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The Most Important Things To Do When You Setup for a Craft Fair

Going to craft fairs are important for your business.  There are many things that you learn from being out and about with potential customers.  Because of how important they are, you really need to make sure that you go about it the right way.  There are lots of tips and tricks I've learned about setting up for the perfect day at a craft fair.  If you follow these, then I am sure you will be successful. 

1.  Practice Set-up - Either in your garage, your house, or in your yard, make sure you practice your set up.  I know it takes a lot of time, but I promise this is an important one.  You will have limited time the day of the event so you won't be able to play around with where you want to put things.  If you do it days prior, setting up the day of, will go much quicker!  Another tip of what I've done before is to take pictures of your set up.  Save your pictures, and maybe put notes of what worked and what didn't.  If you do have an early event, you might not be caffeinated up enough to think about it, so you can just refer to your pictures!

2.  Get There Early - Most likely, the coordinator will already have your spot picked out for you, but if not, the earlier you get there, the better spot you can get.  Maybe you need electricity, or you want to be at the first spot when people walk right in. Even if you don't get to pick your spot, it's still important to get there early.  Usually, parking right in front of the event, whether outside or inside, is limited.  You'll want to get there early so that you don't have to walk back and forth from your car too far, or you won't have to wait for a spot in order to do so.  Finally, it is important so you have plenty of time to set your booth up just the way you like it.


3.  Bring a Headlamp - If it is an outside event, and starts in the morning, make sure you bring a headlamp.  I did a lot of Farmer's Market events, so they were outside, and there was not much for light when we would get there.  Early in the morning, a headlamp would help so you don't get slowed down.  

4.  Start Big- This may seem obvious, but it is important to put out there.  Start with the big stuff.  Get your tent set up first (if you're using one), sides and all.  If you have a sign, put that up at the same time.  Then set up your tables, and any other display type items you may have. Once you have your big stuff out, it's a lot easier to start populating them with your items. 

5.  Priced Items - This is something that you should do before the day of the event as well.  I usually put price tags on all of my inventory after I make it, so it's not such a big job later.  Or, you could have a pricing sheet made and posted at your booth.  Or, you could have nice little price display signs for each item.  Whatever you decide to do, it's important to price the items before hand so you don't have that questions a hundred times during your event.  People may not want to wait for you to finish talking with another person, and not know the price of an item, so they just leave. 

6.  Back Up Plan - What are you going to do if it is outside and it rains?  Do you have sides that you can put down to protect your items.  Do you have a clear tarp you can cover your products with in case the rain gets inside?  What about indoor issues?  What if you need your computer but the power dies?  Try to think about everything that could go wrong, and what you can do if it does in fact happen.


7.  Table Cloth - If you are at a craft fair and you are going to invest in something, then please let it be a table cloth.  One of the sloppiest things to see is a craft table with no table cloth covering it to make it look nice.  Just adding a table cloth over it makes it look so much more professional.  

8.  Less is More - This age old saying rings true when setting up for a craft fair as well.  I know it can be hard, even I struggle with this one, when you have many different items to showcase.  Just remember, when you are displaying your items, make sure people are not going to be overwhelmed looking at your booth.  If it is very cluttered, they are not going to be able to focus on the items, and will most likely just continue walking by.  

9.  Be Creative with Furniture - When you're looking for ways to display, think outside the box.  It's important to display your items in creative ways, and at various levels.  If you just lay everything down on a table, nothing stands out.  Many people use crates to raise their items.  I've used a candle holder to display hats on my table, a coat rack to hang items such as purses and hanging jellyfish, and quilt racks to display my blankets.  

10.  Hide Inventory - The beauty of having table cloths, is that you can hide all your inventory underneath, and your space still looks nice and neat.  For me in particular, I have a lot of inventory with hats.  I make many different styled hats, in anywhere from 4-9 sizes.  When I go to craft fairs, I have a LOT of hat inventory with me.  I hate telling people I don't have their size, so I make a lot.  Anyways, I use those basic 3 drawer plastic storage organizers.  I have them each labeled with a different size, and put underneath my tables.  I also have a list of everything I currently have in stock.  So if a customer asks for a certain size, it's quick to see if I have it in stock, and then I know exactly where to find it!

11. Take Pictures - Once you are all set up, take a picture.  This will help for later on when you're trying to set up for another event.  The pictures should also be put on social media.  I put a picture on my FB page so potential customers know what my booth looks like and it's easy to find.  Hopefully you have been posting about this event for a couple of weeks, so that they know it is going on.  If you haven't been posting about it, posting a picture of your set up might get people to come out and see your items.  I've had people come to the craft fair just so they can see my items in person.  Posting it on social media is also a good reminder for people.  We all get busy, and this event might not be a top priority for people.  If they see it that day, they may decide that they want to go!