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Driving Profitability at Art and Craft Shows

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Whether you’re just testing the waters of applying and vending at your first art and craft show or you’re a seasoned art and craft show veteran, we’ve gathered some phenomenal insights to help you …

Whether you’re just testing the waters of applying and vending at your first art and craft show or you’re a seasoned art and craft show veteran, we’ve gathered some phenomenal insights to help you take your art and craft show profitability to the next level.

In this eBook, we will cover how you can become an art and craft show marketing rockstar, eliminate theft at your shows and maximize your art and craft fair profits. Implementing these tips will put you on track for more profitability at your shows.

Wishing you all the best for art and craft show success!

Published in: Education, Technology, Design

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  • 1. Driving Profitability at Art & Craft Showsvolume 6Meylah’s eBook Series for ArtisansClick Here to Subscribe eBooks
  • 2. subscribe to thisTable of Contents free eBook series Driving Profitability Eliminate Theft at Art & Craft Shows at Art & Craft Shows Introduction Chapter 2 Six Tips for Being Fair Game: How to an Art & Craft Show Maximize Your Art Marketing Rockstar and Craft Fair Profit Chapter 1 Chapter 3 share this post this on facebook on twitter eBooks 2
  • 3. Driving Profitability subscribe to thisat Art & Craft Shows free eBook seriesIntroduction by Courtney Dirks> Now that we’ve covered how to prepare for art and craft show success in our most recent eBook, let’s talk about driving profitability at your next show. Whether you’re just testing the waters of applying and vending at your first show or you’re a seasoned art and craft show veteran, we’ve gathered some phenomenal insights to help you take your art and craft show profitability to the next level. In this eBook, we will cover how you can: • Become an art and craft show marketing rockstar • Eliminate theft at your shows • Maximize your art and craft fair profits Implementing these tips will put you on track for more profitability at your shows. Wishing you all the best for art and craft show success!Photo credit: Images_of_Money share this post this on facebook on twitter eBooks 3
  • 4. Six Tips for Being an Art & Craft subscribe to thisShow Marketing Rockstar free eBook seriesChapter 1 by Andrea Mansfield> tips provided here are about building that connection through relationship marketing and the final tip is about buying your advertising through a great invention, pay per click advertising. The show itself will do some advertising and it may also be a show that already draws a pretty big crowd. However, don’t miss an opportunity of getting someone through the door that is there just to buy from you. Marketing is a major component of your small creative business-no matter if you’re a hobbyist or not. As soon as you set up a table and sell your work you are operating as a business and your customers will expect that! Tip #1 Pay Per Click Advertising is exactly that-an ad! But in the world ofPhoto credit: alonis saturated advertising you really can’t afford to compete with companies that rule the roost of print advertising.There are 2 ways to direct traffic to your business, No matter how you view your creative hobby, as soonwebsite, products, and upcoming art or craft show-you as you place a print ad out in the world you are in thecan build it or you can buy it. Five of the marketing share this post this on facebook on twitter eBooks 4
  • 5. Six Tips for Being an Art & Craft subscribe to thisShow Marketing Rockstar free eBook seriesChapter 1 by Andrea Mansfield>mix of every ad remotely close to your industry out there. new products you will be releasing there, and includeTo help target your exact audience I recommend using sneak peeks of your show prep. These make for greatpay-per-click advertising on Facebook and through blog posts, Facebook updates, and Twitter feeds.Google Adwords. You can input the exact age, gender, Talk about your show at least 2 times per week forcity, and hobbies or interests for the customer you are the entire month leading up to the event and makeafter and your ad will show up where they are! This is it a personal invitation for your readers and customerspretty inexpensive (as low as $0.72 per click!) and you to come see you there.can run an ad for a couple weeks to test the waters and In addition, give them information on how they can finddetermine how much traffic it is driving. you once they arrive. Art and craft shows can be bigFor art and craft fairs I recommend placing an ad and overwhelming! Don’t tell them your booth numbertargeting your customers who already have an interest because once a show is set up these are typicallyin craft and artisan fairs. Run your ad 2-3 weeks before covered up-instead talk about your display and whatyour show and end it the day after. markers to look for to find you.Tip #2 Tip #3Start Talking Well Before Your Show Get InvolvedEffective marketing takes time to build and to develop As soon as you are accepted into a show email the showa decent return in both traffic and sales. Start building director(s) and ask how you can get involved. They mightanticipation for your craft show at least a month in have an ad book you can write a DIY article for, or maybeadvance-use this time to talk about the event, what there is a grab bag at the door you can add something share this post this on facebook on twitter eBooks 5
