Some random thoughts as craft show season kicks into high gear. I am thrilled that I no longer do shows. They're very demanding, and you're subject to the elements. If you're a social outgoing person that loves meeting new people-you'll be in your element!
I did craft shows for 20+ years this advice is GOLDEN.
1. Wind should scare the snot out of you. I have seen people seriously injured, by cartwheeling booth structures. Take weighing down your booth SERIOUSLY. If you're on grass, take 4 corkscrew in dog tie downs. They're very useful, and use the car tie down ratchet sets to tie down your booth to the corkscrew tie downs.. Buy a professional booth canopy. Another affordable option is the Goliath, I bought one of those after being frustrated with the tinker toy type canopies. Don't buy an E-Z Up! Check into a pop up style Goliath booth-they're awesome.
2. Bring hearty comfort food bagels, cream cheese, sandwiches. Cut it into small bites, that way you won't be stuck with "I've interrupted your lunch" moments. Gatorade, water, lots of drinks.
3. Price everything!
5. ALWAYS keep your money/checks/CC slips on you. A change box is easy to steal.
6. Get set up for credit card transactions. Tablet type swipe POS are great!
7. Keep conversation light with other artists-and tune out the Debbie Downers.
8. Spend 3 minutes with each customer. Let them browse after that. Pace yourself.
9. Take a small trash can, feminine products, tissues, baby wipes, sunscreen, a hat...
10. Have a variety of price points. Some people may have money to blow, others not so much.
11. Get there early, don't be in a rush. Once I misunderstood the time the show opened, and arrived an hour late!
12. Always take duct tape.
13. Watch for thieves.
14. Choose your show venues wisely-check them out. Then apply early!
15. Invest in professional photography to apply to the shows.
16. Be professional at all times. See #7 shows can be stressful, I have seen promoters fall apart.
17. Put your chair up front, and have one for the customer. Do a demo of your work!
18. Raise your table display with PVC pipes to make the product shine. Get the displays higher.
19. Get two big oversized photos made up. Really show off your work to someone 30 feet away.
Get a detail shot or two of you making the work. Big photos are inexpensive, have them laminated, and mounted on foam core boards. Make it easy with tabs to hang on your display-same goes for your sign. Make it big and bold.
Be patient. Don't let people's silly comments bother you. You need a thick skin, and realize that sometimes you will fail. Shows than earn $4,000 one year can yield $800 the next. It's the nature of the beast, have a plan, and never place all your expectations on any given show. It's a great big unknown-if you're overly anxious and sensitive, shows can be a real drain. Try a one day farmer's market spot instead. Then build on that, and so on.