I've done enough shows to have learned a few things... I thought it was time I shared a few tips for the next show you are a part of!
1. Be Yourself
It can be intimidating walking in to set up for a show and seeing all your "competition" there. It's easy to start comparing your things, prices, creativity with theirs, but DON'T DO IT. What makes each business different is the person behind it - and even at a show with similar vendors - the individuality stands out.
2. Customer Service
Offer the same customer service at a show that would normally would (if not even better!). For example, I always plastic wrap furniture when I deliver it locally, it looks professional and protects against scratches. I did the same as each piece sold at the show. Little things like that set you apart too, people remember these things about you (and your business) and will come back.
3. Have a Space Plan
I like to plan my space prior to the event, I usually tape off a space in my basement or garage and set up my pieces to make sure I have enough/not too much etc. This also helps me figure out how to transport the pieces - what vehicles I'll need. AND, this allows me to determine how I can best clean up and get everything home at the end of the show.
4. Represent Your Business Well
Have plenty of printed material, cards, flyers, etc. Talk to people as they come into your space - don't sit back - engage them, and hand them your business info before they walk away whether or not they purchase anything.
5. Giveaways Work!
At this last show, General Finishes sponsored two giveaway prize packs, and people loved it! We had people enter by either a LIKE on Facebook or by joining our email list - this allows us to keep in touch with our fans, as well as give them free swag!
6. Go Live/Blog/Show off Your Items Beforehand
I can't emphasize this enough! It doesn't matter how silly you feel by going on video, do it! I can't tell you how many people say, "oh, I saw this in a video" or online, and they come to check it out (and hopefully buy!). I like to do preview photos the week leading up to an event, this shows people what you will have and encourages them to come out to see you. This also helps include your fans who are not local, they still get to see the displays and your work and admire from afar.
7. Show off Other Vendors
If you are filming a video, include other vendors too - they really appreciate it - and it's a great way to build relationships with others. That also encourages people to come not only for your things, but also in case they see something else they may want to check out.
8. Think Outside the Booth
If you feel nervous renting a space or joining a formal show, consider other options. We've had "classy yard sales" the past few years and they have been huge hits!! We bring all our furniture outside, stage it with flowers and pretty things, and make it like an outdoor shop. We have customers who come sale after sale because they know what will be there and they want to buy!!
9. Move your Stuff Around
Think like a retail shop, keep moving your displays around, it makes it more interesting to look at. If it's a multi-day show, you may have people coming through more than once and they may see something they didn't notice before. Do your best to make it look "full" even if you are emptying out.
I also try to make it a circular shape so people can "come into" your space, and see things from all angles.
10. Take Care of Yourself & Reward Yourself
You're gonna be exhausted. I'm an introvert and I feel every bit of it after every show I do. I need to take a few days without people afterwards, and just chill. Kick your feet up, grab a glass of wine at the end of the day, and be proud of what you just accomplished!
Hopefully these are some helpful tips for you in case you have a show coming up!
Share any other tips you may have in the comments too!
Until next time,