Craft fairs are a great way to make new customers, network with other vendors, and keep up on the latest trends. Sometimes they can be scary, especially if you have never done one before, but they truly are one of the best ways to bring new business your way! Their is some work involved, but all the effort pays for itself, especially if you have a successful turnout. So what can you do prepare yourself, and up your chances for success?
1. Have a Creative and Unique Display. One of he first things I notice when I go to craft fairs, or juried events is how well the display is setup and what kind of eye candy is out in the open. If it doesn’t look interesting up front I usually do not stop in unless I have time to kill. First impressions are a must, and no one is going to want to look at a poorly displayed stand. They want to look at something unique, that stands out, somewhere they feel they dollar is worth being spent at and somewhere where they can see instantly the kind of goods that are inside. Have some of your best work displayed up front, a piece that is eye-catching and is going to draw in the crowd. There are several different ideas you can use to stand out, just be creative and really put some thought into how you want to display your work. You may want to use rocks to drape some of your pieces on, Metal Earring Trees, Old Picture Frames…..make yourself unique and stand out. (But don’t overdue it, too much can be just as unappealing as clutter or thoughtless displays)
2. Have Information Ready. This may surprise you but I have gone to fairs where the vendor did not have any information to take with, and that is a bad thing. There are a good handful of customers who go to craft fairs and do not purchase anything but love to grab business cards and additional information so they can browse your site later. Without this information you may lose a potential customer and that potential customers referrals.
3. Know What You Are Selling. Yes, I know this sounds silly but there are some sellers who do not know too much about what they are selling. Once again, I know that might sound strange, but it happens where people buy beads to use because they look good, but can’t recall later on what the bead is or anything about it. Customers want to buy items from sellers who know their product — it’s what makes them comfortable when making the purchase .
4. Great Customer Service. For those of you who have not read my article on customer service, you may want to take a browse at it. Customer service is a must to keep customers coming to you, and to keep them buying from you. Be friendly when they come to your booth, compliment the way a piece stands out on them, and be ready to answer questions. Another important thing to remember though is there may be customers who monopolize your time, which in turn can cause other potential customers feel like you don;t care about their business. If you get a “monopolizer”, don’t be rude, just apologize that you would like to talk more but you need to help these customers over here.
5. Look Professional but Approachable. No one wants to buy from a seller who has dirt under their finger nails or looks snooty. Make sure that you look professional, your well-groomed, and that you wear clothing that looks nice but not over the top. I always feel intimidated when I go to a stand and the representative is wearing a suit……I would just wear a nice pair of slacks and a nice shirt. You will get more people who will want to approach you.
I hope this tips are useful and helpful. Just remember have fun — customers want to see someone who smiles and looks like they are having a great time being there. Those are the most approachable vendors in my mind. Good Luck!