Craft Fairs—Part 5

The show has started….now what?  I find that shows start off one of two ways:  a slow & steady trickle of customers or a mad rush.  I prefer the mad rush because you are busy right out of the gate, but what if you experience the slow & steady trickle?

Keep in mind how you like to be treated when you are shopping.  Most of us don't enjoy being pounced upon by an overly-eager salesperson when we enter a store, right?  Now I know you are excited, but do try to contain yourself just a bit.  My strategy is always to give off the appearance of being busy, but accessible.  I'll often take Christmas cards to work on.  Many customers will stop to see what I am doing, and that is the perfect conversation starter.  One year, I took my Big Shot and cut out dies all day.  I actually had a couple of new people sign up for a Big Shot class because of it.

Now, don't get so busy that you fail to acknowledge your customers.  Greet EVERYONE that enters your booth area with eye contact and a smile, plus a simple "hello", "good morning", etc.  This probably sounds like common sense to you, and I haven't met too many Stampin' Up demonstrators that are unfriendly.  However, I have seen some pretty poor customer service at craft fairs.

At one show, I experienced a crazy mad rush of customers the first hour of the show.  I think I sold almost $300 in that one hour, and most items were priced around $15-$20….it was busy.  When it finally slowed down and I was able to catch my breath, I noticed that the three women working at the booth across from me were "shooting daggers" in my direction.  They were sitting at the back of their booth, arms folded, frowns on their faces, and not acknowledging anyone that went near their booth.  At the end of the show, they complained to the show's organizer that they did not make any money.  They chewed her out pretty good, and she came up to me after that to see if I had done alright.  I told her that I had done very well throughout the day and had no complaints whatsoever.  Your attitude is everything!  Be pleasant, no matter what.

At some point during the day, you are going to want to take a break.  If you didn't "hire" someone to work with you for the entire day, you might just want to have someone give you a break at lunchtime.  Potty breaks throughout the day can probably be covered by asking the vendor next to you to keep an eye on your booth for a few minutes.  They can let customers know that you are going to be right back.

I highly recommend that you get out of your booth for a short time during the day…..for lunch and marketing.  You are amongst fellow crafters, so don't let this opportunity pass you by.  I will take packets filled with a mini catalog, door prize entry form, business card, hand-stamped card, my class schedule, and any specials with me when I leave my booth.  As I visit other booths, I will introduce myself and give the vendor a packet.  The conversation goes something like this:

"I love your ________(sincerely compliment their craft/something specific in the booth).  My name is Melissa Stout and I am a Stampin' Up! demonstrator.  My booth is right over there.  You probably haven't had a chance to get out of your booth today, so I wanted to bring you some goodies. (hand them a packet) There is a door prize form inside, so just drop it by at the end of the day and I'll get you entered to win."

Now what usually happens is that they will look through your materials whenever the show slows down and many of them will visit you at the end of the day with questions, orders, and sometimes an interest in hosting a show or the business opportunity.  How great is that?

Hopefully, you have been collecting customer contact information throughout the day.  You must contact these people within a few days of the show to establish a good relationship with them.  Now, I hate making phone calls, but if you want to grow your business, it is a necessary task.  I schedule a free introduction to stamping class within 2 weeks of the show and invite them to attend.  Everyone likes to be extended an invitation, so this is a wonderful reason to contact them.  If they are not interested, okay.  You probably will get a few that are interested and that can really grow  your business.

One final note…..I always have some items leftover from my holiday craft fairs.  In early December, I will hold a Holiday Open House for my customers and make these items available for sale, sometimes at a discount.  You can also put your items on ebay or Etsy, give them as gifts, donate them to charity, or store them for the following year.

Craftfairproject

SNOWMAN JIFFY POP GIFT CARD HOLDER


Jiffy Pop Snowman


I posted this project on my blog several years ago and I always get emails asking for the directions.  I'm a little embarrassed because he is so simple to make, you may lose all creative confidence in me.  LOL!