  • 6. Six Tips for Being an Art & Craft subscribe to thisShow Marketing Rockstar free eBook seriesChapter 1 by Andrea Mansfield>of value to. Getting involved is a genuine way to drive Marketing during and after your show are just as importantreferrals to your booth! When someone feels like they as getting your customers to come see you. Plenty of salesalready know you they want to buy and support you. can roll in a few days after your show has wrapped up andDon’t just advertise with them, give away something those connections you made during your show will pay off.of value and build report with a customer well beforethey even come to your booth and meet you. Tip #5 Network Your Heart OutTip #4 Setting up and tearing down a craft show is overwhelmingTake to the Streets and most vendors are not in that networking mood. InviteMost art and craft fairs produce advertising literature a friend or family member to watch your booth for 45or postcards to be handed out all over your community, minutes to an hour and go network your heart out!so lend a helping hand! Volunteer to take a big stack Talk to vendors with a similar medium as yours-these(a couple hundred) to businesses they have not already connections are quite powerful and will always openposted at. Hand a small stack to friends and have them doors more so than trying to have a competitive spirit.distribute them as well. Don’t stop with community Also talk to vendors that compliment your medium-forboards-ask stores if you can leave a handful on their example if you are a jewelry maker talk to other accessorycounter and also hand cards to your barista, hair stylist, vendors, if you are a collage artist talk to a textile designer,trainer, walking group friends, your book club attendees, and if you are a textile designer go talk with a bathat your child’s school, or daycare. Treat this show like your and body products maker. Complimentary vendors’storefront, how would you want it to be talked about? customers might also be your customers, so start theGo spread the word! conversation! This networking can lead to guest blog share this post this on facebook on twitter eBooks 6
  • 7. Six Tips for Being an Art & Craft subscribe to thisShow Marketing Rockstar free eBook seriesChapter 1 by Andrea Mansfield>postings, cross-promotional giveaways, and even Marketing takes time but it doesn’t need to consumeproduct collaborations. your business. It should feel natural to talk about what you do! No one else will market your business for you, soTip #6 make it a part of everyday to put your business out there.The eCampaignNow that you found your customers don’t let them out Related Articlesof your sight! We have all heard this before but it stands – Top 5 Ways Your Friends Can Help You With Your Businesstrue-it is easier to retain a customer than to find a newone. I recommend putting out an email sign-up sheet at – 4 Ways to Market Your Product Effectivelyyour booth, but since you are not the only one with a list – Working Your Network: 5 Ways Networkingoffer some incentive to get them to sign up then make Can Boost Your Businesssure to follow through! Tell them exactly what they willget for being on your email list-and don’t make it all about – Tips and Tricks for Google Adword Successyou. Don’t spam your email list with just promotions,upcoming shows, product announcements, etc. For every10 emails you send out make 1 about your work andthe other 9 something of value to your customers. Forexample, since you are an expert in your industry what ofvalue can you teach? What insights about trends can youshed some light on? Think about what you would want tolearn and give it to your customers. share this post this on facebook on twitter eBooks 7
  • 8. Share this eBook!> If you enjoy this eBook, please You Can: consider sending it to your – Download This eBook friends and network! – Share This eBook by Email – Post or Embed This eBook on Your Blog – Post to Twitter – Share on FacebookMeylah provides you with your ownonline store and powerful tools soyou can sell your products anytime,anyplace...easily. Pssssst! Go to next page for more content! > eBooks Pssssst! Go to next page for more content! 8 >
  • 9. Eliminate Theft subscribe to thisat Art & Craft Shows free eBook seriesChapter 2 by Lucy Clasen> to be vigilant about deterring theft. Here are 7 ways to eliminate theft at art & craft shows: 1. Greet Customers Make sure to greet everyone who approaches your booth. This encourages sales, makes customers feel welcome and discourages shoplifters. Ive found that many suspicious people will turn and leave if you give them a friendly greeting and make eye contact. If you can identify someone, they don’t want to be caught taking something from you. 2. Have A Partner & Be Observant It really helps to have two of you in the booth. One can work with customers while the other rings up the sale. That way you can always be observant and give good customer service at the same time. Having a partnerPhoto credit: grittycitygirl or two to work your booth is one of the best ways to deter theft. An extra set of eyes can hinder a thiefsArt and craft shows provide a wonderful opportunity attempts and dont ever leave your booth unattended.for all of us to share and sell our work and although Asking other exhibitors to cover your booth while youits a fun and friendly environment, it’s also important share this post this on facebook on twitter eBooks 9
