A local craft fair can be an excellent opportunity to get your name out there. But, before you sign up for every farmers market, flea market and cakewalk in the tri-state area, take a few minutes to do some research.
My first year in business, I said yes to every market pretty much within driving distance of my house. After participating in a total of 27 markets in 7 months, the experience proved both good and bad.
If I saw my first ‘booth’ today, I would laugh and keep on walking. Not only was it uninviting, it was practically baron. And, I kinda knew it. But I didn’t let that stop me from going back the next week. Each week my booth evolved into something more legitimate. And I became a pro at the set-up and tear down process.
Though it took me a while before I made my first market sale, the important thing from my experience was the vast amount of knowledge I gained from those 7 months. All in all, I learned that markets aren’t worth my time and financial investment because of my price point. But if I had visited a few markets before becoming a vendor I may have spared myself some grief.
I still consider the occasion market. They are so much fun! I love being surrounded by the artists and admiring the work of others. Those vendors are your peers, folks. They get you and your small business struggles.
Fun aside, if I were going to sign up today, I’d keep these things in mind:
- Your booth is your storefront. Build it as such.
- Get creative! Throw a rug down on the grass.
- Make a nice sign.
- Set up some product in an interesting display just outside your tent so that it sparks some interest and people want to walk inside.
- Above all, speak up! Nine times out of 10 if you speak to patrons as they walk by they’ll be inclined to see what you’ve got going on under the big top. In the end, you are your brand and you need to be likeable!
Now get out there and promote yourself!
What is your advice to people who want to sign up for a craft fair?
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