, remind you again to be open and to ask questions, and she just really liked the same way that your connection with your customer the same way that you would make a friend that that's what you're doing, you're making a you're making a work friend, you're making a co worker since we don't have co workers, and then I really like to support the show, so I always take advantage of that time to shop, you know, I've had a show that was so slow that I actually just like, I didn't have a helper, I just like I ended my boots, I was just like, who cares if somebody steals something at this point, there's only three other people in this building, so we'll know exactly who it is, you know? And then I just headed out and I went shopping you know I happen to be in an okay situation money wise to do that at that time but sometimes you're not that doesn't mean that you can't support by offering compliments you know trading that's a great time for trading as long as it is a comfortable trade but yeah so shows I would do a lot of trading and then readjusting reassessing and adjusting so thinking thinking about your goals those goals that you had set and then realizing okay my goal was to make money that's not gonna happen what can I get out of this you know, maybe I could make that one connection with that one person maybe I can set a new goal to have news you know really connect people and get people onto my newsletter whatever that new goal is going to be and then I also use that time to examine my boost display you know and really look at it does when you're too busy show you don't have time to think about that stuff and then like we said focusing on that customer you do have so you have that one person drawing yourself back giving your like inner puppy a puppy xanax or whatever you need to do so that it like relaxes a little bit and like dialling it down a notch and dedicate that time to that one customer really your dog had surgery oh my gosh I tell me tell me all about it you know this's dog surgery talk time you know, I finally have time for this and the other thing that I like to do is through that market research and solicit that feedback you know? So when somebody's coming up hi I just actually came came out with this new with this new bracelet here and I just did this color combination what do you think about it? You know, that's the time and then not even doing that asking market research but just doing the market research where you're the observer so you just watch how people are interacting and then you write it down when they walk away, you know, this is this is my thing that got picked up the most was that the placement was that the thing was that the color what did this and you're analyzing it for yourself? And then we talked about this where we started to talk about is getting stuff done, you know? I always would bring work with me. Um my my work that I would bring was like, little hand handiwork stuff it's always something that I can easily put away that I don't have to say, oh, let me finish these two stitches before I talked to shoo, you know, it's something that I could just drop drop at a moments notice some people to dio yeah, that was spinning yarn which I told you it's just like it's like a magnet for people you know everybody wants to scene it's also this kind of, you know, old school craft you know, it helps like being adorable and sitting there without shoes on and just like spinning or whatever it's called I think it's called spinning andi you know what I said before about like the customer and like acting like, you know, coming out to that other side of your booth that action creates interest, this action creates interest anything that you're doing is going to create interest in your booth and then when I talked really about inventory was a great time should inventory when it's slow, I had never taken inventory until I did my first really slow show and I was so bored and I was trying to this thing like there weren't really like cell phones the way there are now back then, like cellphones were just phone it's basically so like what I had nobody left to call, you know, it wasn't like something that could entertain you there was no social media, so and I hadn't brought a book with me and I was losing it like really losing it, losing it so much that inventory sounded really fun, so I just got a piece of paper and a pen and I just walked around my booth and took inventory at the same time I was touching my stuff and then people would come up, but you know, I made that time pass faster instead of you're just looking at the clock busy shows what's going on my first thing that I say boo remember that guy? Yes hire an assistant also create that game plan, you know if you're by yourself, create a game plan for yourself when you go to work at your regular job or when you someday went to work at a regular job, you go in there knowing what you're going to do that day, you either figure it out or your boss tells you this is your job know what you're going to do that day don't figure it out when you when you get there, plan that out and then with your assistant that's especially important, the last thing you want to do is you say ok, this is how you work a square this's the password your signed into your square, you're square ahead of time and you have those duties divided so that everything is clear, you're doing the stuff you're good at your assistant's doing the stuff that they're good at, that he or she is good at and then you want to set those times for restocking we talked about, you know, not being able to restock well every every two hours I'm looking around and you know if one if one thing about a sold I put that one thing back because if it gets super busy having that one thing there is going to make it if you do that regularly it will help and then also pre packaging your bags if you have you know, bags that you d'oh so they're already package they already have tissue paper they already have your business card they're already ready to go one of some friends of ours edu harvey's seatbelt bags are all bags made out of seat belts and one of the things I love is it inside of every bag of theirs that you buy they have these small business cards and they're already in that little pocket and people really I mean anybody that has one of their bags knows you're constantly getting complimented so you just pull that out your customer becomes your marketing rough basically and having having extra supplies you know you have that extra square in case your square breaks you have a backup for those things that are europe that are irreplaceable, you know, like like a square that's really going to make or break you and then setting up your booth display as if the show is going to be busy we talked about making room for your customer you want to think okay, you're not just think about one customer being here you're thinking about maybe half half of us, you know, half of the studio audience all being here. You know, that's when we remember about our sign and you think about if you have a walk in booth, what would I do with this amount of people in here? This is something else that I love which is entertaining your customer in line. So if people are going to be waiting there, give them something to dio right? When you go to target the grocery store, what is? What is all that stuff that's their all that stuff you don't need but you suddenly cannot live without, you know, all of a sudden I have a hankering for beef jerky. Plus, I need some manaka and some chap stick, you know, and gum and a mini flashlight. Yes, it's a place to put now I have, like, a little traded up about that has my email list on it too. So sometimes people are kind of so you can sign up for that while people are at the table. Yeah, ever you keep them entertained, you keep them engaged, you get him coming back, you know, they're already standing there. Also like having a look book. There is something else that I like to have, you know, it can just be small and like instagram size, so that it's not taking out much space on your table. And then you write something clever that fits your branding on the outside, something that will make them want to open it. Your cover's, made out of leather in hand, stamp everything on. Then your press clippings is another thing, like that's, a great time to showcase how awesome you are, you know. So you have that little book with your with your press clippings in it and that's, when people are going to get into that.

Class Materials

Free Downloads

Craft Show Secrets Syllabus.pdf

Bonus with Purchase

Craft Show Readiness Checklist
Craft Show Timeline Checklist
Profit and Loss Worksheet With Examples
Packing Checklist
Craft Show List
Benefits and Goals Worksheet
Branding Worksheet
Post Craft Show Checklist
Craft Show Application Checklist
Brand Mood Board Exercise

Ratings and Reviews


It was an awesome experience. I learned so much from Nicole. She is entertaining and so knowledgeable that I feel I left the show with soooooo much info. I loved being in the studio audience, I met so many great people, crafters and new friends I feel we all became one big support for each other. I am putting to good use everything I learned. I look forward to coming back to Creative Live for another learning experience. Craft Show Secrets taught me all the ins/outs of craft shows ...I'm excited for my next craft show. Time to Create!!!

Lisa Jones

Great Class! Full of practical information + tools about how to REALLY succeed doing shows. I have attended many a craft show and found an enormous amount of useful tips. I especially loved the bonus material! Thank you Nicole and Creative Live for keeping it real + FUN!!

a Creativelive Student

I've been growing my business successfully online for the last six years, but hadn't shown my work in person for a decade. As a refresher, I took Nicole's craft show class to be sure that I made the most of the time I would have in front of my customers. Because of the preparedness and mindset that I gained from Nicole's teaching, my show was a huge success. My interactions with the customers, producers, and other vendors were genuine and joyful, building a stronger foundation for future business and relationships. This course took the worry and stress off my shoulders so I could enjoy the opportunity that I had. Thanks, Nicole! Tamara Kraft Pithitude

Student Work