Thursday, September 15, 2011

It's Showtime

Things are busy at the Auntie B's Wax World Headquarters.  This weekend is the Chateau St. Croix Fall Festival, which is one of the most fun festivals in the Midwest.  Of course Husby and I will be there with bells on. 

However, there are things to do to get ready.  If you're fairly new to doing shows or have never done a show and are interested in getting started this might give you some ideas.   Let's go through the checklist...

1) Plenty of product.  I always feel like I never bring enough; however I always bring as much as our little vehicle (SUV) will carry.  Chances are pretty good I won't sell out, and it's very nice to have plenty of items for customers to peruse even if I have to bring things home with me.

2)  Canopy.  This is really important and I would recommend, if you're doing outdoor shows more than once or twice a year, that you get a good-quality canopy.  They range from $30 on sale to $800 for a super, ultra, extravagant model (or so they say).  Mid-range canopies are sufficient.  If your budget can handle it something between $200 and $400 will last many years of outdoor festivals.

3)  Product/booth props.  I'm so lucky to have a handy Husby around to make shelving and other displays for me.  Depending on what you sell you can easily devise creative props to display your products on a budget.  Also included in props are table(s) and chair(s), any hardware needed, canopy weights and stakes, and table coverings. 

4)  Miscellaneous necessities.  This is the most important list to keep around.  Things included in this category are business cards, extra price stickers, pens, receipt book, scissors, tape, table cloth weights (or something you can clip to the clothes to keep them from flying around during windy days), snacks and drinks, bandana to wipe your brow on those hot days or a little battery-operated, hand-held fan, calculator, any necessary signage, sunscreen, a camera to get a snap of your booth to submit to juried shows or just to capture the activities of the day, a cell phone and most important, cash for change and plenty of it.  If you take credit cards make sure you have all the equipment needed for that.  When putting together the miscellaneous necessities it's a good practice to go through possible scenarios you might encounter and write down everything you'll need to accommodate the numerous situations.

5)  Manners and a smile.  At live shows most of the people are in a good mood and are there to enjoy all of the handmade items displayed by the crafters and artists.  However, once in a while an unsavory customer might wander into the booth.  Remember, their attitude is not about you or your products.  Treat them courteously and with a smile despite their biting remarks or rudeness.  Believe me, they're outnumbered by the people who will think you and your wares are fabulous.

After all the work you put into making your offerings and taking the time to make sure everything is packed, your day at the show will be like a little mini vacation.  Sit back, relax, and take in all the feedback you can from the public ~ and get paid for doing it! 

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