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Craft Show Review and Observations

2018-11-23 21.06.24
Hello friends!  I just participated in my first craft show in a few years and at a larger venue (high school) than I’ve ever done before, and want to share with you my review of the day and observations!  Here I am, set up the night before and happily excited about the show!  This is an older banner with my non-married name!  If you plan to do shows more than once or twice, having a banner with your name/logo/info is an important part of your display.  I bought the one pictured above from Vistaprint about eight years ago and think I paid $35 for it.  Here’s the one that I’ve updated and just ordered today using a Black Friday discount which will make it $23!

vistaprint banner for copycatcards

2018-11-23 21.07.09
I researched craft show/display/table arrangements/sale items etc for a couple months via Pinterest and picked the brains of other stampers via my Facebook stamping groups, and one thing mentioned was to create height in your display.  So I looked for and found the blue revolving rack on the left, the little wooden shelves in the center and a wire birdcage sort of thing, all at Goodwill!  Interesting though that most people didn’t even look up at my painted canvases on the top shelf; they all were looking down at the table as they perused!
BIFOLD DOOR
We saw a wonderful setup using bi-fold doors which looked like this but hers was wider, had no gap in the center and created a fabulous back “wall” for her space.  She had a table on either side of this, creating a U shape and it was very inviting.  Tim and I both loved it so now will go search at Goodwill and reStore for bi-fold doors!
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Another thing is that many crafter’s said NOT to display every single item you have but to arrange them in a pleasing way and only add more as needed.  I ended up removing a few of the post-it note holders from the bottom shelf and moving the items closer to the front.  And none of the post-it note holders sold but all the calendars did!  I bought my little calendars from Taylored Expressions!  Today they’re $2.10 for a pack of TEN!  :O  I may create prettier packaging for my clothespin magnets, and add five to a package but still sell individual ones.  Another stamper suggested using many different styles of paper on them, including holiday designs.  I made these the day before the show but will invest more time in them!
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Here is my display of alcohol ink prints.  I was disappointed not to sell more and wonder if I’d had them all standing and arranged nicely, if they’d be more visually appealing.  I enjoyed talking about the inks and some people were quite interested.  If we build the bi-fold doors display then these would go on that.
2018-11-24 08.14.01
Many experienced craft show vendors say to give your customers a deal or a freebie with your name/business info on them .  I didn’t want to take the time to make little freebies so opted for the bowl of chocolate and little sticker dots on the bottom of some with $2 off!  This was a hit and caused some people to find something to buy in order to use the “coupon”!  And only a couple little boys dug around to find the dot!  😀  *BTW, the one alcohol ink print that sold was because the customer got a $2 off sticker and that made them go for it!  Who knew that just $2 would make the difference!?
2018-11-24 08.14.30
This is a secondhand item I purchased for craft show display and yet I don’t love how it looked.  I attached the ornaments with little clothespins but two of them dropped and shattered.  We may just buy some really small S hooks to use instead and fill in some of the empty spaces with more clip-on pointsettias and little lights.  At least for holiday shows!  It also doesn’t revolve so perhaps a lazy susan beneath it would be more convenient.
2018-11-24 13.26.19
We displayed my cards in various vintage boxes, baskets and glass dishes and although they looked pretty, customers didn’t seem to spend much time rifling through the cards.  It seems that spinning card racks are a more popular and effective way to display cards, so I’ll be on the hunt for one or two!  I took the time to type out my price signs so that they were all consistent and easy to read.  If I continue to do shows, I’ll probably laminate them so they’ll last longer.
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It was sad to realize that so many of my beautiful cards weren’t seen!
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My daughter loaned us a rug to “cozy” up our space; it also helped to define the space a little more and I’ll be searching for something prettier that matches my color scheme!
2018-11-24 13.35.20
I spent most of the day standing, walking around my area, greeting customers as they approached, engaging them in conversation and asking them if they know anything about rubber stamping.  By about 2pm I had to sit down for a few minutes!  Wear comfortable shoes, bring a chair and do take time to rest if you can!  But be available for questions and to interact with people in a warm and welcoming manner!  They may remember that the next time!
2018-11-24 15.17.51
I loved having my three girls help out at the show and in the preparation beforehand.  Many hands make light work, so the break down, packing up and getting it all back home went quickly!  We ordered Chinese and watched a movie afterward!  The support of family and friends is such a blessing to this crafter!
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My husband, Tim, is my champion and right hand man!  He is always 100% supportive and encouraging of my work, takes care of all the technical stuff for my blog, hauls my stuff around for me and does everything he can to be a help!  He stayed all day at the craft show and that meant so much to me!  I hope you got some tips and pointers from this post and that you’ll consider doing a craft show yourself!  It’s a lot of work but can be so rewarding in ways that are not just monetary!  Thanks for reading!

 

10 thoughts on “Craft Show Review and Observations”

  1. Sharon I’m so sorry that your cards didn’t sell better but I’m sure it will pick up for you and you’ll come up with good marketing displays. I think that your booth was fabulous and your displays were great. I personally know that when I go to craft shows and see cards, I love digging through those & buying them but maybe people just don’t have time? In any case don’t be discouraged and keep trying because your work is beautiful

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  2. I really appreciate this, Lisa! I think that we cardmakers DO love digging thru stacks of cards because we love them SO much and can appreciate the time, work and talent that goes into them! I have a smaller show in a couple weeks, that Holiday Popup Market! Can’t wait to find out where I’ll be and how it all shakes down! In the meantime, I’m searching Pinterest, Craigslist and the net like a crazy woman for more display ideas!! 😀

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  3. This was a great post. I have just finished my eighth annual bazaar. My display of cards, tags, bookmarks and wine bottle tags has evolved over the years. I eliminated some products, such as decorated journals, which didn’t sell well. I just ordered a banner from Vistaprint for next year. I love all of your ideas for display! I don’t have space for more than one large table, but I can go up! Thanks for all of the inspiration!

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  4. Hi Mary!! I’m so glad you liked the post! I think “evolve” is going to be a key word as I navigate the craft fair world! Thank you so much for reading and visiting! 🙂 XO

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