Gearing up for craft show season can become extremely overwhelming, especially when you don’t properly prepare for it. The holiday season is the time for you to sparkle and shine and if you don’t organize yourself from the beginning, it could mean leaving money on the table… and I know you don’t want to do that!
Since we have a whole lot to talk about, I have organized this article into 3 different parts: before, during, after.
- Set goals. I am a big believer in setting intentions before you set out to do anything. Take a couple hours and get really clear on how much your want to sell, how much money you want to make, and how this all feels in your body. Close your eyes and visualize what sensations you feel after you have accomplished your goals. This may feel weird at first but trust me, it freaking works!
- Get yourself organized. Create a spreadsheet in Google docs and enter in all the shows you are going to be selling at. Next, put in any data from previous years like how much of each items you sold and how much money you made. This will give you a clear idea of how much stock you need to make. If you have never done any shows before, estimate based on what your goals are and what you can realistically manufacture.
- Check out what you currently have. Do you have stock left over from last season? Are there some materials you could still use? Go through ALL of your stuff before you start making or buy more supplies. Unused supplies are really like piles of money!
- Create a production schedule and stick to it. Put this into a calendar so you are able to focus on one day at a time instead of worrying about what you need to do next month.
- Organize all your show gear. Have a master list of all the stuff you need to remember to bring and start organizing it all in clear plastic boxes that you can stack. Put lists on the sides of what they contain.
- Web updates. Have all the shows you will be at on your website and make sure you are consistently posting on your favorite social media sources so customer know exactly how they can find you.
- Let the media know. Send out a press release with shows you will be at and what new products you will have. Ask the show organizer if they could use your press release and photos too. Also tell them that you would love to be featured on TV if they are looking for designers for any segments. I know this can be scary but the result will blow your mind so DO IT!
- Arrive as early as you can for set up. You do not want to be a hot sweaty mess setting up frantically 15mins before the doors open. Customers will feel stressed out just looking at you!
- Make sure your signage is super easy to read and noticeable. Think of your booth as a big, virtual business card. Creating brand awareness is just as important as selling.
- Get to know your neighbors and introduce yourself to the show organizers. The more people you are friendly with, the better it is for your business, plus you might make some new crafty buds. Maybe you can do some tradesies later too J
- Selling is all about mind set and energy. Put positive vibes out into the world and you will get them back. If you look like you are having fun customers will be attracted to you and more inclined to stop by your booth and look at your stuff.
- Engage in conversation and be as helpful as you can be. Ask questions like, “who do you still need to buy for?” or “have you been to this craft show before?” and “would you like to try that on?” Tell customers how you started and what your process is. They LOVE to hear stories about passion so give it to ‘em!
- Collect emails. It is not enough to just give out your card you need to get their email too. In the dating world, you would be the pursuer and you want to get a hot date with your customer! A great way to do this is to have a contest. Make sure your prize is awesome so customers will be more inclined to enter.
- Resist the urge to throw all your show gear into a big random pile. I know it is tempting, but if you take some time to organize you will thank yourself later. Make sure you do a final inventory count and list any supplies you will need to order more of.
- Show some love. Enter all your new emails into your database and send out a newsletter of gratitude to everyone who stopped by your booth and supported you. If they can still order product on Etsy before the holidays, make sure you give them a shipping deadline.
- Take some time to reflect. Go to your favorite coffee shop and write down anything you learned, cool people you met and acknowledge yourself on any goals you achieved. Also, take some time to set new goals for next year.
- What comes before part B? PART-AYYY! Treat yourself to some luxurious time off because you earned it baby. Show season is a grind and I highly suggest pampering yourself for at least a couple days and having as much fun as possible.
I know the holiday season can be a time of nerves, anxiety and all-nighters. BUT I promise if you follow these guidelines you will feel way less stressed when you make it rain dolla’ bills. Now go rock your holiday sales!
Pssst! If you want even more tips on how to make this you most success season ever, check out my Cha Chingle Bells program.