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Preparing for Craft Fair Season

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Preparing for Craft Fair Season

Whether you hand-knit sweaters, make your own jewelry, or brew kombucha, craft fairs are a perfect place to showcase your business’s handmade wares. With event season about to kick off, now is the perfect time to make a plan for how you’ll take advantage of this major marketing opportunity. Here are some tips to help your sales season go as smoothly as hand-churned artisanal butter. 

 



1. Set a Budget

Craft fairs are the bread and butter for many startup businesses, but they can be pricey. Setting a budget ahead of time — and sticking to it — will help ensure you receive a strong return on your investment. Make sure not to spend more than you expect to earn back, whether in immediate sales or long-term improvement in brand awareness. Some costs to consider include:

Transportation and entry fees

Before you even think about your expenses during the craft fair itself, consider what it costs just to get in the door. Entry fees for events can range from less than $50 to more than $500. You’ll also need to budget for transportation, whether you’re arriving by car, plane, or hand-tufted magic carpet.

Supplies

To keep your shelves full throughout the fair, you’ll need to order supplies and create your wares in advance. If possible, research (or ask the organizers) how many guests have attended the event in the past. Use past attendance combined with your past sales to estimate how many items you may sell and stock up accordingly. 

Marketing 

Marketing your brand before and during a craft fair is a great way to boost sales. For example, a custom canopy tent can raise your visibility in a crowded event space, while promotional freebies keep your brand in customers’ memories. But all of this comes at a cost. Pricing out marketing options in advance helps ensure you make a splash at the fair without breaking the bank.


 

2. Identify Events 

Haven’t decided which craft fairs to attend this year? Now is the time to make your list. Facebook Events and Google Events are a great place to start. Once you have some ideas, visit each event’s official website for important details, like size, location, and entry fees.

When deciding which events to attend, consider how far you’re willing to travel and how much you’re willing to spend. Also, think about whether a particular fair caters to your target audience. Do you sew historically accurate period costumes? Then get thee to a renaissance faire! Do you offer a luxury product with a high price point? Look for high-end design fairs that attract upscale buyers. Thinking ahead in this way helps ensure the fair’s attendees and your products are as well-matched as homemade peanut butter and small-batch artisanal jelly.

 

 

3. Brush Off Your Booth

A clean and well-maintained canopy tent shouts, “I’m a pro!” loud enough for all fair attendees to hear. If your booth has been collecting dust since the last event season, start with a thorough inspection. Check for rips and tears, mold, and structural issues. Then, give both the canopy and frame a thorough clean with mild detergent (not bleach). Oil up any squeaky hinges and stitch up any holes. Then your tent will be ready for prime time!



4. Refresh Your Design

A new craft fair season means a new opportunity to make a striking first impression on potential customers. Start by conducting a “dress rehearsal” for your booth, setting up tables, signs, and products like you would at the event itself. Next, turn a critical eye to your setup. Are your displays eye-catching enough, or could you use a vinyl banner or other branded swag to spice things up? Are you making full use of vertical space in your booth, or could you use more shelving to pack in products? (We also have more event booth design tips if you need ‘em.)


5. Invest in Freebies 

Who doesn’t love free stuff? Event giveaways are another great way to grab fair attendees’ attention and stand out from the crowd. Consider offering something small, like custom stickers, product samples, or a piece of swag that pairs well with your product. For example, a craft brewery could distribute branded bottle openers to the thirsty craft fair crowd.

 


6. Spread the Word 

Spreading the word about your upcoming fair appearances is a sure-fire way to help your fans and loyal customers find you, especially if you have a high demand product and a loyal following. So broadcast that info far and wide! You can post to social media, send out email blasts, or add event info to your website. Be sure to mention any products you’ll be selling at the fair that aren’t yet available online. 


Kick Off Craft Fair Season With Stomp

As the craft fair season approaches, remember, preparation is key. From budgeting and event selection to booth design and marketing, every step is a stitch in the hand-crocheted sweater of your success. And when in doubt, remember Stomp is here to help elevate your booth from ordinary to extraordinary.

So, what are you waiting for? It's time to make this craft fair season your best one yet. Check out Stomp’s site for custom canopy tents and other tools to make your booth the talk of the town. 

 

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  • Nashira Edmiston