  • 10. Eliminate Theft subscribe to thisat Art & Craft Shows free eBook seriesChapter 2 by Lucy Clasen>step away isn’t ideal as they may be busy and this opens a buyer from being able to touch the item and thisthe door for experienced craft show thieves to visit your can discourage them from making a purchase. If youbooth and walk off with items. have very small items this may be essential as small pieces can easily fall victim to the five-finger discount3. Set Up Your Display so placing these items behind glass or PlexiglasTo Discourage Theft discourages many thieves. It’s important to be awareArrive early and set up your display so nothing is out of the displays you use and the way that you arrangeof your sight. This is especially important with your cash. them as they may attract or deter thieves.Wearing a vendor apron with money pockets or a fannypack to hold your money is very important. Don’t leave 4. Be A Good Neighborit lying around where someone could pick it up. Having a good working relationship with your neighbors will also deter theft. After you setup, be sure to cleanSome display items such as T-Bar necklace displays up boxes and packing material...clutter may make(for jewelry) make it more difficult for anyone to take it easier for a theft to occur. Also, be sure to bean item, but you must also be ready to take the item completely set up when the customers are alloweddown for potential customers to see at close range. in so youre not distracted and can pay attentionI display my metalwork jewelry items in gift boxes to potential customers. Giving yourself this extraso it is more obvious if someone picks it up to walk time to set up early will also prevent you fromaway with it. creating disturbances for your neighbors andSome other displays, such as display cases can discourage shopping.help keep thieves away, but you also may be limiting share this post this on facebook on twitter eBooks 10
  • 11. Eliminate Theft subscribe to thisat Art & Craft Shows free eBook seriesChapter 2 by Lucy Clasen >5. Show Liability • Fine Art Policy: The fine-art policy simply coversRead and understand your agreement with the show the artwork. Some shows require the vendorsofficials. A typical contract states that the vendors to carry insurance. Shop around since rates andproperty left on-site is at the vendors own risk and coverage vary from company to company.not the shows responsibility. Most contracts state The type of insurance you want depends on the typethat the show organizers are not liable for theft, and cost of the items you display.vandalism, damage and/or loss of property. If youleave your display intact at the end of the day be sure 7. Rearrange Your Displaythat everything is secure. This can be prime time for Shows running more than one day offer an opportunitysomeone to come in and take items from you. to rearrange your booth for the subsequent day(s). Analyze what worked and what could be a better6. Consider Insurance arrangement. This gives you an opportunity to makeMost insurance companies offer two types of coverage your space more secure. There is an added benefitfor artists and crafters. as some shows offer many repeat attendees who• General Liability Insurance: General liability policies can be turned into repeat customers the second cover property such as workplace, vehicle, and day if the booth is arranged to have different exhibition sites. Some include medical and product products visible. liability to cover in case there is an accident on the Ultimately, your items are at risk when unattended premises, etc. and unwatched. It is prudent to keep a watchful eye on potential customers even when you are dealing share this post this on facebook on twitter eBooks 11
  • 12. Eliminate Theft subscribe to thisat Art & Craft Shows free eBook seriesChapter 2 by Lucy Clasen >with another customer. Remember, one person mayask questions just to distract you so another personcan take items from your display. Vigilance is requiredat all times. Related Articles– Preventing Pet Peeves at Art and Craft Shows– Business Advice for Emerging Artisans from the Artisan Community– Sarah Early’s Helpful Tips for Running a Successful Booth share this post this on facebook on twitter eBooks 12
  • 13. Free Online Store& Personal Coaching.Get step by step instructions so you can sell yourproducts and manage your business...easily. Pssssst! Go to next page for more content! >
