Craft Show Booths: 5 Ways to Maximize Profits and Visibility

Craft shows are growing in popularity as a way for small businesses to bring in extra money. Often the brain-child of a single-owner business or partnership, craft show merchants purchase a booth or table area and display their hand-made wares or serve as distributors for well-known product lines. The fees for craft shows vary from show to show. Some require registration in advance, while others are more flexible and allow last-minute entries. There is no guarantee that crafters and merchants will make money at a show, but there are ways that they can improve their chances of making more money than they paid for the booth area.
Products
Craft shows vary in what they allow merchants to sell, sometimes with no restrictions. Crafters should make sure that what they are selling is on the acceptable list before paying the booth fee and carting their items to the event. Many customers are looking for bargains and one-of-a-kind products. Aim to please. People usually use discretionary funds to buy items at craft shows, and will bring a limited amount of cash.
After-Show Marketing
Place purchases in bags with the company name, website address and business phone number. After the show is over, customers may want to buy more, depending on how satisfied they were the original products. If pre-printed bags are outside of the budget, create stickers to put on gift boxes or on plastic baggies. Many craft show participants do not offer bags, forcing customers to wander around with bare items tucked under their arms or shoved in their pockets. A printed bag will be used and is more noticeable when it is full of the shopper's items from the day. The merchant's name will be easier to read, and it will look like the customer bought a lot from the same place. This is an added bonus for visibility and promotion.
Credit Cards
Whether or not a merchant will accept credit cards has a profound effect on sales. People are more likely to spend money at booths with credit card processing machines or virtual terminals through mobile devices. Crafters should deliberately display more than one sign stating credit cards are accepted, and when possible, state which ones. Be sure to place the signs at different visual levels so that passersby can see them, despite the number of people at the booth front. Be sure that all necessary components are available to offer credit card processing services, such as power, mobile device service, paper or email receipts and pens to sign paper receipts, to name a few.
Receipts
Credit card processing receipts should have the name of the business and it phone number built in to the default electronic or paper receipt. This gives the customer the impression that the business is not only legitimate, but a way to find the items they purchased again when they are ready.
Location
Determine whether booth space is indoors or outdoors. Find out if there will be tents and how much protection there will be from sun and rain for outside vendor spots, or if the indoor building will have air conditioning in warm weather. Research what the organizers will provide, including tables, chairs, electricity, signage, display skirts and event assistance.

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