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April 23, 2016



When you get a business card handed to you at a craft fair, what do you do with it? I appreciate a well-designed business card and know how much thought, time and money small businesses put into them so I would feel guilty if I just tossed them out. I actually have a really cute box in my office that holds all the cards I’ve been given by handmade businesses over the years. I am not the norm.

Over 80% of people toss the business cards they’ve been handed.

Even with the respect and safekeeping I give business cards, guess how often I look in that box? Almost never.


We’re connected to technology and so we no longer reach for the Yellow Pages when we need a business’ phone number; we go online.

You’ve got a website, social media pages and *ahem* hopefully a Made Urban store. These will all help increase your visibility online when someone types your business name into Google’s search bar. But the purpose of handing out business cards is to stay at the top of our (potential) customers’ minds and keep our contact info at their fingertips. They’re to be picked up and put into our pockets, wallets or purses.


So how can you fill that purpose in a way that fits in today’s digital age?


Get it on people’s phones.

We’re always connected to our phones. They’re in our pockets or within reach and are the first thing we grab when we need information but are not next to our computers. So getting your business’ information onto people’s phones rather than handing out a card is a great way to help them remember you and to save costs.


How can you get your business info onto peoples’ phones?


Instead of handing out business cards at your next craft fair, get shoppers to snap a picture of a sign that’s an enlarged business card.


You could set it in a frame (glass removed to reduce reflection) or mount it on some foamcore and hang or prop it somewhere in your space. You can also use foamcore to add a note on a cutout that prompts people to use their phones and snap a picture instead of taking a card to reduce waste, costs and keep your information handy.


I’m constantly looking in my phone’s photo albums…..mostly to check out photos of my cat, but the point is, I’m way more likely to come across your business if it’s on my phone rather than in a box in my office.


If you want people to think of you next time they’re in the market for the products you make, your business needs to be top of mind. And the way to stay top of mind is to stay in view.


This is the reason companies pay a lot of money for advertising. Brands don’t expect you to jump off the couch to run out and buy their product after seeing their commercial. But they know if you see their products and hear their name enough, they’ll be first in your mind when you are shopping.
Think about one of the least interesting things to shop for: insurance. If you had to look for a new insurance provider, who would you think of? I don’t have a clue what’s out there aside from GEICO and State Farm. They instantly come to mind due to the sheer amount of times I’ve heard their slogans and jingles, seen their mascots and laughed at their commercials. They’ve stayed in sight.


Your business needs to be seen after the craft fair and what better way than to get onto shoppers’ phones?


I would suggest keeping a few business cards to hand out to those who don’t have a camera on their phone or to include with your purchases. The business card sign will be a fun way for your shoppers to interact with your brand, attract some attention, save some money and stay in view.

Check out another version of this idea that simply uses a regular business card and adds a note next to it.



And if shoppers don’t take a card or snap a pic?

Well hopefully you’ve created a business, products and a display that shoppers remember. You’ve gotta make sure you’re not just another jewelry, soap or scarf vendor. You’ve gotta become THE jewelry, soap or scarf vendor selling…..well, what is it that makes your business unique?


Think of it this way; if a shopper didn’t grab your card and contacted the event organizer to find out your company name, could they describe your products and brand in just a few words? A jewelry vendor with the white and teal booth selling only turquoise pieces. The soap vendor whose booth looked like a candy factory and sells candy scented soaps. The scarf vendor who uses cruelty-free wool. 


If you immediately remembered GEICO’s commercials when I mentioned their name earlier, it’s because you made a connection with their brand. You may not have a strong connection with auto insurance….most people don’t….that’s why they’ve created a connection with people another way: through humor.

This article will walk you through how to build a connection with the shoppers at your next craft show so you stay in their minds, even without a business card.


You also don’t want to leave everything in their hands. Even if a shopper were to pick up your business card and hang onto it or put your business info in their phones, it still leaves you sitting by the phone…..well email, waiting for their message. Make sure you use the tip in this article too so you have a way to get in touch with them.


My FREE 5 day challenge will walk you through building a display that shoppers notice as soon as they walk in the venue and will be sure to remember long after they leave. Sign up for the FREE challenge below:



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  1. We have had great sucess for many years from having special business cards printed up with a $10 forever value on the back. We hand write a code consisting of letters and date on the corner so we know which trade show and mo/yr it was issued for our records. When the customer visits our shop we deduct the $10 from their total purchase no exceptions. No quilter will throw away $10 worth of supplies.

  2. I love the idea of using your cell phone. That way the customers don’t have to waste your money of ordering a lot of biz cards

  3. I buy a ream of cardstock for $5 and print off 2500 business cards to hand out and engage customers. I keep my nice printed ones for paying customers and card collectors (at comic cons it’s a thing).

    I usually only hand out that entire ream at most at conventions and I throw that $5 into advertising cost.

    I used to get upset when people threw my cards on the ground but I’ve now made it a game at conventions. I also try to look at it like this: a person with no intention of entering a vendor hall at a convention sees my card on the ground of their hotel. Suddenly now I’m in their thoughts and they never stepped foot near my booth.


    And another trick I’m going to implement at my next convention is creating a QR code that links back to your social media. I have one for my instagram now and hopefully I will score hundreds of new users at every convention!

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