How to set up a craft show booth like a pro (part one)

Do you ever wonder what goes into prepping for those craft shows you visit? Have you been thinking about selling your work? We asked Jenny and Sabrina of The Pig and The Peacock for their expert advice on being a vendor. And they delivered! Check back soon for part two …

Craft shows are a great opportunity to boost sales and meet your customers face to face so you can show them what you are all about. In order for you and your shoppers to have the best experience possible, you need to plan ahead and prepare.

Make Enough Product
First and foremost you need product – and plenty of it. You should aim to still have a relatively full display toward the end of the show. If your booth looks empty, you might get passed by. Depending on your price points, you should expect to sell 1/4 to 1/3 of the inventory you bring. The best way to be prepared is to make a production schedule and try to stick to it. Then bring everything to the show, even if you aren't sure you will sell it.

Lay Out Your Booth Space and Displays
About three weeks before the show, plan your booth space. Decide what your table layout will be, how your displays will be set up and where chairs and product storage will go but still be easily accessible. Tape off the booth space on the floor or driveway and be sure everything fits. Once you have a "floor plan," decide how your goods will be displayed.

You want to be sure your displays hold enough product, are easily shop-able, and add height and interest to your booth. Anything can be used as a display, from old crates and quirky vintage suitcases to simple metal hanging racks or risers. Bring tablecloths for your tables to create a visually appealing display that allows you to hide stuff under the table. Remember to consider lighting needs. Check out this Flickr Craft Show Group for ideas.

Create Signage
On average, a customer will ask the price of items only twice before they feel uncomfortable asking again. Put them at ease by creating signage or putting price tags on all of your items. Make sure the sign is easy for them to spot and big enough to read from a distance. Also be sure you have business cards handy and in a place that is easy for shoppers to find.