Being a vendor at a trade show is a blast, but there are some things I wish I knew beforehand. While it’s still fresh in my mind, I decided to share the experience with you guys and give you some tips for your first fair.
Tip of the Trade: Give yourself ample time to prepare!
Prepping is KEY to a successful Event
This starts a day or two ahead before the event starts. Setting up a mockup table at home is important because it helps you see how your space feels, where you want to stand and how a customer will see your business. Keep it simple and allow your products to speak for them self is my best advice! It is always the worst when I have TOO many options in a store when I am shopping, this makes me feel overwhelmed and want to leave. Don’t let this be your booth.
Tip of the Trade: Questions that will Prep you for the event!
When Setting up your Mock Table, have these questions in mind...
Do you need power? Is there power available at your booth? Does it cost more?
Do you need Wifi? Are you taking payments other than cash?
What is your GIVE AWAY at your booth? Be sure whatever you are giving away, is exciting, so that people will want to enter to win but also Very VISIBLE to draw people to your booth.
Are you integrating social media into your event? If not, you should! Promote your booth and sales before, during and after your event to make it even more successful (“Can’t visit me at my booth? Be sure to still get your name in the draw to win this awesome prize!”)
What kind of signage will you have at your event? Are you easy to find? Will your signage draw people in?
What is your outfit going to look like and are you promoting your booth while you walk around? It is so easy to get your logo on a shirt, this is a MUST at your trade shows!
Entice people into your booth by giving something away. Food is GREAT! 70% of people at trade shows want a snack or a beverage!
Be sure your booth is comfortable and has personality!
Tip of the Trade: Select the Ideal Booth Location
Location! Location! Location… This isn’t just good for buying a house.
Trade show booth location on the floor is very important. It can make or break your visibility and affect the over success of your booth. Be sure the booth that you select has the things you need (wall space for signs? electricity? are you located to a similar vendor?, are you close to the bathrooms or any food vendors if you don’t desire…etc)
Tip of the Trade: Bring people to help you out!
Friends, Family, Partner… They all can be a HUGE help.
Get as much help as you can. A huge part of a successful craft show is the support from those around you and involved. Having support is huge because they are able to help you with creating the display and setting the booth up, being your #1 sales rep and be able to talk to customers and answer questions if you had to step out. And most important hold down the booth during your lunch break.
Tip of the Trade: Everyone is a little nervous
Breath! Breath! Breath!....and than Breath!
Each vendor has worked extremely hard for this day and everyone is hoping that their hard work is going to pay off, whether it’s their first craft show or their hundredth.
Tip of the Trade: Don’t forget signage
Who are you? What are you selling?
You want people to use your business name when they tell their friends where they picked up their awesome new handmade item. This is huge for free advertising among many platforms of social media. People will get to know you for your brand more than your face. If you’re not communicating it at your booth, on your tags and through other marketing material, people will quickly forget what your business is called.
Tip of the Trade: You do need to sell
You will have to become “ Outgoing”, because closed mouths don’t sell.
Trust me, I thought by just saying “hello” to shoppers at my first craft show would bring them over to my booth, wrong!. I thought a smile and an answer for any questions was good enough, Wrong! But once I actually started selling (In more of a getting to know shoppers, having a great convo and chatting about my products, kind of way) my sales went up. You should be able to speak about each product at your table, each product has a story and shoppers want to hear it.
Now that you are selling and you have a fantastic booth set up, what know?
There is always room to grow, and gain take always for the NEXT show. :-)
Take away Tips: Learn How to Improve
Ask yourself, what did you like? What didn’t you like? What did you see you want to try at your table?
The final thing you should expect from your first trade show is that you’ll continually improve with each event that you exhibit at. From better ways to organize business cards to a more effective booth design, as long as you are open to change, you will be surprised by how many great ideas you will take away from your first show.
Overall, remember that each event is different and has their own personality. Products will sell different at each event because you will have a different audience, do not let that discourage you nor catch you off guard. You cannot always make sense of why a product sells more, or why you sold out at one location and then hardly sold anything at the next, you just need to keep a open mind.
Best advice ever: Stay calm, relax and HAVE FUN! All exposure is good expose regardless then numbers!
TOOLS YOU MAY NEED AT A CRAFT FAIR:
SUPPLIES FOR AN OUTDOOR CRAFT SHOW:
Start Kit Check List:
DAY(S) BEFORE THE CRAFT SHOW:
Tianna Thompson- Owner and Creator
The Human Of Color Men and Women Haircare – Built for the Textured and Curly Headed Community
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