Attending your first few craft shows can be a bit daunting. I hope to help with some craft show tips for beginners. Don’t forget, we have all been in this position ourselves before!
Craft Show Tips for Beginners
Here are the 7 most important items I use when I am selling at an event or craft fair.
- It is vital that you have the correct ‘stuff’ with you when selling at an event. There is nothing worse than realising there is something that you need when you are already there.
- I have been selling at events across the country for the past 8 years and have put together a list of the things that either make my life easier or make my stall look professional. Every item I will be discussing is something that I have bought and still use to this day.
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How To Make Your Stall Look Professional.
- We need to start with my biggest bugbear…. table coverings!
- I have seen many weird and wonderful ways of covering sales tables over the years. Amazingly, I have seen people throw a bin bag over the table then plonk their stuff down. I’ve also seen many different variations of creased curtains, rugs, paper and lino flung over tables. Many of these only cover part of the table and they are almost always wonky. Don’t even get me started on the people who don’t put anything on and leave it bare!
- When I first started out, I used a plain black tablecloth which would be ironed before each event (thanks Mum!). My mum comes to most events with me and the amount of time we used to take to ensure the tablecloth was straight was ridiculous!
- A couple of years ago, I was introduced to the wonderful world of spandex table coverings and I haven’t looked back since!
I love these for a number of reasons. Firstly, they make your stall look very professional as it reaches right to the bottom. They wash easily, dry quickly, and don’t need ironing. You can get them in loads of different colours but I always think black or white looks the best. They cover tables up to 6 feet. I have used them on small 3 foot tables as well and just draped them over.
- Not all event organisers will provide you with a table. If you are selling at an outside event where you need your own gazebo, you will also need your own tables. I love the tables shown below. In fact, have 6 of them! They come in packs of 3 which is great value. I find them really helpful when I’m at an outdoor event as they are easy to move around. I also find sometimes that 3 big tables is too much but 2 is not enough, so being able to use 5 of these smaller ones is perfect. When you put 2 of them together, the stretchy table coverings fit perfectly on them. I also tend to being one of the tables with me when I have an indoor event as it comes in handy for money, bags, order book etc.
These tables are great value as they are sold as a set of 3. They are lightweight to carry yet will take a lot of weight. I like that they have 3 height settings which are easy to do. They have a handle on for carrying, and I find they fit into the boot of my car easily.
- Flyers are an important part of your marketing and branding as a creative business. You will fine that many people will take a flyer from you at events, even if they don’t buy on the day. Having the flyers on your table, visible and looking nice is very important. Just sticking them in little piles on your table is not the way to do it, I promise.
A4 Display Stand.
- I use these for a number of reasons. If I am short of space, I will use one for a price list. It is also handy to make a branded ‘we take card payments’ sign (If you don’t take card payments, you are missing out on a lot of sales). These stands don’t take up much space on your table but can display a lot of information for you.
This stand is sturdy and can be packed easily, especially if you have more than one. Any signs will be clearly and professionally displayed using these holders.
They also come in handy if you sell prints as can be a great way to display them.
How To Make Your Life Easier At An Event.
- If you attend a lot of different events, making your life easier is very important. Being organised and prepared are huge factors when attending an event. I wish I had thought to look for craft show tips for beginners when I was first starting out, rather than learning through trial and error! I have 2 checklists in my workroom, one for indoor events and one for outdoor events. The following 3 items are on both lists!
- If you only make one purchase from now to help with your business, it has to be this! I would be lost without it! Those of us who have attended different events have all been to many where you go back and forth to the car to unload, and then pack up again at the end of the day. It is tiring and time consuming, especially if you have large items.
- A friend of mine had one of these trolleys at an event we were both at, and i was consumed with jealousy at how easy it was for her to move everything around! I ordered one as soon as I got home and have been in love with it ever since!
This trolley folds really compactly. I put it on the floor behind my seat in the car. It has a cover which is easy to take on and off. When folding it back you just pull a cord and put the bag on it. I can fit my display stands, stock and a few tables into it. It will move over grass as well as paved flooring. To top it off, it has 2 cup holders attached to it! You have to pull it rather than push it but it’s really easy to navigate.
- If you take cards at events, you will need one of these. I use a Paypal card reader which uses their handheld device as well as my phone, and both batteries can drain quickly if you are taking a lot of card payments. I bought this portable charger a few years ago and it’s still going strong, even though it only cost me £8!
This charger is brilliant. I can take it to weekend events, use it 3 or 4 times on both days and it still has power left. It charges my phone and card reader quicker than when I plug them into the wall, which is ideal when it’s a very busy event. It fits into my cash tin as well.
- It looks like I’m stating the obvious here with a cash tin, but I am speaking from experience of having the wrong box to keep my money in for many years. I started off with a small cash tin. You know, the one where you lift the coin tray up to get to the notes? It may be nice and compact but as soon as it gets busy, or there are 2 of you manning the stall when it’s busy, the coin tray soon gets lashed and everything put in together!
- This is what I use now and find it a lot easier!
SO, there you have some craft show tips for beginners, in the form of the 7 most important things I have bought to help me at sales events.
Have I missed anything out? Do you have something amazing that I haven’t considered? I have a fear of missing out, so please let me know in the comments below!