venator

First craft show advice needed

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venator   

So we have our first craft show in 2 weeks and I was wondering what advice folks might have.  We're doing a bunch of cuffs, bracelets, notebook covers, misc bags etc. 

 

Any suggestions for setup, products pricing etc from the more experienced folks here?

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Halitech   

I know this will sound stupid but

1. don't let them see you sweat. you know your work, you know leather, just be confident

2. Say Hi to EVERYONE that walks by, even if they don't seem like they are interested in what you are selling. I've gotten more sales by getting them to stop and taking a look just by saying hello as they walked by

3. don't use stickers to tag your prices, use something that can be tied on

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Based on your location, I'm guessing it's an indoor show? :)

Do you know how the room will be set up or in a school's hallways?  I try to scout my location a few days in advance and have had to redesign my booth to fit odd spaces.  You want your display to be eye-catching and attractive but not to much to distract from or camouflage the products.  Lighting is very important;  we did shows 'back in the day' and LED lights were still new.  Since powerful and clean LED lights are abundant now, that could even run on batteries, I would light as a photographer once told me, "Every curve gets a highlight and every highlight gets a curve"  (It was a weird conversation, but you get the idea).

I liked to keep the register/money/invoice exchanging station out of site - when people browse, they don't want to be 'hit over the head' with 'GIVE ME YOUR MONEY!!!' until they are ready to make that decision on their own.  However, feel free to start a conversation about the product or process if someone picks something up to get a closer look.

Halitech said it above - smile and be confident.  Some shoppers will be trolls and maybe not even know it by saying things like, "I can get that cheaper at Wal-Mart" - be prepared for some negative feedback and prepare your responses in advance because it will surprise you the first time you hear it.  Be positive and polite.

HAVE A GREAT TIME!  It's scary having your first show.  You'll learn quickly what venues match your offerings best.  Don't be afraid to change the types of show you sell at; high-school crafts, juried art shows, etc.

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My wife and I tried our first booth a few weeks ago. She is an artist finally putting herself out there. She sprung the event on me so I had nothing ready to go. But here are somethings i learned. 

Make your booth as inciting as can be. I noticed people not wanting to come "in" to the booth out of some form of wierd forced obligation. So, maybe try to make a front line for your spot. That way when they walk up they can just walk down the front line without feeling obligated or intimidated. Think about how gun show booths are set up.

Another thing I saw was there was no man candy at the event. It was all knick knacks, food, and jewelry. The men looked bored as their wives led them around the event. Get some things in there that will draw the men. They need something to do and someone to talk to.

When we went to Eureka Springs this year we found a great little shop. This guy had knives, purses, and shoes. Excellent business model to include the whole family. We spent more than an hour in his shop and had a great time. My wife bought a new top and I got a new knife.

Hope this helps.

Edited by bikermutt07

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OLDNSLOW   

it was suggested at the top to put a tag on items, what I did at the 2 shows we did in the last 4 months was to use a business card on each item.  We punched a hole in each business card and tied it to the item with the same thread we sew with and the item price on each card.  and put some smalles out that can apply to both sex's like a key fob you can make or something like a miracle bracelet and make sure you card is one each item.  

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venator   

Thanks for all the advice folks, I'm an old hand at trade shows so there's no issues with me being friendly and saying 'hi' to everyone.

We had already planned on using our business cards as our price tags so I'm glad to see that people think we are on track with that.

With regards to items we're running quite a variety so I expect there's something for everyone at our booth including cuffs, bracelets, chokers, dog collars and leashes, notebooks, bookmarks, large bags, small bags, belts, and a few other things.

If there's more advice feel free to keep it coming!

Stuart

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TrackVW   

Business cards are tacky as price tags ,  maybe have someone print  you old style fancy price tags that are the size of business cards but  have a more direct drawing of a leather worker.......and your contact info

or make up some fancy leather price tag holders that you can change paper insert + price

if its your style , have something WILD ,just to slow them down ,

if its a big show you may only have only one chance to slow them down to talk to them ,

GOOD LUCK

Update:  one way to make the 'business card" look better is to round off the corners or cut the edges off at a 45 degree angle

Just so they look "special"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by TrackVW
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