59 Items to Pack for a Craft Fair + Tips for Display

2018 Craft Fair Tips and Tricks from StampinFool.com

CRAFT FAIR TIPS AND TRICKS

It’s Craft Fair Friday, my favorite day of the week to discuss tips to improve your craft fair vendor experience. Below is a great list of 59 things to pack for your next craft or vender fair event.

For today’s post, I am concentrating on things to help you set up your display as well as things that you will need to pack. {You can also see my Top 10 Staging Tips here.} Having a good looking, well kept, not overcrowded, appealing display determines whether or not soon to be customers will stop by or keep on walkin’. I will start by listing some important elements that you need and then I’ll discuss them in detail and tell you why they are important.

Supplies

  1. Tables
  2. Tablecloth or sheet/neutral tablecloth
  3. Risers for table legs
  4. Sign with your Business Name
  5. Catalogs & Monthly Specials, if applicable
  6. Product samples labeled with your info
  7. Displays for Merchandise
    • rises
    • baskets
    • ladder
    • decorative boxes
    • crates
    • shelf
    • risers
    • furniture- dresser, secretary, desk, apothecary cabinet
    • birdcage
  8. Rug
  9. Mints/gum
  10. Sunglasses
  11. Deodorant
  12. Sunscreen
  13. Bug spray
  14. Chapstick
  15. Cooler
  16. Water bottle
  17. Lots of snacks
  18. Lunch
  19. Wet wipes/Sanitizer
  20. Camera
  21. Trash bags
  22. Power Strip
  23. Phone Charger
  24. Door Prize or Email SignUp List
  25. Notepad
  26. Price Tags
  27. Petty cash *
  28. Cash box or apron
  29. Card reader + PayPal account
  30. Calculator
  31. Safety pins
  32. Binder Clips
  33. Pen & Sharpie Marker
  34. Extra pens
  35. Double Sided Tape
  36. Zip ties
  37. Clothes pins
  38. Twine
  39. Inventory Checklist
  40. Tent with side panels – easy to assemble
  41. Tent weights
  42. Hand truck
  43. Bungie cord
  44. Totes for inventory
  45. Business card holder/display
  46. Business cards
  47. Bags for purchases
  48. Tall folding chair(s) (IKEA has a great one)
  49. Comfortable shoes + layers + jacket
  50. Extra price tags/price lists
  51. An activity for slow times:
    • book
    • knitting
    • paper craft
  52. Receipt book
  53. Hard candies/chocolates for customers
  54. Dog treats
  55. Painters tape
  56. Screwdriver & hammer, meausring tape
  57. Ibuprofen
  58. Custom order form
  59. Portfolio

This list is the bare minimum.  It doesn’t include everything you should pack (spare notebook, glue, thread- you know, an emergency kit to handle any crafting emergency), but it is a very solid basic list. I’ve set up many vendor displays, interviewed other vendors, scoured craft fairs and really taken into account what works when setting up. However, your business may have specific needs (i.e. products that can’t get warm/sun, electricity, can’t get rained on) so please feel free to tailor your display to your product needs.

How to Make, Package, Price & Sell Glass Pebble Magnets – A step by step tutorial

Ten Staging Tips for your next Craft Fair Display

 

Alright let’s talk about the List.

TABLES

For a 10′ x 10′ booth, I suggest using an 8 foot table and two smaller 6 foot tables. Tables of this size can be configured a few different ways to lay out inventory: a U shape, T shape, or an L.

** Tip from the Top: Make sure you verify the size booth you are allotted (bring a measuring tape).  I have vended fairs before and when I get there, I am squeezed into an 8×8 space when I registered for 10×10- don’t be afraid to let the organizer know & work out the details- you pay good money for your spot and nothing is worse than having a set up plan and the tables not fitting.

** Trial Run: Set up in your garage/home to see how you want things laid out. I highly recommend measuring out your space and setting up a mock area with the table orientation, how you want items laid out and such. Take photos so you don’t forget how you want it to look. This will save you a TON of set up time.

TABLECLOTH

Use a queen size black or neutral sheet because it covers the table better than a tablecloth and is cost effective (hello, Walmart). Use safety pins to tack a fabric or printed “Your Business Name” sign to the front of your display.

What color table cloth should I use? BLACK or WHITE. In the hundreds of displays I have set up or consulted, using a solid color that is neutral is the best way to go. It makes the colors of your products pop. Don’t believe me? Search Pinterest for craft fair displays. Which displays do you like?  The ones where there is a color theme throughout. You can see the color of the products when the tablecloth doesn’t detract from it.

**Exception:  Natural Burlap or Tan are neutral and don’t detract from the items. This is the only exception. Burlap is trending. It won’t take away from the items you are selling.

But I love PINK, you say. DON’T DO IT. It looks tacky. Maybe your friends won’t tell you, maybe someone complimented you.They lied. Don’t do it. Stick to neutral and let your crafts do the talking. Go to Bed Bath & Beyond and buy the $12 black tablecloth or Walmart sheet. You won’t regret it.

** How to incorporate COLOR: Use products, not the tablecloth.  Organize your products by color. Examples: arrange soap handmade by color, group quilts by pastels, brights, neutrals, paper crafts can be sorted by type and each type organized by like colors.

SIGN

A SIGN IS A MUST. You should have a sign that is large enough to see/read from a distance and matches your brand. Example: You sell paper crafts- don’t use a sign that has dinosaurs on it; if you plan children’s birthday parties- you can use a dinosaur or tea party themed sign to convey what you do. Make wedding/bride items? Don’t use a sign with cute puppy dogs, it doesn’t translate to what you are selling. You get the point.

Make sure the color, font, and name brand are all consistent with your products.

