How to Strategize for a Successful First Craft Show

If you’re thinking about signing up for your first craft show, then do it! Shows are a great way to get your company some exposure, present your products in person, and persuade people to buy your creations. While the whole process can be intimidating — especially if you’ve never done it before — you can make your first show a success with a little strategy and preparation. Here are some tips from Extreme DIY to start you off on the right foot.

Offer a Seamless Checkout Experience

Cash is still common at craft and art shows. Nonetheless, it’s 2019, and a lot of people will want to pay conveniently with a credit or debit card. If you don’t have an up-to-date point-of-sale system (POS), now is the time to get one. With a quality POS system, you can quickly and securely process payments, as well as track and manage inventory across locations.

Factor in All the Costs of a Craft Show

When you’re planning for the show, you will need to consider your pricing and your budget. Even if you already have prices established for your products, you will need to factor in the costs that come with doing a show and making any necessary changes. For instance, it typically costs anywhere from $25 to $200 to rent a booth.

Additionally, make sure you consider the price of materials, promotion and marketing, travel, credit card fees, permits, and shipping. You don’t want to overcharge for your products — nor do you want there to be a large gap between your normal price and show price — but you also don’t want to lose a lot of money in the process.

Create a Presentation That Fits Your Brand

Presentation is essential when it comes to selling your products at a show. Yes, you want your booth to stand out so that people come to see what you have, but you also need to make sure your booth is in line with your brand. That is, if you specialize in custom woodwork, boutique clothing, or handmade jewelry, your presentation needs to reflect it.

Provide Quality Packaging

Another important factor is impressing people as they walk away. Invest a few bucks in packaging, such as merchandise bags and boxes, tissue paper, care instruction cards, and business cards (which comes in a variety of different styles). If you want to go the extra mile, have your business logo and name printed on the bags and boxes.

Show Off Your Previous Work at the Craft Show

Consider getting a book printed that showcases the products you’ve made in the past. This can come in handy, as you will probably be limited in space. If someone sees a photo of a product you sold previously, they may want to place an order for one just like it. You can usually get a photo book printed from online services like Shutterfly or Picaboo for a reasonable price.

Plan for Tax Season

If you’re selling your art on a part-time basis, it’s all too easy to overlook tasks like filing your taxes or choosing a business structure. Yes, even part-time artists can’t skip out on these responsibilities! Self-employed artists still have to file during tax season. So to avoid being caught off guard by a huge bill, save money throughout the year in a separate savings account for this very purpose.

In addition to saving in anticipation of tax time, you can also open an LLC online through a formation service. This is a relatively affordable process Establishing your business as an LLC will ensure that your assets are protected, as well as granting you some special tax breaks!

Doing your first craft show can be a great and rewarding experience if you plan well. So, make sure to have a quality POS system and smartphone, and price your items so that you make a profit. Also, build an impressive presentation that reflects your brand, offer professional packaging, and display a photo book of your products. Most of all, remember that this is your first rodeo, enjoy it, and learn as much as possible!

Photo Credit: Pexels

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