The first craft show I ever participated in as Candy Calamity was almost a year and a half ago and I can tell you now, I did not know what I was getting myself into! But I'm glad I took the plunge and signed up because now, more than a dozen shows later, I can say that I have learned something at each show I've done. Here are my 8 craft show rules that I've made up for myself to make sure things go smoothly:
1. Bring food! More then you think you'll need. Keep it neat so you can safely eat at your booth, but nothing brings down a show more then a rumbly tummy.
2. Make friends with the sellers around you. You're going to be spending a lot of time together, so you might as well be booth buddies (this goes double for a two day show)
3. Keep smiling! They say that smiling even if you don't feel like it will make you happier, I'm hoping it will also make for happier customers.
4. Print out an up-to-date inventory and take notes on it during the show - track what sells, note what you'll need more of and most importantly: know what needs to be taken off etsy when you get home! There's nothing worse than trying to play a matching game with what's online and what's at home.
5. Don't wear a watch or keep your cell phone clock in easy reach. For me clock watching when things are slow can slow time down abysmally. Also, I have never once accidentally missed that a show was over because I didn't know what time it was.
6. Wear layers, most shows are either too hot or too cold and you won't know which until its too late.
7. Do consumer research. People watch to see what types are at that show, who comes up to your booth, and who sails past without stopping. Which pieces get picked up the most? If a customer seems happy to chat ask how they heard about the show, what they are looking for, and what they like best. If you are super organized take notes for next year.
8. Have fun! I always say 'If I was in it for the money I'd be an actuarial scientist' Yes, I am running a business, but I also want to have fun doing what I do; craft shows can be a blast, as long as I follow my rules.