Thursday, November 12, 2009

Craft/Business Fair Time!

As the holiday season approaches their are many craft/business fairs being held all around you!. Make sure you jump in and become involved. These shows are wonderful and help promote your business.Never been involved with one? I have come up with a guide to which I follow every time and I hope this helps you.

Learning about the fair:

-Make sure you ask questions including what are the table fees?, do I need to pay a certain percentage of what i make? (Some places ask for 10-20% of what you made that day on top of table fees) Is their a Door prize donation?. Allow your self time to plan for it,and make sure you are available and free the day/s of the fair.


-Check Inventory. Go over all of your inventory. Write down what items you will need to order,what items have gone on sale, what items are no longer available etc. Here's a small checklist to look over :
-Any items you have in stock
-Order forms
-Business cards
-promotional items
-sale flyer's

- Have items in Stock. I always make sure I have enough items in stock so i can sell them at the fairs. I will usually add an extra quarter or 50 cents on top of the price to cover shipping charges. I order a large supply (depending on how big the fair is) to cover everything.Before I was a Work at home mom I went to many fairs and It really drove me away when I approached a table and their was nothing to purchase. Just grab a catalog and either order or book a party. I purchase in the moment, I do not want to wait,especially if I have to pay to get into the craft fair. They would have some of their items out (demo items) but nothing else.

- Price you items. Always price your items before the fair,not during. You don't want to have "extra" work to do at a fair. If your constantly working on your table it could drive away customers. You want to be prepared and show others your prepared also.

- Organize!. No matter what you sell you need to have your items organized. Place them in Rubbermaid containers,boxes, or rolling totes. Something that is easy for you,and still looks professional.

- Make your signs. If you have any specials,discounts or free gifts, make sure you print up or make a cute sign that says so. You want to draw your customers to you. I love seeing signs that state "75% off!" or "Free Gift!" I have a radar for those he he. Also make sure you have enough door prize slips.

The night before the show:

Make sure you double check everything. Nothing worse than forgetting something important and than having your hubby have to load up the kiddos and bringing you left item!. Here's a checklist for items other than your inventory:

-White out
-gift certificate's (if you offer them)
-Business cards
-extra price tags (they can fall off through out the show)
-Door prize box
- Table decor (items like table cloth/s, stands and other decor)
-Lunch including snacks and a drink (Your going to have people continually coming to your table so you may not have a chance to go grab some grub.) Bring food that's easy to eat and not messy.

- Pack all of your stuff the night before so you can leave fresh and early with your coffee and no worries.

- Go to bed early and get a good nights rest

My experience:
The first business fair I did. I didn't pack my items the night before thinking it wouldn't be a problem. I also didn't double check anything the night before I just assumed it was all their because I checked it a week prior. Well after getting ready the morning (Hair, makeup etc.) of the fair, I went to pack all of my business materials into the car, it was very windy and my car door was locked. I forgot my keys in the house so i had to run back in to get the keys,in the mean while the wind blew a top of one of my containers off and papers flew everywhere! I struggled to get everything together. Finally after Everything was packed I get into the car and my Hair was one big knot from the wind, my coffee was cold and I was running late. After I got to the fair to set up I realized I had forgot so many things! I had to borrow items left and right from other booths. It was unprofessional and just a mess but I learned a lot from it.

The day of the show:

- Set your alarm a little earlier than you need just in case you have ideas that come to mind. (I always get new ideas in the morning). Also so you can get up and have your "time" especially if you have kids.

- You have arrived!. Grab your business materials and find your table. When setting up for booth, make it stand out!. Don't make it too cluttered or unorganized looking.

- When making sales (especially if your selling items from your inventory) write down any and every items you sell and for how much. Its nice to have a simple list to see what you sold and how much you made. This also makes it easier when its time to restock and reorder.

Tips to make your table stand out!
- Add different heights to your table like placing boxes under the table cloth and place an item on it. It really stand out.
-Have color!
-Decorate according to the time of year. If its right around the holidays, have a Santa table cloth (or something to do with the holidays).
-Make you sale signs visible.
- Have a door prize box. Place a sign above it "FREE Drawing!". Have customers fill out a door prize slip. Not only are they entering a Free drawing for a free gift you are receiving info about them. Here's what I add to my slips:
Phone number:
email address:
would you like to join my newsletter?
Would you like to host a party? (catalog or home)

Some Do's and Dont's for craft fairs:

- Do make yourself approachable and ready to converse
- Be prepared
- Be up to date with specials or sales
- Have catalogs ready with order forms nearby ready for customers to order.
- Be courteous to other booth renters. If someone is looking for candles and you don't sell them, direct them to the nearest table that does sell them. Also if you are playing music or have candles lit, make sure the music is suitable for all ages and the candle isn't too strong.
-Be on your feet as much as possible
- Always be positive!


- Do not chew gum. Nothing worse than conversing with a consultant that representing a business and their smacking away at their gum.
- Do not sit the whole the time. Your making it look as if your not interested or excited to be there.
- Don't be obnoxious to other booth renters. Like commenting on their products "That doesn't work" or " You'll never sell that". (I had a woman do this to me about a year ago. She kept commenting on my items "that's to expensive" " I would never put that in my house" she was just rude to everyone around her. Sure enough she didn't sell one single item )
-Do not be negative about your business or company. No one likes to hear about how bad your products are,mistakes your company has made or how much you have made or haven't made.

- After the Day is done, pack up your items, clean up your booth area. Pack all of your items nicely so you can go through them when you get home.

After you get home:

Go through and see what items sold, what items were looked at the most. (So you know what items were most popular and make sure to order more next time.)

Follow ups!- Those good Ole' door prize slips now come in handy. I usually wait a day or two before I contact them. Not to long after though or they may forget. Contact them either by email or phone.

Now that you have done your first (or another) booth you always learn something new!.

Please add any experiences you have had or do's and

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