How to Participate in a Crafts Show

Craft shows and fairs can be a great way for you to make money and grow your business. However, there are many steps you must follow to successfully sell your crafts.


  1. Image titled Participate in a Crafts Show Step 1
    Determine where you are going to sell, and think about your options. It's important to match the style of fair to the craft you're making. For example, if you make and sell jewelry, a woodworking fair might not be the best choice for you; on the other hand, if it's a generalist craft fair or one set up solely for holiday season gifts, a range of crafts would be acceptable. Try to find a show that is both nearby and is focused on the product you are selling.
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    Sign up. Most shows and fairs have a small fee for table space. If you need a trestle or table, they'll often charge extra for this and if you need power, there may also be a fee for using their electricity. Be sure to read the terms and conditions of participation carefully and ensure that what they provide meets your needs.
    • If you want to save money, it is best to sign up early, as prices tend to increase as the event approaches.
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    Prepare. Have change on hand: about 20 $1 notes, 6 $5 notes, 2 $10 notes and a couple of $20 notes (if necessary). If your product is on the less pricey side, you probably won't need to carry bills of high value, but it's good to be prepared.
    • In some cases, having cordless credit card devices can be helpful but consider the credit charges you have to cover before investing in this.
    • Have your business cards ready. Place them in a small holder that can be left on the table. Sometimes people prefer to go away and think and will then contact you about an item later. It's also useful to hand out cards to great customers, suggesting they check out your website, shop or other sales medium.
  4. Image titled Participate in a Crafts Show Step 4
    Create a display that is appealing to the eye. The exact type of display will depend on your product but key things to consider include:
    • Ensure that the product display is safe and that should the table or trestle be bumped, things won't roll everywhere. Customers will lean and mill around, so create the display with this in mind.
    • Put items on the table so that they can easily viewed. If you don't want anything handled, make signs and place them in front of those objects, explaining that the item is fragile and that you're happy to help open/work/show it as required.
    • Cover the table with a cloth of some sort. This protects your items and sets your table apart from other tables.
    • Include neat and pleasant signage on the table. It shouldn't overwhelm the products in any way, or distract the eye away from the products.
  5. Image titled Participate in a Crafts Show Step 5
    Make the prices obvious. Show the price either on the product or on a separate sign that details the price range for particular products. Be aware that most people don't like to ask, so don't force them. You will lose customers if they feel they have no alternative but to ask.
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    Get to the craft show early. It is much easier setting up before customers arrive and you will likely be able to get your vehicle close early but then have to shift it out of the way for customers. Your space or table will most likely be reserved, but if you have the option to choose, place yourself near a table selling items that you think will be popular. The more people nearby, the more will buy.
    • Set up promptly, some people get to craft shows early.
    • You also may want to make friendly conversation with the booths beside you––if you're friends, they'll be more likely to spare you that five dollar bill you are short of and watch your table when you need the bathroom.
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    Sell away! Try to look happy and ready for any questions a customer might have. When someone comes to your booth, offer them assistance or provide a brief description of what you sell. Don't hassle people who don't appear interested in small talk––many customers simply like to browse without being worn out by constant chatter. Let them make their choices, ask you questions and then make the chatter.


  • Be friendly, even when people are rude. You don't have any clues behind what causes rudeness in others and it will usually have nothing to do with you. People who are hungry or thirsty, who are worried about spending too much or who are tired can be snappy or thoughtless, so don't take it personally.
  • Be prepared to be there all day. Bring some food, if needed, but don't eat in front of customers. Instead, have someone man your booth while you grab a quick bite.


  • Stray away from words like "buy". When trying to call attention to your booth, say something like, "Would you like to look at our catalog?" instead of "Would you like to buy _______?"
  • Be sure to read all of the rules provided by the craft show you are signing up for. Some fairs don't like you to play music at your booth or provide food like mints.
  • Some states have laws that all businesses have to pay taxes or similar fees. Some states even require you to be registered to sell anything, anywhere. Make sure you know your business knowledge before signing up for anything.
  • Theft is a real possibility. If you have valuable items, keep them close to where you are positioned, lock them away inside a cabinet or similar item or place them on a stand behind the table, so that people have to ask you to view the items. Insurance is a good idea for expensive items.
  • Don't spend time with your head down playing games or doing Twitter and Facebook on your digital device. It looks unprofessional and it signals a lack of interest in what you've come to do––promote your wares!

Things You'll Need

  • Craft items
  • Display stands, boxes, hangers, etc.
  • Table cover
  • Table or trestle
  • Power (if relevant)
  • Signs
  • Brochures/business cards
  • Place to keep money safely
  • Change
  • Pen and note paper
  • Seat(s)
  • Food and drinks
  • Appropriate clothing for the temperature
  • Transportation (and boxes, bubble wrap, etc. to keep the items safe in transit)

Article Info

Categories: Selling Arts and Crafts