Saturday, April 25, 2009

Craft Show: The Aftermath

Well, I'm home and MAN am I tired! Sorry I missed the last few days, I didn't have anything to share other than "HOLY COW it's in X days and I must sew sew sew sew!". Not very helpful!

My friend Barb and I went to the school last night to set up (this was a band boosters fundraiser), and from the beginning I was quite impressed. They had student and parent volunteers there to help us not only unload, but over the course of the hour or so that we were there, we were asked no less than 4 times if there was anything they could help us with. We got about 99% set up last night, making notes as to things we needed to remember to do/bring for today.

We got there this morning about an hour before opening. I had managed to get a few more shirts embroidered last night, as well as finished up another outfit to take. I've had lots of requests for pictures of my setup, and any hints and tips I can pass on. The picture at the top of this post is my setup from the front view while standing in the aisle. I am really happy with how it turned out, I completely could NOT have made it look as nice as it did without Barb though..she was awesome with ideas on how to make things look better and "more shoppable". The second picture is facing the clothing setup-I have some outfits simply hung on the closet doors (and the idea was for them to look a bit "shabby"-did I succeed???) and then my husband cut large dowels to create hanging rods for other items. Next time I will definitely create a bit more order to the way things are hung-ordering by size and type of item, today they were all just kind of smushed in wherever.

This third picture is the table that has key fobs, badge reels, rice bags, etc. on it. The table was full without being overcrowded, and we basically kept like items together. After this picture was taken we did move things around a little bit, bringing one of the key fob displays to the front and moving the wallets to the back to create a bit more visual interest.

Now, my immediate hints and tips:

  • It's very important to create areas of visual interest-using different heights for displays, lots of color (makes shoppers go "ooohh, what's this?!?!"), but still keeping some sort of order to your items.
  • Having small low dollar items will pull shoppers in to your booth, and in some instances will result in higher dollar sales (example: one lady started looking at the badge reels and fobs up front, and left having placed a custom order for a dress).
  • Be approachable and friendly without being overbearing. Don't stand right at the front of your booth, it makes it hard for people to see your items, and in some instances you may come off as a "gatekeeper" or intimidating-NOT what you want your customers to feel!
  • Know your own products, and if you have a helper educate them on your products as well. Barb was with me all day, and while I didn't do a great job of educating her about things like my rice bags and why they are awesome she listened to me talking and picked up on it quickly-MAJOR help!
  • Lastly, having someone with you is great! I know it's not always possible to have an "assistant" but it really is helpful. Not only could I go to the restroom or go browsing knowing my booth was in capable hands, but when it was busy and I was talking to one person and someone else walked up, she was able to welcome them and help answer questions and talk up my products so I wasn't left feeling like I had to ignore one person over the other, etc.
  • Make good signs! Mine were NOT spectacular by any means (and I forgot to bring my banner with me..oops), they did the job but didn't really fit well with the feel of my booth. Lesson learned.
That's what I have off the top of my head (and I'm majorly sleep deprived and wiped out so hopefully they make sense!). This show was amazingly well run-not only did they provide the aforementioned help in loading/unloading-but they also had parent volunteers who would come relieve you at your booth if you were alone for a potty break, etc. They delivered lunch to your booth, I even saw one volunteer who was helping a vendor with her baby since the vendor was there alone. There was a great turnout, I'm hoping they send out an email to the vendors with the attendance numbers, but my guess there were somewhere around 700-1,000 people in attendance. My sales were better than I thought, and I made some very good contacts with people that will hopefully pan out into large orders in the coming weeks. I'm VERY pleased with the show, and can't wait to get to my next one!

What are your tips for running a successful craft show booth? Any ideas on how I can improve my setup or comments on anything I've left out? Talk to me!


Anonymous said...

Great job Mika (and Barb)! I love the doors!

chris said...

Hi Mika, I never went to your blog before but linked here from the group to see how your show went. I love the closet door idea and everything looks great! I'm glad the show went so well! -chris

momof2princesses said...

OMG, It looks like a little closet. I love it. I am so glad you did well. ~Amanda

Serenity said...

I love the look of your booth. You are a very creative person Mika. I am glad it went well for you and you certainly deserve it! Jan :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Mika,
I'm from the group as well. I'm getting ready for my very first show on May 9th and your set up is wonderful. So are your tips! Hope I do well so I can spend some $$$ in group. hahahaha

Dahara Dreaming said...

WTG Mika! Barb, wow, what a gal to have on your team! Your booth and products looked awesome. All those things you felt you had to learn - those are the show lessons you sorta learn the "hard way", so btdt - still learning!!! Love the doors setup, you're gonna have even more amazing shows in the future!