Karen is a graphic designer, creative thinker, artist, writer and generally an ideas person that loves to try new things.
Running the Perfect Arts and Crafts Stall
Once you have decided which art and crafts show to rent a stall at, you will want everything to run smoothly. For this, you will need to make sure you have everything you need to give your potential customers a pleasant and memorable buying experience. This will encourage them to remember you and become repeat customers in the future.
Selling at a craft fair can be very fun and lucrative. There's nothing better than meeting your market face-to-face to see firsthand how they react to your creations. With a little preparation, your day can be stress-free and comfortable while you forge connections, build your brand, and make money!
First and foremost, you need stock! It is generally advised to create at least twice as much stock as you can display (without crowding) at a time until you become more experienced at shows. Make sure you have plenty of your best-selling items too.
It is important that you are comfortable throughout the day and you have everything you need to complete sales, including bags and marketing materials, such as business cards.
If you sell items to wear, take along a mirror so people can try things on and see how they look. If you sell jewelry for piercings, make sure you also have sanitizer and cotton wool to clean items afterward.
Below is a list of items recommended for those running a stall to cover all circumstances.
Craft Show Checklist
|Booth Setup||For Your Comfort||For Sales & Marketing||For Your Products|
Comfortable, appropriate clothing
Pen & paper
Folding chair (If not supplied)
Newsletter sign-up sheet
Table (if not supplied)
Outerwear (for outdoor shows)
Money box & change
Design Your Booth Layout
It is important that your customers feel comfortable when they visit your show booth. Design your stall so that products are within easy reach and they have room to move—especially during busy times.
Using your booth size and location details, set up a practice booth at home. This will give you time to try different ideas without having to rush on the day.
Remember your booth is a three-dimensional space. Make use of the wall, floor, hanging, and table space (check with those in charge regarding what is allowed) without becoming overcrowded. Keep space free for storing spare stock—this is usually done under the tables—and a hard surface free for writing.
Set up an area for those working on the stall. This will hold all of your tools, spare cards, packaging, and if it is secure enough, your money box. Keep your chair here, out of the way, unless you are using it during a demonstration.
Entice Customers With Your Show Display
An attractive display will entice more customers and help build your brand. As mentioned above, your booth is a 3D area, and you should make the most of it. You need to be able to interest someone from across the room, to come at look at what you have to sell.
Using stands, posters, price and information cards, lighting, and so on, you can really go to town. Don't rely on your product selling itself; people need to find your product first! Use your display as an extension of your marketing. At one show, I placed boxes of different heights under the tablecloth to create a tiered display; this also made it easier for customers to get a good look at the products.
Consider hanging lightweight items from a string. If you're selling kits, show examples made up and if your craft isn't too messy or reliant on machinery, consider a demonstration of making some products at the show. People are always interested in the crafting process and are drawn to seeing a master at work.
Use Craft Fairs as a Marketing Opportunity
A craft show booth is not a one-off selling opportunity. Use the fair as a chance to connect with others in your industry, and make like-minded friends and long-term customers.
Offer 'Craft Show Only' special offers or exclusives such as the chance to buy your new range first.
Encourage people to take your marketing materials such as business cards or postcards and make sure your relevant details are on them, such as your web address and a reminder of what you sell. Also, include these with every purchase and place a few small piles of them around your stall.
Print out a simple form for people to sign up for your free email newsletter if you have one. This way, you can contact them when you have new products, news, special offers, and competitions. Your craft show customer has now become a repeat customer!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2012 Karen Creftor
email@example.com on July 11, 2017:
I have been doing craft shows for years but I always love getting great ideas like yours and the inspiration from you .
Karen Creftor (author) from Kent, UK on June 16, 2014:
Oh how wonderful Emily!
I hope this article does indeed help and hope the fair goes really well for you. Please come back and let us know how you get on :)
EmilyD on June 15, 2014:
I'm only 22, but I've started a small business selling painted shoes online. I signed up for a booth at a local arts and crafts fair in a few months and I'm SO nervous! I'm really glad I found this! Hopefully it will help me be completely prepared!
Karen Creftor (author) from Kent, UK on May 18, 2012:
OOh they sound scrummy GoodLady! It is hard work running a stall, nomatter the craft, but it is good fun and is a fantastic way to make connections and get feedback.
Thanks for the lovely compliment :)
Penelope Hart from Rome, Italy on May 18, 2012:
My sister had a market stand that sold jams and pickles in Australia which was successful but it was a lot of work for one person, making the jams, setting the stand up and selling,chatting to people! - though she loved it. It's very creative and your hub shows how really creative it can be.
Nice Hub thanks
Karen Creftor (author) from Kent, UK on May 17, 2012:
Thank you theraggededge!!
It is tough to produce enough stock, but don't forget you can use one piece for several products. For example a piece of art, or a photo of a handmade item can be printed onto products such as postcards, mugs, t-shirts and so-on. If you look at my other hubs, there is one on the many ways to make money from art and crafts.
Let me know if you do decide to do a show and let me know how you get on!
Bev G from Wales, UK on May 17, 2012:
This is very useful for me. Great reference for someone considering selling in this way. If only I could work fast enough to create all the necessary stock!