Sunday, March 18, 2012

Craft Show Check List

It’s going to be a very busy fall with all the craft shows coming up, which means I need to start getting ready. On more than one occasion I have forgotten very important things, but this list helps me to cut down on making a mad dash back to my house to pick up what I forgot (or sending my poor husband to do it for me).

Table & Chairs Unless they are provided
Tent For outdoor events. Also bring some water jugs to use as weights so your tent won’t blow away, and have a plan for protecting your merchandise if it starts to rain. If you don't have a large budget for a tent, I suggest checking Garden Ridge, but keep in mind their merchandise is seasonal. I got mine for $50 several years ago. 
Table Cloth Make sure it covers the sides of your table so you can stash all of your boxes underneath. I made one for my table that has my shop name on the front.
Banner Great for hanging on your tent at outdoor shows, or for your table at indoor shows so people know who you are.
Display fixtures In my case this is a card rack. Even if you don’t have any display fixtures, try to create height on your table. I use boxes that are covered in the same fabric as my tablecloth.
Merchandise Make sure it is clearly priced, or that your have signage displaying the price. Also think about how you are going to carry your merchandise and display fixtures. I put everything I can in suitcases with wheels so I make fewer trips back and forth to the car, and I don’t have to carry as much.
Lint Roller For fabric merchandise and your table cloth.
Business cards I also have stickers and 1" pins to give away.
Tape Packing tape and scotch tape is all I have ever needed.
Clothes pins Bull dog clips are also good to have.
Twine To tie your water jugs to your tent. I have also needed twine to tie a tarp to the side f my tent because it was drizzling and I don't have side walls.
Cooler, drinks, and food Some places have snacks, some don’t. Better safe than sorry. I also like to put out a bowl of candy for customers if there is room on my table.
Paper towels You probably won’t need an entire roll, but I like to have a few on hand in case of spills
Money apron I use this instead of a cash box. It has three pockets for cash, and a small pocket for quarters.
Cash Bring more than you think you will need. I have run out of change before and lost a few sales before my husband could bring me more.
Calculator Make sure the batteries are good.
Receipt Book Most people don't want a receipt, but I have had a few people request one. Bags Some events provide bags for shoppers, but I bring my own just in case. You can buy shopping bags at an office supply store.  
Notebook For a mailing list sign up and last minute signs.
Pens Bring extra. People accidentally walk off with your pens.
Price tags

Inventory list This is really optional. It’s how I keep track of what I have sold; I just mark things off of the list. I used to write everything in a receipt book, but this is much faster, and lets me get back to helping customers more quickly.
Garbage bag For your garbage and your customer’s. Even though it’s really not nice, some customers will leave their garbage on your table.
Allergy medicine and sun screen For outdoor events.
Hand sanitizer Hopefully you’ll be handling money all day, and money is very dirty.
Camera It’s not vital, but I like to get some pictures of my booth and the rest of the event (since I originally wrote this post, I got an iPhone and no longer bring my camera),
A good friend It’s nice to have someone sit with you, and watch your table so you can go to the bathroom.
Something to do For those times that your booth isn’t slammed with customers, it’s nice to have something to do other than twiddle your thumbs. If you can, work on your craft. People enjoy seeing the process of how your items are made.
Everything you need to process credit cards Make sure you have your card imprinter, slips, and that you take down all of the customer’s information you need to process the cards (like the billing zip code)

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