CATALOGS

If you sell from a direct sales company, have catalogs. Chances are, if people like what you are making or selling, they will like other products in the catalog as well.

Make sure your contact info is on them- name, phone, email, WEBSITE.

CATALOG DISPLAY

I found this magazine basket at Pier 1 Imports and it fit my needs perfectly. I put large catalogs in the back, free samples in the small front pockets. Business cards are easily accessible for other vendors who want to network and place special orders. I have a ton of pens to fill out door prize forms and jot down party booking dates on the party postcards I use.

Pier1 Basket for holding Catalogs

SAMPLES

If you have a handmade product for which samples can be made, this is a HUGE winner. Examples: mini cold process soap, note card/paper craft, paint your own mini canvas, jewelry charm, mini candle. A takeaway will can lead to a future sale, a product referral to a friend, a good review, a purchase the second day of the event after thinking about how much they love it.

If you keep the price down and make them in bulk, it is worth the cost. *The only note on this is to know your market. Make sure that the customer base/location you are having the event is one that is known for selling a lot of inventory and having traffic. If the event is full of non buying shoppers, it can be a money pit. If you find this is the case, pull the samples or be selective- keep them under the table and offer them individually if you think it will seal the sale.

TABLE DISPLAY

Now, let’s talk about table display. This is the tough part. I don’t want you to fail, so pay attention.  You may get the colors, signs, pricing right, but not the table layout.

**TIP FROM THE TOP**  Do a trial run. Set up the table positions and inventory in your garage/living room. Pare down selected products that you think will sell best for that event as well as look ascetically pleasing. Don’t overcrowd. Stick to a selection of products and colors, but leave room on the table.

You don’t want customers will be scared to touch and look at anything because they might bump other products or knock something over. Spread stuff out and put things away until you have room for them. Keep extras organized under the table, easily accessible but not within sight, preferably in tubs.  If you keep inventory in tubs, it is easy to transport, store under your tables and bring out more as needed to keep stocked up.

DOOR PRIZE

Do you need a door prize? YES. Yes, you need a door prize. It is a great way to get customer CONTACT INFO. Make sure to include their name, email address, phone number with an “okay to text” box or an email sign up checkbox.

Offer a free gift or coupon code for signing up for your newsletter.

Grab a pretty bucket or bowl- I use a pitcher (like the one below) that customers can fill out the form and drop it into the bowl.

WHAT YOU NEED: Door prize forms (make a Word document with 4 to a page), bucket of pens, bowl/pitcher to collect them in, mini clipboards to use for filling out form & CHOCOLATE to attract your customers. Use chocolate to lure them over to the door prize form!

WHAT TO DO: Take notes on them. After Suzie Shopper walks off and she raved about that handmade wreath in your shop, discretely pull her door prize form out and jot down a note about her- the word “wreath”, “call for wreath making party”, wants more as gifts, “newsletter” – something to remember her by or that was significant for you to follow up with. You can also pull out the form and jot down her name and your notes in a notebook.

il_570xN.734126512_f6a4

PRICE TAGS

This is debatable. I have heard vendors say you should keep it discrete and I have heard some say make it big. I highly suggest having pricing easily readable.

What I do know is that a customer is more likely to walk away than ask the price of an item. To avoid losing a potential sale, have pricing either on the product, or on the bin/basket is the best choice.

Pricing boards are another option, but can be confusing to try and guess what the product is called to find the price, especially if it is handmade goods. I do not recommend this.

PETTY CASH

This one is easy.  Have a bag of petty cash in $1, $5, $10, $20.  Overestimate- have $100-300 for a small event (high school fair, local community center) and a larger wad for a multi day event with 200+ vendors (concert, outdoor event regionally known, state fair).

SAFETY PINS

  • Safety pins
  • Sharpie Marker
  • Double Sided Tape
  • Inventory Checklist

This photo shows the main sale table and the side table with Stampin’ information.  Also, my vendor sign is BIG and easy to spot so EVERYONE knows what I am selling.  Also, note that I am standing.  It’s important to stand up and take genuine interest in your shoppers.  Nothing looks worse than a seller hidden behind the table, seated, reading a book, not paying attention to the lovely people taking time to shop at the event.  They will be scared to talk to you for fear of disturbing you from what you are doing. Don’t let it happen- be alert, friendly, and stand up to greet them. You can have a seat when there are no shoppers around.

So here is a recap and a few other tips and tricks:

  • Use a sheet, it’s bigger.
  • Don’t overcrowd; you don’t have to put out everything!
  • Have a door prize drawing and free samples.
  • Invest in a catalog/info display piece.
  • Have business cards available.
  • Stand up! Nothing looks worse than an uninterested seller.
  • Talk to patrons, offer to help them find what they are looking for.
  • Ask them if they would be interested in ordering a custom order for an upcoming Holiday!
  • HAVE FUN!

Hopefully this post has been helpful in your craft fair preparation, or in upping your game for the next event. Attending events is a great way to make friends, network with other vendors, and find new customers.

If you have any questions or need staging help, feel free to leave a comment below or shoot me an email. I offer free consulting services and advice on staging your event and troubleshooting. I appreciate you dropping by StampinFool.com!

Related Posts:

How to Make, Package, Price & Sell Glass Pebble Magnets – A step by step tutorial

Ten Staging Tips for your next Craft Fair Display

 

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Comments · 5

  1. i really like your site and comments. BUT, your picture of your display has one major flaw….please don’t take offense, so sorry, but your tables must be higher. they are too low. Or you must be really tall. This is one thing i learned. they can easily be raised using pvc pips with cotter pins or bed risers. if your tablecloths are not form fitted you can move them in front a little more and they will reach the ground for a neat look.

Leave a Reply