by Caroline Nelson of Little Cupcakes Company
Trunk Shows and Craft Shows/Fairs are a great thing to do to build your business! Local craft shows and fairs are easy to find if you search online or talk to other business owners in your community – but do your research on set up, attendance, and be careful of entry fees. Even if you don’t sell a ton, craft shows and fairs are a great way to get your name out into the community.
Trunk Shows (Home Shows) have been a very successful part of my business. I started doing these about 2 years ago just locally (in Dallas) – and now we have them all over the country. Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way:
- Get a good list together – the more people you invite – the more people will come! Use Facebook or other social media outlets to advertise your event – create an Event and invite all of your “friends” in the city where you’re doing the show. Evites also work well to get the word out.
- Send a “Save the Date” about 2 weeks before the event – including all the e-mail contacts you have (that are appropriate for this type of event) — and send a reminder e-mail the day before the event – include details of location, time, and any other details you’d like your guests to know.
- Set Up – start setting up early – and make an effort to display your items in a creative and fun way. The better the display = the higher sales!
- What you will need at the show: Order Forms, Business Cards, Calculator, Bags, Pens, and a Stapler. You will also need to consider forms of payment. Accepting credit cards will definitely increase your total sales! Propay is a very easy credit card processing site that has been successful for me.
- Most importantly, have FUN and do not stress if your sales aren’t as high as you anticipate. I’ve found that it sometimes takes 1-2 shows in a city or location to draw more customers. You will always gain a few customers at each show that will give you repeat business.
- Show Treats: It is also a good idea to offer some little treats for your guests – esp. if there will be children there – offer them a snack to keep them occupied while your customers shop! Providing a basket of toys can also be helpful!
- Show Follow Up: Sending a post-show email to all the attendees can be a good way to thank everyone for attending the show. You can also include your website in case the customer wants to pass along your info to a friend who couldn’t attend!
In summary, hosting a home show is EASY – and a great way to build business. You can team up with 2-3 other local artists/business owners and make it a great event.