Six Tips to Survive your First Craft Show

Craft shows, while not as popular as they used to be, are still a really fun way to sell your handmade goodies without having to jump online and begin marketing. They are also a great way to see if you’d even like to sell your handmade items or if you just want to keep it a fun and stressfree hobby!

We’ve been to a ton of craft shows over the years. Admired the hard work and craftsmanship of the vendors and supported our local small handmade businesses. It’s something we’ve always wanted to be apart of but never really had the guts to do it.

Last Saturday, we took the plunge! So, how did we do? Did we make any money? Did we enjoy it? We’re giving you the insider scoop on what we learned during our very first craft show! Put your goggles on, we’re diving in!

I have linked to some products for your reference and convenience Some of the links are affiliate links, which means we may receive a small commission if you choose to use those links to purchase the product. These are products I personally used to create these DIY projects and would never share anything with you if I hadn’t tried it and loved it!

Okay okay, first things first, the question everyone has on their mind but is too shy to ask, did we make any money? Yes, we did! We ended up coming home with a small profit after the booth fee and of course the cost of materials which added up to be $120. This gave us just enough running around money to go buy a ton more supplies!

Now, we really want to dive into some tips to help you and some things we noticed after that we could’ve done better to further improve our sales and the ease of our show.

1. Have a plan. Don’t ever go into a craft show without knowing exactly what you are bringing and how much product you are bringing. While we had a rough outline of a plan we could’ve done better in this area.

We weren’t really sure about how much product to bring and we didn’t have a few staple pieces that we knew we were going to bring. We just started creating! This made it more difficult at the end when checking inventory.

Having a goal to create three or four solid pieces that you will “mass” produce is extremely helpful for knowing which products sell and which ones don’t. This also makes the actual process of creating your crafts much less stressful!

2. Batch your Products. Batching means, working on one product and creating only that product until it’s finished. Basically just doing one task at a time, then moving on to another product. Like, I said above, this can be really really helpful for inventory and seeing which products sell and which ones don’t.

We think it’s a good rule of thumb to create at least ten items for each product. The colors can change a bit but everything will have a cohesive feel. Maybe you’re creating snowmen, so you create four blue ones, two with girl faces, two with neutral colors like whites or beige and two snowmen that are just your own creation. This will allow you to see what your audience likes with different colors but keeping within the same theme of the snowmen.

what we learned from our first craft show

We found our best seller was actually the blue snowman! People tend to gravitate towards blue so we do recommend having some blue pieces at your table!

3. Allow yourself at least an hour to an hour and a half to set up. We really didn’t realize how long it was going to take us to stage and get our items displayed but it did end up taking us an hour and a half! The last thing you want to be doing is rushing to get your products displayed while customers are walking by!

4. Display in an aesthetically pleasing manner. While it can be easy to just throw your products on your display and call it a day, you worked hard on these and you want to display them in an eye-catching way. This can really help boost your sales and bring customers to your booth!

      • Make sure your tables aren’t too cluttered looking. You can always add replace items as they are sold.
      • Create different levels within your display by using boxes or whatever you have on hand. This is not only pleasing to the eye but also makes it easier for your audience to see your items if they are closer to eye level.
      • Keep your tables full if you can. This is all about bringing enough products to refill as your items sell. People are more likely to come to a fuller table than a bare looking one.
      • Cover your tables! This isn’t something we thought about until we talked to a few family members that are seasoned professionals! Covering your tables with a tablecloth not only makes the display more pleasing but it also allows you to put your extra products, coats, purses and anything else under the table without being seen or looking messy. Make sure your table clothes are all the way to the floor! Here are the table clothes we used that really made our display pop! LinenTablecloth 6 ft. Fitted Polyester Tablecloth Black (Pack of 2)
  • Make sure to have a display item to show your audience what the possibilities are with your products. This helps eliminate the question, “but what will I use it for?” or “do I really need it?” Instead of them having to ask, you already have a display set up! This is all about eliminating doubt in your audience’s mind and showing them that they NEED your products!

what we learned from our first craft show

5. Engage with EVERYONE that walks by your booth! That’s right, everyone! People are more drawn to someone who looks excited about their products. They also love to talk about themselves so don’t be shy, start up a conversation!

