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Published On: Sat, Nov 3rd, 2018

Holiday Craft Shows Are Competitive: 7 Ways to Stand Out

The holidays are fast approaching, and crafters are gearing up for the biggest season of the year. Craft shows will be popping up everywhere, and you can enjoy infinite opportunities to increase brand awareness and sell your products. If you’re a beginning crafter, you might need a few tips for staying competitive.

  1. Set Up a Pop-Up Tent

Pop-up tents can be used for both indoor and outdoor events as a way to visually separate yourself from the rest of your competitors, particularly if it’s branded. Just make sure it’s easy to set up and take down.

“Pop-up canopies, also called instant canopies, have a well-deserved reputation for being the most user-friendly type of canopy,” explains an article from the online realtor eCanopy. “…It only takes one or two people to set up and take down without the use of any tools.”

Photo Brandon Jones

  1. Have Giveaways

One of the primary reasons that people attend craft shows is to get the free goodies. If you can draw them to your booth with an exciting prize, they’re likely to purchase something.

Consider having small freebies like candy, pens, or a sample of your product to get people interested. Then, have a grand prize for those who put their names and emails on a card. The winners will take home your best work and likely become repeat customers.

  1. Make Products People Actually Want

A successful craft show starts with listening to your target audience. Are you catering to their needs and desires? Are you sticking to trends, classic pieces, or specialty items?

One of the best ways to determine which products to make is to start with customer personas. This tells you a little more about your target audience, their biggest problems, their tastes, and how your products can help them.

You can also research the biggest sellers in the craft industry. Simple research on sites like Etsy or eBay will reveal what’s trending among your target audience. If you can put a unique spin on those products, you shouldn’t have any problem selling them.

  1. Craft a Unique Selling Proposition

According to Eric Dyson of Nimlok, a publication that specializes in trade show marketing, the best vendors at craft shows will determine a unique selling proposition (USP).

“A unique selling proposition (USP) is a brand’s personal stamp on their market place,” he says. “It is a highlighted feature, attribute or advantage an organization has over its competitors.”

Dyson recommends asking yourself these three questions to understand what your USP is and how you can use it to your advantage: “Who are you? What is it that you want to do? How do you do it better than your competition?”

Write down common themes you find when answering these questions and use these insights to not only improve your brand appearance, but also market your products successfully.

  1. Don’t Overprice the Merchandise

Some craft shows tend to feature overpriced merchandise. It’s important to set a high enough margin to make a profit, but don’t get carried away. Pricing items too high will significantly reduce your sales and give you a bad reputation.

Consider the demographics of the people who are attending the craft show. If the average wage of the area is a little lower, drop your prices or post your items as “on sale” to entice your customers.

  1. Build a Mailing List

Craft shows are about more than just selling your crafts. They’re also about generating leads and finding loyal customers. If customers like your products, they’ll be all happy to sign up for future communication.

You can also gather emails with your giveaway. Ask for their name and email, notifying them that you will be adding their name to a mailing list.

  1. Choose Props That Sell Your Merchandise

Props are supposed to catch your target audience’s eye and show off your products at their best vantage points. Choose props that do your crafts justice without overshadowing your merchandise.

“I only have one real pet peeve about a craft stall and that’s a stall that has more stuff on it which isn’t for sale than the stuff that is,” says blogger Leanne from See the Woods. “I saw one a couple of years ago selling jewelry and the stall had candlesticks and jewelry boxes and strategically placed silk scarves and glass dishes, like a proper diva dressing table. It looked lovely, but it was difficult to spot the jewelry casually draped here and there that was actually for sale.”

Craft shows are the perfect launching point for your business, and if you do everything in your power to get it right the first time, you’ll generate new relationships, make great sales, and become a coveted booth at future craft shows.

Author: Anna Johansson

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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