Craft Show Tutorial with Karen Gresham (Part 1)

Craft Shows
A great way to sell your handmade products and grow your business!

What are the benefits?

  • Make money
  • Networking with other creatives
  • Meet your local community and develop name/brand recognition
  • See what is trending
  • Positive affirmations on your product
  • Opportunity for wholesale
  • Gain confidence and experience
  • Grow your social media and mailing list

What are the challenges?

  • Physically demanding
  • Inventory
  • Booth Staging
  • Costs related to registration, staffing, travel, inventory
  • Logistics related to booth set up/take down, staffing, managing inventory
  • Payment processing

Am I Ready?

  • Do you have inventory
  • Do you like interacting with your customers
  • Are you looking for new opportunities
  • Do you want to grow your community
  • Start small and work your way up to larger shows

How to Find a Show

  • Local Resources
    • Word of Mouth
    • Chambers of Commerce
    • Church/School Fundraiser
  • Regional Resources
    •– basic info is free; pro service varies- purchase by month ($15) or annual ($60); includes ability to list your items for sale
    • – basic info is free; detailed info is 1 year membership ($34.95) or 3 months ($19.95)
    • – basic info is free; details and annual membership with quarterly newsletter ($48.95)

What Expenses to Expect

  • Show registration fees
  • Business license/Vendor license if required
  • Travel- hotel, gas, food
  • Booth set up/seasonal decorations
  • Show assistant
  • Payment processing fees
  • Local/State taxes
  • Insurance

Ask Questions before Committing

  • Is the show well established or is it new
  • How many are expected to attend
  • How is the show marketed- locally, social media
  • What are the entry requirements? Juried or non-juried
  • Are there other handmade crafters or MLS vendors
  • Are there other vendors in your same niche
  • Does the show provide security? If an overnight show, is security 24/7
  • When can vendors set up/take down
  • What is the cancellation policy? Rain or shine
  • Indoor or outdoor booth
  • Local accommodations for lodging/food
  • What are the requirements on booth size, design, types items

Set a Show Goal

  • To get the most out of each show, set expectations and goals
  • Types of goals could include:
    • Growing your email list
    • Developing new relationships with other vendors
    • Getting local brand recognition
    • Growing your social media following
    • Selling for profit $$$
    • Developing a customer service strategy
    • Developing sales skills
    • Learning what works and what doesn’t

Develop a strategy

Determine How Much to Take

  • Option 1: Based on vendor fees
    • Popular technique- 8 to 10x show fees
      • $75 entry fee x 10x= $750 in sales; bring enough inventory to meet this in sales
      • Avg wreath $50- would need to sell 15 wreaths
      • Avg wreath $85- would need to sell 9 wreaths
  • Option 2: Based on show attendance
    • Figure a 1-3% conversion of attendees to sales
      • Anticipated attendance= 500; 3% conversion would be 15 sales
      • Avg wreath $50- would net $750 in sales
      • Avg wreath $85- would net $1275
  • Option 3: Based on sale goal
    • Set sales goal and bring 2-3x sales goal in inventory to meet goal
      • Sales goal= $1500
      • Would need to bring $3000-$4500 worth of product to meet goal

Maker’s Timeline

Once shows are scheduled and you have determined how much inventory is needed, it is time to determine your timeline!

  • Determine your inventory goal
  • Figure out how many days/weeks/months you have until the show (don’t work right up to show day!)
  • Inventory goal is 60 wreaths
  • Show is 3 months out= 12 weeks
  • You will need to make 5 wreaths a week!

Now you know how many wreaths/items you need to make to have enough!

Other Inventory Considerations

  • Make items in a variety of price points
  • Be sure to include a showstopper item
  • Make more than one of each style
  • Make small quick items (bows, small florals, pre-made wreaths with your bows, etc)
  • Determine how you will bag your items after the sale
  • Make a plan for restocking during the show

Let’s Talk Booth Space

Design your Space

  • Find out booth space from show organizer
  • Look at show map for traffic patterns and how other vendors are spaced around your booth
  • Have a plan for indoor set up and outdoor set up (depending on show)
  • Will you require electricity? Ensure your cords meet the requirements
  • Find out the show guidelines/restrictions on set up- tent specifications, display table requirements, signage allowed

Booth Success Tips

  • Practice your full booth set up at least a week before the show
  • Make a show check list of all items you needed when you practiced your set up; take pictures if needed
  • Make a contingency plan for inclement weather
  • Clearly display your pricing and price your items early
  • Leave room in your booth for customers to walk freely- consider those with walkers, wheelchairs, and baby strollers
  • Set up a check-out station
  • Take snacks, bug spray, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, chapstick, paper towels, extra clothes, towels, tool kit


Tune in on Wednesday, January 19, 2022 for our Q&A session in the Facebook group at 7:30 PM EST!

Next segment will cover:

  • Marketing Strategy
  • Processing Logistics
  • Post-show Analytics
  • Developing a mindset for success

Get a Free Craft Show Timeline:
Text “craft show” to 334-373-1443

1 Comment

  1. Debra Millerschultz on January 13, 2022 at 1:09 pm

    Outstanding information! Thank you Karen!!

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