Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Craft Show Checklist

Spring is sneaking up on us, and it brings with it what all us artists and crafters live for -- craft shows! Whether you're an old hat or a total newbie, a great checklist is invaluable at preparing for a show. Below is a list of things I've compiled from a variety of online lists in addition to my own experience. If anything is missing, please leave a comment!

What to bring


  • Tables
  • Tablecloths and/or skirts
  • Chairs
  • Your products
  • Extra inventory
  • Displays
  • Price tags
  • Business cards
  • Banner or sign with business name
  • Mailing list sign-up (if applicable)
  • Bags or boxes for purchases
  • Receipts
  • Calculator
  • Pens (always bring extras)
  • Change (I like $100 in mostly 1's and some 5's)
  • Forms of payment sign (if using)
  • Inventory list
  • Money box or other container
  • Cell phone or laptop for ProPay payments (if accepting)
  • "Knucklebuster" for credit-card payments
  • Custom order forms
  • Something to work on
  • Product tools in case something needs fixing
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Any other tools you might need (hole punch, stapler, safety pins, etc.)
  • Cooler with water and extra snacks
  • Trash bag
  • Camera (you always want it when you forget it!)

For outdoor shows

  • Tent or canopy
  • Panels for sides
  • Concrete blocks or something else to secure tent
  • Rope
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Personal fan
  • Comfortable clothes
  • Extra water
  • Anything that can provide extra shade
  • Allergy medicine
  • Umbrella

Other things to consider

  • Do a mock set-up of your booth sometime before the event, especially if it's your first show. It will give you an idea of how long the process will take, make necessary changes to the idea in your head, and keep you calm the morning of. Take pictures if you're afraid you'll forget!
  • If accepting ProPay or other credit-card processing, bring a list of what information you need with you. You can choose to process cards while the customer waits, during lulls in the show, or at home.
  • Position yourself so you are not blocking any part of your booth but also so you can see all your inventory. Though theft is not rampant, it's always good to keep an eye on everything and be available to answer questions. Never leave your booth totally unattended.
  • Make sure items are clearly priced.
  • Don't spend too much time talking on your cell phone. Customers like some interaction.
  • Be personable without overselling your product.
  • Check out the display rules for each fair at which you plan to sell. Some outdoor shows require certain colored tents (usually white). Lots of indoor ones require sellers fully skirt their tables.
  • Make friends with the seller next to you. Cover for each other on bathroom breaks.
  • Most of all, have fun! Craft shows are a great chance to meet other handmade artists and maybe do a little buying or trading.

I hope this is helpful to some folks. Please feel free to make any additions in the comments!

4 comments:

Buckboard WoodWorks said...

I would have to say that is a great list to work from.

A Scrappy Design said...

All great ideas. I would also suggest doing a mock set up before-hand so you'll know how much time you will need to set up the day of the show. Especially if you are doing it for the first time.

Mathea said...

I love this list - getting ready in about a month. I agree with a mock set up - and I would take pictures and print them so you can remember!

Oklahoma Etsy Street Team said...

Great suggestion, you both! I added it to the list.