This is a great gift to give to a teacher.  You can add a gift card to her favorite store or restaurant. 

This would also be a nice gift to give a family or your neighbors….add some cans of soda, boxes of movie candy, a gift certificate for a DVD rental…..and you've got "A Night at the Movies".

Here are the card stock measurements and a quick video to help you make your own snowman:

  • Nose:  Pumpkin Pie card stock 1-1/2" x 3", cut diagonally
  • Brim:  Basic Black card stock   2" x 6"
  • Hat/Gift Card Holder:  Basic Black  4-1/4" x 8", scored at 2-1/2" and 5-1/4"
  • Eyes:  Basic Black  1" punched circles
  • Mouth:  Basic Black  1/2" punched circles

Digidocsiggy1

Order Stampin' Up!

10 COMMENTS

  1. Lisa O. | 3rd Sep 10

    Stamp Doc,
    Thank you so much for sharing all of your wisdom regarding craft fairs and the fantastic projects too. It makes me want to set up a SU table at the next craft fair and I am not a demo! I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the posts and videos and just wanted to let you know how wonderful I thought they were!!!
    Thanks again.

  2. Shannon Miramontes | 3rd Sep 10

    Thank you so much for your helpful information! We are preparing for our first craft fair and reading this has been most helpful! LOVE your work and ideas! Great website!

  3. Christel Mellinger | 4th Sep 10

    This is a great craft project/gift idea for kids! Thanks so much for sharing it. I will definitely be doing it with my kids.

  4. Carole Carlson | 4th Sep 10

    Thank you for the cute snowman project. The kids at church will enjoy doing this.This is also a cute idea just to add to a Christmas basket of goodies. Thanks..

  5. debbie essay | 6th Sep 10

    Wow………thanks Melissa for the great video of the snowman/jiffy pop. This is a fantastic idea for giving to the neighbors. You were great at making the video…..(wish you would do more of them with craft fair ideas) Thanks and hugs,
    debbie

  6. Sandra | 8th Sep 10

    Thank you from me too for all your insight and suggestions for craft fairs. I love all the items you shared with us, especially the jr legal pads! I can’t remember if you shared how you packaged your items. I will have to go back and read again, but if not could you? Thanks! Sandra

  7. Margaret | 10th Sep 10

    SU demonstrators are always so sharing, but you, my dear, take the cake! Thank you so much for all this wonderful, detailed craft fair help springing from your experience and creativity. Exactly what I so needed!

  8. Kris (Paper Fairy) | 17th Sep 10

    Hi Melissa,
    Thank you so much for sharing your segment on this topic. My goal was to participate in a craft fair last year and I chickened out. My upline and I are going to do one in November and your posts are very encouraging. Do you have any suggestions on how we could split the leads we get? We both live in the same town but different sides of town. Thanks again!

  9. SUSAN | 9th Oct 10

    this little fella’s a hoot; thanks for sharing him!

  10. Hadar | 20th Dec 11

    That is soooo cute!!!!! I love snowmen! Thanks so much for the great tutorial!

Leave A Comment

Craft Fairs—Part 5

The show has started….now what?  I find that shows start off one of two ways:  a slow & steady trickle of customers or a mad rush.  I prefer the mad rush because you are busy right out of the gate, but what if you experience the slow & steady trickle?

Keep in mind how you like to be treated when you are shopping.  Most of us don't enjoy being pounced upon by an overly-eager salesperson when we enter a store, right?  Now I know you are excited, but do try to contain yourself just a bit.  My strategy is always to give off the appearance of being busy, but accessible.  I'll often take Christmas cards to work on.  Many customers will stop to see what I am doing, and that is the perfect conversation starter.  One year, I took my Big Shot and cut out dies all day.  I actually had a couple of new people sign up for a Big Shot class because of it.

