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Blog Post # 5   Time to get out there…Festivals and Craft Shows….

Written by Lynette Balicki

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Posted on August 09 2019

There are many festivals or craft shows in the nation and in your home state.  Google for this type of event, and you will see the huge amount of them throughout the seasons.  I’ve done many, with many different results regarding sales. It takes a lot of work to set up in a festival and the following is a good starter list of what you should have…..

  1. 10 x 10 white tent (This is what is usually accepted at festivals, etc.)
  2. Tables; which are the folded legs type used with linens or some kind of table wrap so it will look attractive. Use colors in your décor that is consistent with your brand. (see item #3). Décor items can be balloons, swags, greenery, colored glass bottles, rocks, sea shells, confetti, etc.
  3. Chairs: The folding type, just two, for you and an assistant. This is not the time for a bevy of friends to be in your tent just chatting away.  You have serious work to do and customers will avoid you if you are involved in something else other than tending to your product.  Remember, however, that you should stand when customers come to your tent. (More on that later…)
  4. Your Assistant: Prepare your assistant with all the information needed about your products as well as how to deal with customers in a professional manner.  Assistants also are valuable when taking turns to grab a bite to eat or for a visit to the restroom, which in some cases can be a port-o-potty.  Make sure your assistant understands they are to be with you in the tent at all times; you don’t want to have someone who meanders around the festivities or disappears on you for a long period of time.
  5. Signage; customers will start recognizing your company name in the colors and font that will represent your brand.  It is important that you maintain the look of your brand consistent.  Just take a look at your beauty products and groceries.  They have always kept the same look for years because they know that brand recognition is important.
  6. Money: Bills in small denominations for change as well as for food and drink for yourself.  Festivals and shows will need you to be in attendance for the entirety of the show and that could be a whole day. Bring a cooler with water, snacks, and sun protection.  Bring business cards, and your gadget of choice to process credit cards. My gadget of preference is Square, which attaches to my mobile phone and processes transactions quickly and easily, and directs the payments to my designated bank account.
  7. One thing that you should be aware of is the fee for your tent’s spot in the festival or craft show. This can run the gamut from $20 to $600 plus.  The point is, will you make a profit?  How much are you prepared to sell, and can you, based on the unit prices of your stock, their uniqueness, their packaging, and their ingredients.  Some shows are not as profitable based on the application fee, or how many other vendors are selling the same stock as you are, the weather, other activities in your city,  the amount of attendees, the type of weekend (long weekends are slower, do to the fact that potential customers may leave the area).  Breaking even can be okay, and it is always a great boost to your business and efforts if you put your name and your business out there, and to see how customers react to your product.  You can use it as exposure, meeting potential customers, and just a litmus test to your brand as a whole.  Even if you don’t make a profit, you can get ahead in many other ways.
  8. Take business cards and brochures that you may have created to explain your mindset for your business and your products.
  9. You will need to set up about 2 hours earlier than the actual start time of the event.  Be ready to follow all the organizer's rules about set up and break down your tent or tables.  Collect your trash and make sure that you leave the site as you found it.  That way, you will be invited to  events over and over again and the word will be spread that you are professional in handling yourself and your business.

 

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