Tip #1: Sign up with a fellow vendor.
I can't imagine trying to do a booth without the support of a friend. My friend Tracy, at Paper Wings, and I tackled our first craft show together. It was great to have her feedback, accountability and motivation as we dove into this foreign world. So, my number one tip would be, find a friend, split the fee and only have half of the stress and pressure.
Tip #2: Make friends with your neighbors.
Not only does this make the craft show go by a lot faster during slow spurts, but you also have someone to watch your booth if you need to grab food or take a potty break. The best part is making new friends that you can network with in the future AND trade product with at the end of the show. Liz over at Liddabits was the one who mentioned this. What a concept! She came over and picked out some of my handmade goods in exchange for designing this year's family Christmas card. I can't wait to see it. Thanks Liz and it was fun meeting you!
Tip #3: Seek out a veteran vendor.
So, this kind of goes along with tip #2 although your neighbors may be in the same boat as you. I have been a longtime admirer of Ivey Handcrafted. Her stuff is adorable, she is so talented and does custom orders. Go find her on facebook! So, on Friday night when we were nervously walking in, wouldn't you guess the first fellow vendor I spotted was Ivey Handcrafted. I have to say that she is one of the most down to earth, approachable people I have every met. Right before closing time, I ran down to get the scoop on how the craft show went. Obviously, I didn't have anything to compare it to. She gave me some great advice and I look forward to chatting with her in the future!
Tip #4: Wear your product!! (if you can)
Tracy and I both sold things right off our bodies. Sounds a little dirty, but seriously, show your customers that your items can be worn. How else will they know unless they either try it on themselves or see it on you.
Tip #5: Your table display is key!!
Your table will make or break your sales. Watch your customers... do they feel comfortable approaching your table? Are they stopping and wanting to linger? Are all of your items easily accessible? Do a quick check every couple of hours to see if things need to be moved around. After your first day, assess what sold and what didn't. Is there a reason why? Nine times out of 10, it was probably due to a real estate issue on your table. Signage is also key, but very rarely read. Large simple prices make it easy for your customer.
Most people are not going to want to ask you how much things are and most likely if you get a wave of people you will not have time to answer them. If possible, make changing the price from day to day very easy. If something isn't selling and it's accessible to the customer, then it is probably priced too high. I did this by creating mini chalkboards (with chalkboard spray paint) on scrap wood. My husband added a screw so I could either hang them or flip it so it would stand on it's own. (He also made T-stands to hang my key fobs, lanyards and necklaces on... He might be nerdy, but he sure is handy!)