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Craft Fairs: Extending Your Business

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You’ve put hours and hours of time into your craft show. You hope that it will all be worth it.  But make sure you don’t judge your outcome solely on sales at the end of the day. In order to be successful at the show, you must also put some time into planning ways in which you can continue to reach the customers in front of you.  This is how your business will grow in the future.

Many ideas seem commonplace, but are important enough that they deserve a refresher. The first is to always have business cards on hand. In fact, it would be a good idea to place them in several different areas of your booth. Be sure to include your business name, your name, your email address and a website, if applicable. A picture is not necessarily vital, but may serve you well if it immediately identifies the products you carry. You may want to include some kind of discount code so customers look forward to making that first or next purchase with you in the future.

can also be utilized at the craft show. Most word processing programs include templates for putting these together. 
Or, venture out on your own to come up with a brochure style that works for you. Oftentimes, customers will pick these up for when they have more time to evaluate your products. You may also want to include the “story” behind your business as a way to personalize what you do and to connect with the customer. Don’t forget to make sure your contact information is provided!

The third strategy to build your business from the craft fair is to keep a guest book in your booth. Customers can sign their
name and provide an email address if they are interested in receiving more information from you.  This is valuable way to get out the news on new products you will carry in the future, sales and promotions, or other shows you will be attending. This gives you a good base of potential buyers who are interested in what you have to offer.  You could also have a drawing to win some prizes for those who enter their name and contact information.

Listen to what customers are saying
when they enter and leave your booth. Take mental note and jot things down to help you
remember afterwards. It’s key to find out what people are looking for, their reactions to prices, and what motivates them to make the final purchase.

Keep a portfolio
of your past work in your booth. Up-close photographs of not only the products themselves, but different ideas
of how to use them can really encourage the customer to “see” the possibilities of what you are offering. You may also consider taking special orders from customers.

As funny as it may sound, try to step outside of your comfort zone and meet other vendors who are there with you! Exchange
information and talk together about upcoming shows. You might be surprised how much you can learn from someone who is in the same boat as you!

In the end, it is helpful for you to evaluate your experience at the show you just finished. Take the time to list the pros and
cons of what occurred at the show. What items sold? Which items did not? Take note of all of your expenses. Don’t underestimate the importance of really “debriefing” your experience and taking note of these things on paper. After it is all said and done, you will look back and be grateful that you took the time to write these things down, as it will help you think about future shows you may or may not be interested in.

We hope you enjoy your craft show experience! Know that there are many people behind the scenes who are cheering you on and want
to see you succeed! Preparing for and selling at a craft fair CAN be worthy of your time and your talents. Maintain a positive attitude, knowing that each and every show you attend is a new opportunity to learn more about your business….and yourself.


We want to hear from YOU on the blog!

Blog Question: What ideas have you implemented in order to extend your business beyond the craft fair? What has worked? What has not? What is the best advice you can give someone when they are looking at selling their products?

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