How to prep for an expo or big craft show!

So you have decided to take your business to a lifestyle or similar type of expo or event! Here are some things to take with you and some prep that will be helpful!

  • Stock, plenty of it! You want your shelves to look full, and there be plenty of backup stock!
  • Cash and eftpos, for smaller markets I normally think that eftpos machines aren’t necessary but at expos this is a must have. People don’t normally go to spend a lot of money so don’t normally have cash! You want to be prepared for their impulse purchases!
  • Branding, signage, flyers, business cards you want people to walk out knowing your name and where to find you. (I normally suggest some kind of flyer as business cards tend to get lost in the bottom of handbags or forgotten and you can fit more info on a flyer)
  • Booth. You want to plan out exactly how you are going to present your booth, you want it to be wow! Think balloons, photos, lots of signage and a colour scheme that fits with your branding.
  • Takeaways. Not fish and chips think jelly beans, balloons, magnets etc. All branded of course!
  • Competitions with newsletter opt-in. This is a great way to collect email addresses to forward on more info or special offers after the show.
  • Staff. If you are a one person business you may want to look into hiring someone to help, especially if this is more than a one day show. They are exhausting and you want customers on the last day to get the same experience as those on the first day. (Nothing worse than going to a show and all the vendors look like they are falling asleep one of my biggest peeves!!!)
  • Scrub up on your sale skills. At these shows you will be up against the professional salespeople, you know the ones with the 90’s pop star microphones yelling about how their magic peeler or vacuum cleaner is going to change your life. While I’m not telling you to go out and buy a Spice Girls microphone I am telling you that these are the kind of people you could be next to at the show and you don’t want to be drowned out! If you are new to sales you may like to do a few smaller shows first to find your confidence.
  • Write yourself a list. There’s nothing worse than setting up at a show and realising you have forgotten all of your promotion material or a vital piece of your booth set up -Yes this has happened to me and more than once! So write yourself a good checklist and leave yourself plenty of time to pack up and set up. You are not going to be your best setting up 15 minutes before the show starts after pulling an all nighter and packing in a hurry- yes also happened!
  • Take comfortable shoes! I can’t stress this enough, I’ve said it many times that people sitting behind a table of stock is not appealing to the customer! If you don’t look interested in your product why would anyone else be! Yes they are long days and it is exhausting but you’ll feel a lot better about it when you have made twice as much money at the end of the day! You’re there to sell and show off your product, rest when you get home!
  • Take some snacks! Often there aren’t a lot of food choices and you are there to make money not spend it! Things like protein bars, crackers, etc are best because you can put them down and serve a customer easily.
  • Check out my other Craft Show posts for more tips, tricks and proven methods to improve your craft show game!

Good luck at your first big show and remember to have fun, smile and make the most out of this experience!

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