Although event organizers shouldn’t only be relying on you to promote a craft show, it’s important for you, the vendor, to do your part to help promote markets you’re participating in. It should be part of your craft show prep work.
The more people working together to spread the word about a project, cause or event, the more everyone benefits.
Not to mention, you always want your customers and fans to know where they can find your products and support you.
If you’ve got lots of events to promote and need to spread your marketing efforts out across several platforms or you’re just not sure how you can help, here are some ideas for you.
1 – Flyers
You can either make up a printable flyer yourself (here’s a free template), if you want to include some more self-promotion or multiple events, or ask the event organizer if they have any print material they can send to you.
Making your own postcard will allow you to promote your products and list ALL the upcoming events you’ll be at for the next 3 – 6 months.
Don’t forget about this fun trick to save some cash on printing and make sure your postcard doesn’t just end up in the trash.
Here are some places to distribute print material:
Other craft shows
If summer is your busy season and you’re participating in several shows and markets, hand flyers out to people who stop by your booth. Be sure to give them to people who buy something from you and those who don’t.
Many people don’t purchase the first time they see your products but a flyer stating where you’ll be next will make it easy for them to find you when they are ready to buy.
Leave a stack in your break room for your co-workers to check out at lunchtime. If you work somewhere public like a coffee shop, ask your boss if you can tack a flyer up on the bulletin board for customers to see.
Who doesn’t love to receive some good ol’ snail mail with a personal note? If you have some customers who have been great supporters to you, this may be a great time to send them a thank you note for their continued support and include an event postcard. Mention any perks you think they’d be interested in (new product line being debuted at the event, promotions, and discounts, etc.) and that you’d love to see them if they happen to be in the area.
You’ll have to decide which ones are appropriate to promote at but there’s nothing wrong with letting your soccer team, art class or walking group know about an event they can support you and your handmade business at. They obviously like getting out and being social, so why not tell them about another way they can do so?
2 – Social Media
There are so many social media platforms out there, don’t focus all your efforts on one. And don’t forget to encourage your shoppers to take advantage of social media at the event as they can help boost your sales. Here’s how.
Here are a few ways to make use of social media:
A post prior to the event and a post while you’re at the event is usually sufficient for this platform. Keep the posts interesting by giving your fans a little extra. Promote the date, time and location of the craft show while sharing a picture of a product that can only be found there. You could even offer a discount or promotion to those who stop by your booth and mention the Facebook post.
You can get away with several more posts on this platform. People generally follow hundreds if not thousands of accounts and with over 6000 tweets per second; your 1 tweet may be missed. 1 -3 tweets a day on the subject of a craft show, shouldn’t overwhelm any follower’s feed. Be sure to use relevant hashtags but don’t go crazy with them. 3 hashtags are plenty and think about keywords people may search in your city to discover ways to get out and about.
Use keywords like: events, craft show, handmade, support local, art, etc. Include the city’s name or airport code (i.e. Edmonton’s is YEG so many people use #yeg in their tweets).
Here’s another good place to combine market info with great pictures of products you’ll have at the event. The general rule with Instagram is 1 – 3 postings per day, which can vary depending on the user and their content. If you’re consistently posting 3 images per day, use at least 1 of those images to mention the craft show in the caption. Doing this once a day, the week leading up to the event, will be some great promotion.
3 – Online Marketplace
Update your Etsy’s announcement section with events you’ll be at to let online shoppers know where they can view your products in person.
4 – Blog
Blogs are so easy to set up and to update, but they need constant attention and content to be valuable to your business and readers. So why not make it easy on yourself and feed your blog with content about the events you’re participating in?
You can create a post outlining upcoming shows and you can even highlight each event in their own article. Work with the organizer or other vendors participating in the show to provide information about the; who, what, where, when and why’s.
5 – Website
It’s a good idea to have a “where you can find me” page on your website. You can fill this page with events you’ll be at throughout the year and any boutiques that carry your products. Be sure to keep it up to date as you add events to your schedule and as they pass.
6 – Newsletter
If you have a website or blog, you may have a newsletter. You already have a list of people interested in you and your products so this is a great place to let them know about the craft shows you’ll be at.
We all know what it’s like to have a full inbox, so don’t go crazy with sending a newsletter too often. This is another place where it’s handy to bundle all the events you have coming up in the next month or two, into one handy newsletter.
Want to know how you can give your newsletter list a major boost at events? Check out this article.
7 – Contests
You can use any online platform to run a contest. Work with the event organizer to create a prize, (i.e. tickets to the show or a gift basket with items from vendors) or offer one of your products to the winner. Decide on the rules for entry, which can be; anyone who shares your post about the event will be entered, or ask people to visit you at the craft show to fill out a ballot for entry. Either way, give people an added incentive to visit or talk about you and the event.
8 – Email Signature
Add a short sentence to your email signature sharing the date(s) of an upcoming craft show. Be sure to update your email signature as dates and events pass.
9 – Word of Mouth
Word of mouth is all about the Internet these days but don’t forget to let your actual mouth do the talking too 😉 Tell your friends, family, barista, and hairdresser about your upcoming shows and ask them to tell anyone they think may be interested as well.
Once you have shoppers there, make sure you’re making the most of each one. Implement 1 – 3 of these display tricks (used by multi-million dollar retailers to attract shoppers into their store) and avoid these mistakes I see all too often at craft fairs that could be costing you sales.
If you’re looking to step up your craft show display and sales, give my 5-day challenge a try. It’s FREE and will teach you how to create a standout display.
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Hey, I’m Erin 🙂 I write about small business and craft show techniques I’ve learned from being a small business owner for almost 2 decades, selling at dozens of craft shows, and earning a diploma in Visual Communication Design. I hope you find my advice helpful!