Now, don't get so busy that you fail to acknowledge your customers.  Greet EVERYONE that enters your booth area with eye contact and a smile, plus a simple "hello", "good morning", etc.  This probably sounds like common sense to you, and I haven't met too many Stampin' Up demonstrators that are unfriendly.  However, I have seen some pretty poor customer service at craft fairs.

At one show, I experienced a crazy mad rush of customers the first hour of the show.  I think I sold almost $300 in that one hour, and most items were priced around $15-$20….it was busy.  When it finally slowed down and I was able to catch my breath, I noticed that the three women working at the booth across from me were "shooting daggers" in my direction.  They were sitting at the back of their booth, arms folded, frowns on their faces, and not acknowledging anyone that went near their booth.  At the end of the show, they complained to the show's organizer that they did not make any money.  They chewed her out pretty good, and she came up to me after that to see if I had done alright.  I told her that I had done very well throughout the day and had no complaints whatsoever.  Your attitude is everything!  Be pleasant, no matter what.

At some point during the day, you are going to want to take a break.  If you didn't "hire" someone to work with you for the entire day, you might just want to have someone give you a break at lunchtime.  Potty breaks throughout the day can probably be covered by asking the vendor next to you to keep an eye on your booth for a few minutes.  They can let customers know that you are going to be right back.

I highly recommend that you get out of your booth for a short time during the day…..for lunch and marketing.  You are amongst fellow crafters, so don't let this opportunity pass you by.  I will take packets filled with a mini catalog, door prize entry form, business card, hand-stamped card, my class schedule, and any specials with me when I leave my booth.  As I visit other booths, I will introduce myself and give the vendor a packet.  The conversation goes something like this:

"I love your ________(sincerely compliment their craft/something specific in the booth).  My name is Melissa Stout and I am a Stampin' Up! demonstrator.  My booth is right over there.  You probably haven't had a chance to get out of your booth today, so I wanted to bring you some goodies. (hand them a packet) There is a door prize form inside, so just drop it by at the end of the day and I'll get you entered to win."

Now what usually happens is that they will look through your materials whenever the show slows down and many of them will visit you at the end of the day with questions, orders, and sometimes an interest in hosting a show or the business opportunity.  How great is that?

Hopefully, you have been collecting customer contact information throughout the day.  You must contact these people within a few days of the show to establish a good relationship with them.  Now, I hate making phone calls, but if you want to grow your business, it is a necessary task.  I schedule a free introduction to stamping class within 2 weeks of the show and invite them to attend.  Everyone likes to be extended an invitation, so this is a wonderful reason to contact them.  If they are not interested, okay.  You probably will get a few that are interested and that can really grow  your business.

One final note…..I always have some items leftover from my holiday craft fairs.  In early December, I will hold a Holiday Open House for my customers and make these items available for sale, sometimes at a discount.  You can also put your items on ebay or Etsy, give them as gifts, donate them to charity, or store them for the following year.

Craftfairproject

SNOWMAN JIFFY POP GIFT CARD HOLDER


Jiffy Pop Snowman


I posted this project on my blog several years ago and I always get emails asking for the directions.  I'm a little embarrassed because he is so simple to make, you may lose all creative confidence in me.  LOL!

This is a great gift to give to a teacher.  You can add a gift card to her favorite store or restaurant. 

This would also be a nice gift to give a family or your neighbors….add some cans of soda, boxes of movie candy, a gift certificate for a DVD rental…..and you've got "A Night at the Movies".

Here are the card stock measurements and a quick video to help you make your own snowman:

  • Nose:  Pumpkin Pie card stock 1-1/2" x 3", cut diagonally
  • Brim:  Basic Black card stock   2" x 6"
  • Hat/Gift Card Holder:  Basic Black  4-1/4" x 8", scored at 2-1/2" and 5-1/4"
  • Eyes:  Basic Black  1" punched circles
  • Mouth:  Basic Black  1/2" punched circles

Digidocsiggy1

Order Stampin' Up!