Be polite and engaging. Thank them for stopping by even if they don’t’ purchase anything. Ask them if they are enjoying the show, tell them about your products and just have a conversation! People are more likely to remember a positive customer experience with someone who is polite and engaging than your products. YOU are the reason they will keep coming back to your booth!

6. Branding!! This isn’t always something that is thought about during your first show but branding is a pretty dang important part of selling your products. Now, you don’t even have to have a name yet, just make sure you are using certain colors that your audience can associate you with.

This means bringing bags to put your products in for your customers that go with your brand. So when they go home, they will remember who they bought the item from! If you do have a business name, logo, a blog or a website, make sure to put that somewhere on your bags!

Another tip you can try is bringing clear bags. This way, when your customers are walking around with your products inside them, they are providing free advertising for your booth! People can see that they bought your products and will be more likely to come check it out! You can also do this with an eye-catching logo on your product bags.

We decided to go with clean, white paper bags with handles which fit our brand, our logo and made for easy carrying of our products! Here are the bags we used that fit perfectly for our products! 8″x4.75″x10″ – 100 Pcs – White Kraft Paper Bags, Shopping, Mechandise, Party, Gift Bags

At the end of the day, we had an absolute blast and completely recommend trying out a craft who for yourself! We met some really talented crafters, we made some money and we learned a lot. So, if you’re on the fence about trying one, just do it!! And if you found this post helpful or think it would benefit someone please be sure to share the love and share with a friend!

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0 thoughts on “Six Tips to Survive your First Craft Show

  1. I have such fond memories of visiting every area craft show with my mom growing up and I still frequent a special one in PA over Thanksgiving. You are so right about the engagement…it is very easy to pass by a booth where the crafter is quiet and sitting back. Glad this was a blast for you all!

    1. There is something nostalgic about going to craft shows, one of our favorite things to do, especially around the holidays! So good that you have those memories with your mom. Being on the other side of the booth was just so exciting and a little scary at first, but such a fun mother-daughter time together. We talked to each other but then always tried to engage the shoppers walking by. A smile and a friendly greeting can go a long way. We appreciate your feed-back!

  2. These are excellent tips for craft shows. I have worked many shows and they can be overwhelming. As a consumer, I gravitate toward booths that are welcoming, homey and feel organized. You nailed it!

    1. Thank you for your positive feedback!! We’ve attended so many shows over the years, but being on the other side of the booth was certainly a new experience. We tried to stage our booth to feel exactly how you described and to welcome any shoppers who came by. Crafting, marketing, staging, and selling all wrapped up in one package! Good luck to you in any of your future shows:)

  3. It sounds like a great time. Your advice about batching products is so important; I’m sure it really helps with efficiency. I try to follow that strategy, though sometimes I’m so excited about too many projects and end up jumping from one project to the next – ha:)

    1. Thank you! We’ve always been on the other side of the vendor booths, so it was great to have the opportunity to sell our own crafts! We also are amazed at all the wonderful products crafters are selling.

  4. Cuuute! I don’t think I’m creative enough to be able to contribute to a craft show, but I’d definitely to check one out and buy a couple of things! That little snowman mason jar is sooo adorable.

  5. I love your work! This stuff is so fun and festive. And great advice about having something blue, I wouldn’t have thought about that! I wish you much success in your crafting career 😊

  6. Another tip would be get there early enough to setup plus catch early shoppers. I have been to events where vendors arrive at the start time, and even then take forever to setup. by the time they are ready the morning crowd is out the door! (We seem to get the most shoppers first thing in the morning in the events I work at)

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