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May 14, 2016


Craft shows are definitely a more relaxed atmosphere and that’s what makes them such a unique shopping experience. Shoppers get to connect and have an engaging conversation with the owners of a small business. Although this setting allows the more casual side of business to come through, you still want to be sure you keep a professional vibe and represent your brand properly. Here are 5 things customers don’t want to hear or see at your craft show booth:

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1) A stressed out vendor

If you just battled blizzard conditions, your sitter cancelled last minute and you forgot half your product at home; try not to let it show when the shoppers start filing in. The horrible roads may be an icebreaker if the customers just dealt with them too, but try not to launch into a rant about everything that went wrong that morning. It may feel good to get it off your chest but you’ll loose a sense of professionalism. You want there to be a relaxed and happy vibe when people are in your booth. If you’re stressed, they’ll feel stressed and they won’t be keen on sticking around too long.

2) You counting your money

Just as a retail store doesn’t display the day's profits on the cash register, you shouldn’t flaunt your earnings in front of shoppers or out in the open. We all want to know where we’re at in the day but try to keep track of sold items on paper so you can easily add up your sales without having to pull out all your cash. When you do need to count out your bills to be sure everything is adding up, try to do it discretely or crouch down to count it out below table height so shoppers and vendors can’t see.

3) You eating a 4 course meal

Craft shows aren’t like a typical job where you have staff to cover you while you head to the back room and eat your lunch in privacy. There will be some shows where you just can’t avoid eating in front of the customer but again, try to do it discretely. Consider your meal choices and plan out something that won’t be too messy or difficult to eat. If you’re mid chew and a customer walks in, you want to be able to set your food down without having greasy fingers to wipe off each time. Last night’s steak and potatoes are quick to throw together but you may come to regret it when you’re having to find a microwave, fork, knife and a stable surface in the middle of a busy booth.

4) Gossiping or trash talking

You should never let a customer hear you talking bad about anything; especially not another customer, vendor or the event. Whether it’s craft show related or not, you want to keep all negative talk until after the show. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard retail employees talking about a private matter on the sales floor. They may be trying to multitask and cover the floor while addressing an issue but it just comes off as unprofessional.

5) Talking on your phone or texting

Although you may need to line up your ride home or share a pic on Instagram, try to leave it for when there aren’t any shoppers around or when a helper can cover you. If you’re in the middle of a phone call and someone stops by, try to excuse yourself from the conversation and as a common courtesy; apologize to the customer once you’re off your phone. Your customers should always have your undivided attention and feel important.

If you're looking for more unwritten rules of the craft fair scene plus a ton of tips to help you set up the perfect booth, make the right amount of stock and perfect your selling skills, checkout the outline of my ebook. Head to this page where you can download a free chapter, which is recommended for any handmade business owner to check in and make sure you're selling profitable products and thinking outside the box.

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How To Make The Most of a Slow Craft Show

Sell More at a Craft Show by Asking this Question

5 Mistakes to Avoid at a Craft Show

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10 Steps to Get More Done before a Craft Show

10 Questions to Ask Before Committing to a Craft Show

10 Steps to Get Your Handmade Products into Boutiques

Inge bekaert
2016-01-21 10:30
I pinned all you posts!! Really great tips and I'will consider them when I go to a craftbooth! Thanks a lo for all this advice: really helpful.
Greetings from Belgium
Made Urban
2016-01-23 03:54
Thanks for reading and pinning Inge! We really appreciate it and are so glad you find our articles helpful :)
Sarah Tron
2016-03-03 01:57
Rather than count my cash during the show itself, I set up a report on my Square that I can open to see how I'm doing up to that point.
Of course, you need to track all of your sales through the Square, not just the credit cards for this to work.
Made Urban
2016-03-03 04:34
That's a great tip Sarah. Quick and easy!
Fiona Perry-Symes
2016-07-07 07:02
I think the way your photos of retail windows are translated for craft sellers is very clever.
Made Urban
2016-07-13 08:48
Thanks Fiona! The retail windows are a little more extravagant than a craft fair booth but lots of ideas that can be used on a smaller scale :) Thanks for reading!
2016-08-21 11:44
As a crafts show organizer I would like to add that people don't want to see your boxes of supplies, dollies, trash, discount or sale, sale, sale signs or you thinking you are being discreet packing up before the end of the show. We need to shine from opening to closing. Dressing nicely will add to your air of professionalism. I see people sometimes who put together a gorgeous display and forget to look in the mirror. Your outfit each morning is the first art you create each day!
Made Urban
2016-08-22 07:17
Thanks so much for your input Peggy! Keeping your space tidy is a great point and I couldn't agree more with dressing the part :)
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