  • 14. Fair Game: How to Maximize subscribe to thisYour Art and Craft Fair Profit free eBook seriesChapter 3 by Molly Fisher> We interviewed successful craft business owners and an event organizer to find out the real costs of doing local fairs, how much money a vendor can expect to make, how to judge the success of an event, and how to maximize results. Read till the end, and youll get a handy summary of 7 Strategies for Craft Show Success. How to Maximize Craft Fair Profit The full cost of participating in craft fairs is something a lot of vendors dont think about when calculating their net profit. Yes, theres the cost of the booth space, which typically ranges from $30 to $250 for smaller shows, and up to $800 for multiple-day events and juried shows. But what about promotional materials, marketing costs, booth/table decorations, tents (for outdoor shows),Photo credit: Orin Zebest signage and displays? It all adds up. The best strategy for getting a return on your investmentWith the spring/summer craft fair season well under is to plan on doing many art and craft fairs – dont hangway, you might be wondering, "Is it worth it to do your hat on the success of one. Participating in severalart and craft fairs?" share this post this on facebook on twitter eBooks 14
  • 15. Fair Game: How to Maximize subscribe to thisYour Art and Craft Fair Profit free eBook seriesChapter 3 by Molly Fisher >will allow you to find the craft fairs that work for you, up a table at any show and watch the dollars roll in.and get more value from all the gear you bought. "While show organizers typically do promotion for theFor example, if you do 12 shows a year, your signage entire event, its up to you to activate your network ofand pop-up tent will cost 1/12 of its initial cost when friends and family members," said Lish Dorset, one ofyou calculate the return on investment for each show. the organizers of Handmade Detroit. "From FacebookThis means the percentage of profit you make for each to blog postings and word of mouth, make sure youritem you sell is more. friends know to check out your show." Choosing a show that suits your product and prices,How Much Are Craft Fair Vendors Really actively marketing your attendance, and keeping booth/Making Per Show? attendance costs low are all factors that will influenceBased on feedback from the vendors I spoke to, profits your art and craft show success.vary greatly from show to show."I have done shows for a $30 booth fee that grossed Aside from making money, are there other more than 10 times that, and also shows that barely benefits to participating in art and craft broke even," said Meilin Chan of Two Eggplants shows? handmade soap company. "Pick your show wisely. All of the business owners I talked to said being face Go to the show as a buyer [first] and see if the to face with potential customers can give you valuable merchandise fits your style and chat with vendors." insight on your product – the kind of rich market research that can help you build your business.There are a lot of variables to think about here:a business owner should not expect to just set share this post this on facebook on twitter eBooks 15
  • 16. Fair Game: How to Maximize subscribe to thisYour Art and Craft Fair Profit free eBook seriesChapter 3 by Molly Fisher >"I launched my business in November of 2007 at my customers. If I can get someone to try my products, childrens elementary school craft fair, said Tina Hill of they usually become long-term, loyal customers." Kidzsack. "My initial costs were around $200 and $75 This is the kind of crucial customer interaction that for the craft space. With the help of two other moms, cannot be replicated online. I made up about 100 Kidzsacks to display at my craft table and sold out of my inventory. How Can You Tell If You Have Had A Successful Craft Show?"It was then that I realized that I have a good idea and Almost all of the creative entrepreneurs I spoke to one that moms and grandmothers will buy. I believe that stressed the importance of setting concrete sales the craft fair was the best market research that I could goals before the show to measure its success. have done. In my first year of business, I generated $30,000 in sales and in my second year of business, Some calculate a goal based on booth fees to keep I did $60,000 in sales – all this started with a craft fair." it simple: Also, for products that have a "touch and feel" factor "If shows are local, grossing 8 times the booth fee is (natural skin care products or soaps, for example) acceptable," said Meilin Chan, owner of Two Eggplants. offering samples is a great reason to do craft shows. "My goal is usually to make 5 times my booth fees"My products are really something that need to be tried for that particular event," said Michelle Ciarlo-Hayes, and tested," said Melanie Downey, founder of Wilava: MKC Photography. For Premium Skin."Meeting people and letting them try my products at shows has been the best way [for me] to attract new share this post this on facebook on twitter eBooks 16
  • 17. Fair Game: How to Maximize subscribe to thisYour Art and Craft Fair Profit free eBook seriesChapter 3 by Molly Fisher >Others look solely at profit after costs per show: 2. Market your attendance before the show"For me, a very successful show isnt measured by how Use your mailing lists, your Facebook followers, the local much profit Ive made that day," says Melanie Downey Chamber of Commerce list, and any other marketing of Wilava: For Premium Skin. channels available to you to market your attendance at your local show. Include a booth number and location"I try to keep the cost of my products affordable, if they are available to you and even consider offering so I have a very small profit margin. Even though my an incentive for anyone that visits your booth. booth is always busy, and other vendors