Although my show plans this fall are limited to none (that third trimester will my couch look much more appealing), I wanted to share this article from The Handmade News (tweeted by @ArtFireJohn). Some great tips in here for those of you looking to take the sidewalk plunge!
A couple of my favorites:
Communicate with fellow crafters when given the chance.
Conversing with the other crafters at events you attend can be one of your most important craft show resources, especially locally. You can gain some fantastic advice and take notice of tricks and trends that work to grab sales for others. Exchange biz info with others, and create a network where you all can keep each other informed of upcoming events, news and info. Be sure when conversing with fellow crafters though, that you are not interrupting sales at their booth or at yours!
This is so important! My first show was disappointing saleswise, but I have never learned so much. Most of your fellow crafters are veterans on the circuit, brimming with wisdom they are happy to share. Particularly if you are a fairly young crafter like myself—they are thrilled to see new blood keeping the tradition alive. Look at other displays, find out what works, and take notes. Keep your ears open and you’ll come out way ahead in information.
Personal tip: make friends with your immediate neighbors and, if they are willing, attach your canopies together. The added weight can be a lifesaver when the wind picks up, not to mention making yourselves a more appealing spot to wait out a sudden shower.
Have business cards or brochures ready at all times.
This is your business's identification after all, you want to make sure you give these out wherever the opportunity presents itself. Also, make sure you include a couple of extra biz cards with every purchase so the buyer can remember where they got it, and can share your information with other potential customers. You will also want to make sure that a biz card goes with every sample you hand out.
I try to keep small stacks all around my booth—on the table, mounted to the display wall, on the outside edge of your booth, etc. The ideal is to physically put a card in every hand, but if you are distracted, your information is still accessible to even the ‘swoop and grabs’. This may translate to an online sale later.
Another idea: have a dedicated sign or banner with your business name and logo. This will make you look more established and make your ‘brand’ stand out in the sea of white and blue EZ-UPs. (Not to mention help you find your way back from the bathroom!) Show your talent. If you work in wood, make a nice hanging wood sign. You may even get a custom commission for something similar!
Good luck to all of you!