August 20, 2014

Craft Show Etiquette

This is a guide for Craft Show Vendors. We also have an article on Craft Show Etiquette for Shoppers 🙂

I remember how nervous I was at my first craft show. I had
no idea what to expect and felt like a total outsider. There are usually
unwritten rules with any group or organization so this article is to help those
who are new to the craft world. Each craft show will have its own set of rules
and etiquette, which may vary from this list but when in doubt, just ask. Get
in touch with the organizer or chat with the other vendors to see if there’s
anything you should be aware of.

Always pay your table fees on

It takes a lot of organization, time and money to put on an event. Paying
your table fees is your way of telling the organizer you are 100% committed to
their event and the spot is filled. When you haven’t paid, organizers have the
added work of following up with you and aren’t able to properly account for who
will be there.

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Help spread the word

Of course
the organizers should have their own plans for marketing the event but the
results are always better when everyone does their part to help out. You can
ask if they’re having any flyers printed and give them to friends, family and
work colleagues and you’ll also want to mention the event on your social media
pages. And if you have the time, send out a few short tweets during the show to
remind people to stop by.

Build up enough stock

always hard to determine how many items you need to make for each show but it’s
better to over estimate than under estimate. If you sell out half way through
the show, not only are you missing out on sales but empty tables aren’t very
appealing for the customers.

Volunteer to help (optional)

If you have any extra time, see if the organizers need an extra hand with
anything. Helping set up tables before the show is a great way to meet fellow
vendors, make connections and scope out the space.

Show up on time

For a craft
show, this means arriving at least an hour before the show starts. Give
yourself enough time to get everything set up at your booth before the show
starts. You’ll often have some time after the doors open to play around with
your set up but no organizer wants you to have bins and tissue paper littering
the front of your table while there are customers walking around.

Meet your neighbours

craft shows will be too big or busy to meet everyone around you but if you
follow number 5, you should have a few minutes after setting up and before the
doors open to walk over and say hi to some of the vendors around you. It’s
always nice to chat to your direct neighbors on either side of you and offer to
watch their table if they need to run to the washroom (hopefully they’ll do the
same for you).

Be present

Some shows may be
slower than others so you may like to bring a book to read, a friend to chat to
or a craft to work on. But be sure that you always take the time to look up and
greet each customer. A craft show is like a retail store and you’re creating an
experience for the customer. We all know what it feels like to walk into a store
and have the staff ignore you. Be sure you’re doing your part to create a
friendly atmosphere for the show.

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Stay until the end

you’ve communicated to the organizer beforehand that you may have to leave
early due to certain circumstances, you should plan to be there until they
close the doors. It’s tempting to start packing up before the end of a long
show but it doesn’t leave a good impression to shoppers when there are empty
tables or if shoppers can’t get to your table because you’re packing up your

Clean your area

The organizers
have to hang around until everyone leaves and then make sure the space is left
in a clean condition to avoid any charges from the people who rent the space.
Be sure to do your part to clean your area and make sure you’re not leaving any
garbage or debris on the floor. If they’re stacking tables and chairs, offer to
fold yours up and add them to the stack.

10) Thank the organizer

They’ve just seen months of hard work come to
fruition. They’re likely exhausted but excited to have the day here. Thank them
for asking you to be a part of the show and congratulate them on a good job. If
you have any feedback for them you may want to send an email a few days after
the show, once the dust has settled for them.

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9 thoughts on “Craft Show Etiquette”

  1. Hello. Thank you for posting help for first-time vendors/crafters. I organize annual show for a school. I am looking for a creative way to make check-in easy. Waiting in line for check-in is now good. But we have help to get folks to their space, depending on volunteers. Sometimes they are all busy. Can you give me a few tips?

    I would love to use Eventbrite. But that would mean I share vendors email address, and the school won’t let me use their collection services. Looking to visually boost check-in. Layout was not large enough last time. Thinking of a pocket system to include business cards. I will collect cards and visually see this at home and one site. A lot of work to get started; making it all with reused items.


  2. Hi Nancy, glad you liked the article! Were you looking for tips on how to help vendors find their tables at the beginning of a craft sale? Or looking for ways to see online who is attending a craft show?

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