Our original article on Craft Show
etiquette continues to be one of our most popular articles. So we thought we
would expand on it and break it down a bit more to give you a really good look
at what each category of craft show participator looks for from you. Here are our other etiquette articles:
you're wondering how to stay on the organizer's good side, below are
some best practices when it comes to craft show etiquette:
Help spread the word
You’re a part of a
community and in communities, everyone does their part to make them great. Once
you sign up for a craft fair, do your part to invite friends, family and customers
to stop by and see you. Help hand out flyers or share posts on social media to
do your part in making it a great event. If you're wondering how much sharing organizers expect from you, check out this article; it also has some tips for spreading the word when you're participating in multiple events. There's also our article on 12 ways vendors can help promote a craft show.
Ask questions ahead of time
organizers are definitely there to answer your questions and make sure you have
all the information you need the day of the event. But keep in mind, the
morning of is a busy time for them and they have multiple vendors to help out.
There are certain things that can probably only be answered the day of such as:
where do I set up, how can I plug into electrical, where are the bathrooms. But
questions around how they advertised the event, how many people they’re
expecting, or how many events they’ve organized in the past, should have been
handled beforehand. They’re human just like you and probably won’t appreciate
added stress to the day.
Don’t blame the organizer for low sales
Okay…you can if they didn’t market the event and nobody showed up. But if the
craft show is bumpin and people are buying but you’re not making sales, don’t
blame it on where they placed you or who you’re seated next to. Unless you’re
all by yourself in a dark corner, next to a smelly bathroom, you have an
opportunity to grab shopper’s attention. There will always be spots at an event
that are more ideal based on traffic flow but keep in mind that your products,
your display and your attitude will do more for drawing in shoppers than any
Plan a well thought out display
only want to create a display that represents your brand and shows off your
products, you also want the organizer, as well as yourself, to be proud of it.
It’s another representation of the event and you want to help contribute to the
uniqueness of it. Anyone can lay some items out on a table – that doesn’t show
off your brand or personality. Get creative and build a booth organizers
want to snap a pic of for social media to show off the quality of vendors they
have. If you want some inspiration on how to add eye-catching elements to your booth, this article has several ideas.
Stick to your space
additional props and fixtures that are going to spill into the aisle, making it
hard for shoppers to walk around. If one vendor sees you do it then others may
follow suit and then the organizer has a problem with narrow aisles and sellers competing for space.
Sell what you said you would sell
event organizer chose your business to participate in the show, based on your
products. They’ve likely got a good assortment of vendors and have had to turn some
away due to being full in a particular category. If you applied to sell your
handmade coasters but have recently started making jewelry, don’t show up ready
to sell your earrings and necklaces; you’ll throw off the balance of vendors
the organizer has created.
Make sure you have the items they’ve
If the event has a Facebook page or social media platform they’ve
been promoting their vendors and craft show through, they’ve likely posted
pictures of your products. We know that your products are one of a
kind but try to have the item they’ve featured or something similar on the day
of the market. If the event organizer posted a turquoise necklace of yours and
handfuls of people commented how they can’t wait to see it in person but you
sold out and didn’t restock for the show, there will be some disappointed
customers not to mention, lost sales.
Don’t ignore shoppers but when
you have a minute, snap some pics of your table or the event to tweet or post
to other social media platforms. It’s a good reminder for people who were
thinking about stopping by and a great encouragement to those who weren’t
planning to but maybe see something in your photos that catch their eyes.
Be present and kind to shoppers
not only representing your business, you’re also representing the event. If
vendors are chatting with each other, on their phones or seem uninterested in
being there, that reflects badly on the market and shoppers won’t have good
things to say about it.
Be committed, regardless of the
Nobody loves the idea of sitting through a slow craft show,
however some things are out of all of our hands (like bad weather). Unless the
organizer has done you dirty and lied about the vibe and expected traffic of
the show, you should stick it out to the end and do it with a smile. Do your
part to keep the vibe of the show upbeat, even if you’re not having
record-breaking sales. And there are always other ways to make the most out of an event, as mentioned here and ways to attract shoppers last minute.
We’re not talking staying till
midnight to tear down posters, dividers and tables; just be sure your area is
tidy and the way you found it. Don’t leave stickers, price tags and lunch leftovers under your table for the organizer to clean; they’re exhausted too so
the last thing they want is extra work left for them by each vendor. If they
need to stack chairs and tables they supplied you with, it’s also a nice
gesture to take care of yours for them. Everyone helping just a little goes a
If the event was not what you expected or
you feel disappointed with the organizer, do keep the following points in mind:
Do be a leader
Be a shining example of
how a vendor should act at a craft show to help set the vibe and to be a good
example. One rotten apple spoils the bunch so if one person starts complaining
about lack of traffic or low sales, it won’t be long until there’s a dark cloud
over the event, which shoppers can feel as soon as they walk in. I remember one
craft show I visited as a shopper with my friends years ago; vendors seemed disinterested
in us and you could tell they had a feeling of “what’s the point”. After
running into a friend who was vending, she confirmed that the vendors had been
talking and were all disappointed with the organizer. They unfortunately signed
up for an event with an inexperienced organizer (I never heard of them
organizing an event again) but they had let that disappointment spill over into
their business and how they treated the shoppers. Imagine the vibe they were
giving off if we felt it and the shoppers they ignored while they discussed
their frustrations. I felt uncomfortable in there and honestly couldn’t wait to
leave. Do your best to make the most of any situation, even if it’s not ideal.
People can pick up on your energy more than you may realize.
Do voice your concerns in private
feel there is something the organizer could improve upon, try to wait until
after the show to send an email. If it’s something you feel they could address
right then and there, pull them aside and discuss it in private, offering them
a suggestion, making it clear it’s just your opinion and you’re not telling
them what to do. The last thing you want to do is gossip with other vendors or
embarrass the organizer in front of other people. They’re working hard to do
their best and improve with each event.
Do be kind
Realize the organizers are
just like you, trying to make a profit off their venture so they can do it
again, they’re likely not getting rich off your vendor fees. They’re putting in
more hours than they’re getting paid for and it’s usually a side project for
them, not a full time job that gets all their attention and time. Be sure any
communication you have with them is kind and in a way you would want to be
spoken to. Hold them accountable to their obligations to you as a vendor but
understand they’re not by their computers or phones 24/7 waiting to answer
your questions, and they have a learning curve to go through in their business
Any tips you'd like to add? Leave a comment below!
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