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November 7th 2008
archived under: Craft Shows, Crafts

I guess this should really be called “Craft Show Checklist – What I bring to my shows”

I can’t tell you what to bring… we all have different needs and sell different things in different parts of the country and the world. So while sunscreen and bug spray might be necessities for an outdoor show in Pensacola, FL, you might not need them in … wherever you are.  You might not be able to survive without earmuffs, but I wouldn’t know what to do with them at all! So… here it is, in all its glory.

Step 1: Take care of yourself. I don’t know about you but if my hands are dry, I can’t concentrate on ANYthing… let alone smiling and trying to sell my wares! Same goes for germs, headaches, sweat, bugs, etc.

  1. Allergy Medicine
  2. Tylenol/Advil/Ibuprofen (pick whatever floats your boat)
  3. Lip balm
  4. Lotion
  5. Baby Wipes / Wet  Ones
  6. Hand Sanitizer
  7. Bug Spray
  8. Sunscreen (I bring face moisturizer with sunscreen in it, so I won’t irritate my skin with thick stuff…)
  9. Tissues
  10. Jacket, if weather may call for it
  11. Cooler with lots of water and easy-to-sneak snacks (baby carrots, goldfish crackers, pretzels… nothing greasy or messy).
  12. Hairbrush and ponytail holders, especially if you are outdoors and it might get windy
  13. Makeup for touch-ups
  14. A nail clipper, for loose threads on clothing or in case you break/rip a nail.
  15. Feminine hygiene products … even if you don’t need them that day, you might save another artist’s life (just about).
  16. Camera… because I didn’t know what category to put this in.

craft show necessities

Step 2: Be prepared for a sale. If you bring all of your merchandise, but aren’t prepared for a sale, it won’t do you any good. It’s better to be prepared for a sale, and forget half your merchandise. At least you can sell what you have!

  1. Cash box with change
  2. Tax information / Business license
  3. Calculator
  4. Credit Card Imprinter
  5. Sign saying you accept credit cards
  6. Business Cards
  7. Mailing list sign-ups (great to offer a raffle prize to entice people to give up their information)
  8. Bags for purchases
  9. Receipts – the carbon copy type so you can keep one and give one to the customer
  10. Pens
  11. Show Schedule fliers… If you don’t catch them this time, you might make a sale next time!

craft show necessities

Step 3: Bring your things and your displays!

  1. Tent / Tent Walls / Stakes / Hammer / Weights for the legs (if outdoors)
  2. Gridwall / hooks / shelves
  3. Poles for improvising clothing racks between gridwall
  4. Hangers
  5. Price tags or cards
  6. Mannequins / Dress Form
  7. Any other specialized displays (I have baskets, stationery racks, and a card spinner)
  8. Mirror for customers to use
  9. Tables
  10. Chairs
  11. Tablecloths
  12. Banner or sign
  13. Any seasonal decor. I’m not bringing my little Christmas tree to this show, but I’ll bring it to next week’s show!

Step 4: Be prepared! Keep things tidy and be prepared for emergencies.

  1. Small trash can
  2. Binder clips
  3. Sticky lint roller
  4. Paper towels
  5. Clothespins
  6. Clothesline
  7. Stapler
  8. Tape – scotch and duct
  9. Scissors
  10. String
  11. Extra Price Tags
  12. Toolbox

Getting ready for tomorrow's show

Put everything by the door or by the car the night before (if you’re setting up the day of the show) so you won’t forget anything!

Getting ready for tomorrow's show

Get a good night’s sleep… which obviously I’m not doing, because it’s about midnight and I’m setting up at 7am tomorrow (half an hour drive to the show and we haven’t loaded the car yet!). Which means I’m going to cut this short. Goodnight!

If you’re in Meridian, MS, I hope to see you at the MOPs Christmas Stop at Fifteenth Avenue Baptist Church tomorrow!





ddathas (2 comments)

Hello, I know I'm finding this long after you posted it, but I just wanted to tell you I appreciate the time you took to put this together. I'm doing my second show next week and it's been a long time since the first one! Loved it, too, that you're in Meridian. I'm the only one in my family who's away from MS…my family (including two of my children) is in Biloxi and Jackson. Thanks again!




ddathas (2 comments)

Hello, I know I'm finding this long after you posted it, but I just wanted to tell you I appreciate the time you took to put this together. I'm doing my second show next week and it's been a long time since the first one! Loved it, too, that you're in Meridian. I'm the only one in my family who's away from MS…my family (including two of my children) is in Biloxi and Jackson. Thanks again!




Joyful Abode (953 comments)

Thanks Mrs. C
Roxy, I use Propay to accept credit cards… I just make a copy of the card with the imprinter and carbon slips, get the billing zip code (and a phone number just in case something doesn’t work), and then when I get home I can put it in the website. You can also call in the charges over the phone if you want to make extra-sure you don’t get burned.

The very best way to find out about craft shows is to talk to people in the area who are involved in the arts… they’ll know all the local and not-so-local shows that are worth going to!

Thanks Edie. :) I really enjoy going to the shows too, and organization and preparation definitely make a difference from a buyer’s standpoint, I agree!




Edie (22 comments)

I love going to craft shows, and it really makes a difference when a vendor is organized and has a well maintained booth. Good luck and I hope you make tons of sales!




Roxy (5 comments)

Hi There!! What a great detailed list!!! Thanks so much! I have a few questions though, How do you accept credit cards?? Do you run them through using a service like Paypal when you get back home?? Also what’s the best way to to find out about craft shows in my area? Again, thanks again so much!!




Mrs C (1 comments)

What an organised set of lists! Hope the show goes well for you.






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