What I Learned in My First Five Years

What I Learned in My First Five Years

Post by Ashley Bishop

Hi everyone!! I want to start out with saying I’ve been working at craft shows and fair events for five years now. By no means am I an expert but I’d love to share some tips, tricks and knowledge that I’ve learned over the years. When I sit down and start planning for my booth, I think to my self how do I want to present my brand? What color schemes do I want to play with this time around? What type of filler décor do I want included? How many items am I planning on making and bringing? 

I always like to have a notebook handy so I can jot down ideas or thoughts when they strike. I’d also like to share how I determine my colors. I use three colors in my table cloth set up. I usually decide on my base color first which is either black or white. Then I pick a color secondary color - perhaps navy - and a complimentary color to pair it with. For example, in December I did white, navy and silver. So think two complimentary colors and a base.  You might just find that you love your new style! 

For table displays, I use risers to bring height to my table, displaying like-items together and drawing attention to your items. This can be done with lighting, some greenery, or backdrops. My word of advice would be this… don’t let your filler décor items outshine your craft. Keep it subtle. Also now is the time to think about layouts. Which direction to you want your booth to flow with traffic. How many tables do you want? I search on Pinterest for Vendor Booth Layouts to see what is eye catching to me. And I try to pull inspiration from that.

Then there is the mighty question… well how much should I prepare for and bring? From one vendor to another… please don’t go into debt to prepare for a show. (Being broke and in debt is a very stressful combination). Now, because I’ve learned from this experience, I’ll tell you what I do to be proactive. I created myself a spreadsheet to keep myself organized. I start with the item description, retail cost, how many I have made, maximum profit (if all of that item sells). It keeps my mind focused and I can see what items are still on my to-make list versus what I’ve completed. 

Always take pictures of your setup before, during and after! Makes for some great social media content and engaging posts as well!

Since I create a lot of signs, artwork and boards, I use totes to transport my items to and from shows. I try to limit the weight inside each tote so it’s never something that is too heavy to lift. 

After your show, there’s still one more piece of advice that I want to leave you with. I want you to jot down what items were a seller for you, what could you have done differently? What was the overall reaction from your customers? And don’t forget to celebrate in yourself! Another show in the books!

Thank you for reading,

Ashley Bishop

 

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