Study Buddy Guest Post - Craft Show Tips with MaieDae

Hello Sheepish readers! I'm Savannah from MaieDae. :) I run a full-time lifestyle blog, a handmade shop and a small graphic design business. I'm here to share a couple tips for being in your first handmade show! I've only done a couple shows for MaieDae Handmades, but each time was a great learning experience and an incredible memory. Meredith successfully completed her first handmade show recently, which was way fun to read about! Great job Meredith!

I'm no expert in the realm of handmade shows, but here are my top tips for prepping for your first show. :)

Finding a Show
1. Research -- Take time to look at shows in your local area/state. Find reviews on the show and email a couple of past vendors about their experience. It's always important to find a show that has organized, friendly people working behind it and good marketing.
2. Scope it Out --  If you are able, take time to scope out shows yourself before deciding to sell at them. This is what I did with my first show and it was so helpful to know what to expect and get a great idea about the space ahead of time.
3. Word of Mouth -- When you attend your first show, chat with other vendors about their show experiences and ask them if they suggest any shows personally.
4. List -- Keep a running list of shows you are interested in selling at and subscribe to their newsletter or Facebook page to be kept in the loop and updated on opportunities.

Prepping for your Show
1. Producing Product -- First things first, you need product for your show. Calculate how much of each item you would like to bring and how many days you have to complete everything. Look at your calendar and schedule out studio days for yourself to begin work and set attainable goals for each of those times. Be sure not to wait until the last minute or schedule studio time up until the day before. You'll need the few days beforehand to prep everything else.
2. What to Bring -- Keep a running list of everything you need to bring. As something pops into your head, be sure to write it down so that your packing list is set and ready to go. (Here is a post about the list of things I brought with me to my first show)
3. Inventory List -- Keep yourself and your products organized by creating a quick and easy inventory list of all of your products. Be sure to list the item, quantity and price. During the show you'll want to use this to keep track of what you sell. This is a great tool to quickly calculate your earning and also see what items you sell the most of.
4. Display -- One of my main strategies for any show is to create a great display. The idea is to catch the buyers eye among a sea of booths. Take time to really think about your display. Do a mock set-up beforehand to see how it looks. Take pictures of the display once you like the look and bring the photo with you for quick set-up. (Check out this post with pictures of my first booth)

During the Show
1. Keep it Clean -- It's easy to get disorganized in the excitement of being at a show, but be sure to take time to straighten your space and keep yourself organized so you don't misplace anything important.
2. Network -- During lulls take time to network with other vendors. Ask them questions about their business and make new friends!
3. Pretty Display -- As buyers look through your items, things might get in disarray. Take time to straighten and make your products look pretty throughout the day.
4. Market Yourself -- Help the buyers remember you by including your business card in each purchase. Maybe put together a special coupon code to include in their purchase to prompt them to take a visit to your online space?
5. Relax -- Have fun! This is a wonderful experience. Take time to enjoy your buyers and the other vendors. AND don't forget to eat. ;)

I hope this was helpful!! Thanks again Meredith for letting me guest post on your wonderful blog and good luck with your finals. :)

*Thank you Savannah! Your booth looks incredible. I will definitely keep these tips in mind when I prep for my next craft show.