Preparing for a Market or Show

If you’ve never participated in a craft show or market, this can feel like an insurmountable task. Sometimes to the point where you will simply put it off. Going prepared is the key. These steps can give you the confidence to get through the first one and allow you to set up a system to use each time you venture out.

First things first, prepare a list of items you will need in addition to your stock. Keep adding and editing as time goes on. Don’t forget to bring cash for change, your mobile phone, your Square or other type of credit card processing app. Write everything down.

Secondly, be sure you know what is provided to the vendors. Will they provide tables? If you need electricity, will they have easy access for all? Many shows will require insurance, do they cover that? Be sure to do your research on the show website or email the coordinators.

Steps to take:
  1. Prepare your stock
    • Start early to prepare your stock. You will need enough stock to assure your stall always looks fresh.
  2. Tune and fine-tune your display
    • The presentation of your product is how your customer sees your brand. If it’s boring and not interesting they will more than likely keep walking. Draw up your idea and prepare a mockup. Get feedback and help from your friends.
  3. Marketing Materials
    • Prepare a brochure or flyer with a little bit of background about yourself and what you do. Do not forget your business card, this information is small and helps your customers remember you and recognize you in the future.
  4. Work in Progress
    • There can be quiet times during the day, if you have space in your display area, you can bring along some work in progress. Besides getting a head start on some pending work, it will keep you busy, and customers love to see what people do to get the result they are looking at.
  5. Get there Early
    • Know where you are going. Plan and research on maps so there’s no chance of you being late or lost. Consider traffic and other unexpected detours you may face. If you are early, I’m sure there will be a café on the way to enjoy or take away some coffee. Most markets send instructions ahead of time on where to park and where to set up. Be sure to get these details well in advance.
  6. Bring a friend
    • Almost any activity is even better with a friend. Find someone to help in exchange for lunch! The day will be much easier with someone for support, bathroom breaks and company on the way home.
  7. Do not forget WATER!
    • Bring plenty of water bottles, you would be surprised that not all markets have water available to purchase. You need to stay hydrated to last the entire day without getting grouchy!
  8. Dress Comfortably
    • Dress comfortably and wear something you feel confident in. Your comfort will help sell your work and meet new people.
  9. Feedback
    • Pay attention to what your potential customers are saying. What positive and negative things people say will help you in your future decisions on markets that you choose to go to and what you choose to show at each.
  10.  Maintain a ledger
    • Write or enter all your sales, including details of how the customer paid either on paper, or your tablet.
  11. Control
    • Practice self-control regarding any purchases you make at the market. Impulse buying is extremely easy in this environment, but your profits will dwindle before you are home. You can take their business cards and look them up when you get home, follow them on social media, and spread the word to your friends to help your fellow marketers.

Finally, as the day wears on, step out in front of your stall, and view it like a customer. Have things been moved, are their candy wrappers left around and handprints here and there. Clean up during the quiet time and make any changes to keep your stall looking it’s best. 

Most Importantly, relax and have fun. You will meet some amazing people and the networking from these events can help you connect with future customers at any time. 

Enjoy your day and let us know how it goes. Email