Tips to Having Successful Craft Shows

Having successful craft shows can help grow your business by increasing sales and giving your business more exposure. Rather you prefer small local shows or large shows you travel to, you still want to be the best you can be. If you take your business serious then you’ll want to read through these helpful tips!

Having successful craft shows can help grow your business, here are some tips to get set on the path to growing your handmade business!

What Having Successful Craft Shows Means to Me

I began my first craft business soon after I got married. Partnering with my mom we began doing local shows. As the business grew we expanded to doing larger shows traveling to different states. We learned a lot early on. Having a successful show meant we sold enough products to still have a fair profit after expenses. Not all the show were that way, like a local outdoor show in which I had to hold the tent up to keep the rain from soaking everything! I couldn’t help but stand there laughing as rain ran down my arms, into my shirt sleeves, and down into my pants. I was a human gutter!

As we got more experienced we learned what it took to having successful craft shows. What we could do and what to look for in a show. These tips helped us to continue growing our business, including wholesale shows. It’s a great feeling to have awesome craft show where you don’t have to pack up anything but your displays!

Look for Shows that Fit Your Business

If you are just starting out and your budget is small, you want to look for local shows that charge a fee reasonable for your budget. Usually small shows, like those sponsored by churches or small towns, charge around $40-$75 to enter and run 1 or 2 days.  Whereas, large shows run 2 or more days and may cost a few hundred or more.  If you can, go to potential shows to see if they are successful craft shows. Is there many shoppers? Are they buying? Do the booths look attractive? Is it a juried show?

Look for shows that have been around several years. This is a sign they are probably successful craft shows. Apply early to shows you want to attend. Successful craft shows can fill up quickly, especially certain categories. Also,be prepared that some have a waiting list.

Create a Booth that Compliments Your Products

Your products can be fantastic, but if your booth looks messy and unattractive, your sales will suffer. Look for booth ideas that will draw the shoppers into to see your products. Use colors that compliment your creations. Consider using unique pieces as displays. A recycled suitcase can be filled with packages. Tree branches can hold ornaments or necklaces.

Pay attention to  how your table covers look. One thing I notice the most at shows is booths with wrinkled, crooked, and messy looking table covers. Take time to press your table covers. Make sure they completely cover the table to hide boxes underneath.

Do a test run of your booth setup. This comes in handy in taking photos for juried shows, too. It will let you see how long it takes to set up and what adjustments you may need. The standard booth size is 10×10 feet. But check with the show guidelines to be sure.

Have The Right Products

To have successful craft shows, you have to predict what buyers are going to want. This is not an easy task.  A few things that can help is offering a bit of variety. Have different price points. Create some booth fillers at low price points so even if the buyers can’t afford your high priced products they can at least afford your lower priced ones. Also, having different prices gives you a chance to upsell by showing them how two or three different sizes go well together.

And, you may consider different styles and colors in case buyers prefer one over the other. Note, don’t over do it, though, if requires a lot of different supplies and causes products to clash. In one area primitive decor may be adored, but in other places people prefer something more modern looking. Again, previewing a show prior to signing up can help you decide if it’s a good fit or do you need to create an alternative product line.

Prepare to have enough products to fill your booth and restock it. It’s better to have a little too much than to have too little. Ever notice how a store with a lot of products displayed well draws you to it to look and shop? Therefore, you want your booth to give off that same atmosphere.

Dress for Success

It’s not just your booth that helps sell your products, it’s you. Your appearance can help you have successful craft shows. Bring an outfit to change into after the booth is set up. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes. Consider getting aprons made that feature your business logo and match your booth colors. My mom and I kept a wardrobe for shows we did that matched the country theme of our products and the shows. We often got compliments how cute we looked among our creations.

Be Well Prepared

Days before the show start putting things you need to take together. Create a checklist to make sure you don’t miss something important. Get all your products tagged with cute tags. Preparing for successful craft shows means you won’t have time to repeat prices over and over. Supply your customer with proper packaging for their purchase. Do you need tissue paper, plastic bags, or little boxes? And, don’t forget business cards with  your website address included on it!

In conclusion, there is much to having successful craft shows, but it’s well worth the work if you desire to have an awesomely growing handmade business!  Below I’ve list a few of my favorite books on running a handmade business.


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