always think Ive hit the mint with my sales, I try to offer a variety 3. Pick Your Show Wisely and Price Appropriately of sample-sized products ... so my profit usually just Attend shows as a buyer before you ever sign up to do covers the booth fee, my lunch, and maybe a small the show as a vendor. This will give you a good idea hourly wage for being there. But every show Ive of what people are buying, what price points they are done, Ive considered a great success." comfortable with, and what your competition is doing.So, to recap all that, here are 7 Strategies 4. Gather And Share Contact Information At The ShowFor Art and Craft Show Success: Plan to have an email sign-up sheet, business cards and sales sheets in your booth. This can be a fantastic1. Keep Costs Low opportunity to grow your marketing list and followDesign your booth to attract attention, but dont break up with new contacts who were interested, but didntthe bank at the beginning. You can always add to your convert to a sale at the show.booth later as you make sales. share this post this on facebook on twitter eBooks 17
  • 18. Fair Game: How to Maximize subscribe to thisYour Art and Craft Fair Profit free eBook seriesChapter 3 by Molly Fisher>5. Stay Active Related ArticlesWhen you are at the show, dont jump on passers-by – How to Set up a Craft Booth that Customers Can’t Resistto get them into your booth – instead work on the – 5 Tips for In-Person Business Meetingsart and crafts in your booth to draw attention. Peoplelove to see how things are made and that will bring – Creative Ways to Increase Your Facebook Fanspeople to you.6. Plan to Attend Many ShowsToo many small businesses only budget for one showand if it doesnt work out, they never try it again.If you go into doing shows knowing that some willwork for you and some will not, you can plan a budgetthat makes sense over time. Your initial costs will bethe greatest, but if you do many shows, you will comeout with a profit.7. Set Sales GoalsSetting specific goals for your attendance will focus yourefforts and make sure you know whether this is a showyou should continue to do in the future. share this post this on facebook on twitter eBooks 18
  • 19. Pssssst! Go to next page for more content! >
  • 20. subscribe to this free eBook series>ContributorsCourtney Dirks is a founding Lucy Clasen is the owner ofteam member and Community LuDesigns Jewelry and GreetingAmbassador for Meylah with Cards, she lives in Chicago anda background in commercial designs Metalsmith, Artisanreal estate, communications, and Custom Jewelry.and sales. She also runs her Molly Fisher has more than 10 years’own small business; Courtney experience building brands and socialRian Designs which specializes networks for leading companies suchin every day wear and bridal as Schooldude.com and Burts Beesjewelry designs. as well as several other clients. SheAndrea Mansfield, founder currently runs Craft Ideas Weeklyof brand & bloom, coaches Facebook Community, the Craftsmall and creative businesses Ideas Weekly Blog, and works as anto the success of their dreams eCommerce and Social Marketingthrough their brand. Consultant in Chapel Hill, NC. eBooks 20
  • 21. subscribe to this free eBook series> Benefits of Meylah Our Values 1. Build your brand and share the • Be Committed to story of their work through a Helping Each Other personalized blog • Live and Breathe Creativity 2. Sell your products and services • Smile and Have Fun with a customized storefront • Show Passion in All That You Do 3. Connect and build their community and customer base through • Give Before You Take integrated social media channels • Together We Create 4. Share and sell your knowledge a Great ExperiencePhoto credit: Kalyan Kanuri creating online tutorials on your • Foster Dynamic Learning Meylah storefrontAbout Meylah • Be Humble and HonestMeylah provides artisans with 5. Effectively manage your businesstheir own ecommerce website and all-in-one-place with innovative • Do More with Lesspowerful tools so they can sell their administration tools • Embrace Changeproducts anytime, anyplace...easily. eBooks 21
  • 22. subscribe to this free eBook series>License Warning and DisclaimerThis work is licensed under the Every effort has been made toCreative Commons Attribution Non- make this book as complete and ascommercial No Derivative Works accurate as possible, but no warranty3.0 United States License. To view of fitness is implied. The informationa copy of this license, visit http:// provided is on an “as is” basis. Thecreativecommons.org/licenses/ authors shall have neither liability norbyncnd/3.0/us/ or send a letter responsibility to any person or entityto Creative Commons, 171 Second with respect to loss or damagesStreet, Suite 300, San Francisco, arising from the informationCalifornia, 94105, USA contained in this eBook.TrademarksAll terms mentioned in this bookthat are known to be trademarksor service marks have beenappropriately capitalized. Useof a term in this book should notbe regarded as affecting the validityof any trademark or service mark. eBooks 22
  • 23. Share this eBook!> If you enjoy this eBook, please You Can: consider sending it to your – Download This eBook friends and network! – Share This eBook by Email – Post or Embed This eBook on Your Blog – Post to Twitter – Share on Facebook eBooks 23