Wednesday , 27 August 2014
Last week I wrote about my best tips for selling at craft shows and promised to provide this big checklist of items to consider taking with you to a show. While not every item on the list is a must, I hope it will be helpful to have a list for all the aspects of your booth to take care of, including you!

A Great Big Craft Show Checklist

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A Great Big Craft Show Checklist:

In my last post  I wrote about my best tips for selling at craft shows and promised to provide this big checklist of items to consider taking with you to a show. While not every item on the list is a must, I hope it will be helpful to have a list for all the aspects of your booth to take care of, including you!  Every product provides a unique challenge for display and packaging, and creating a mock up at home is a great way to test drive your booth display and plan ahead. Checking out online photo galleries of craft show booths is also a good way to get some ideas and visualize what you’ll need to succeed.

Tools:
Scissors
Pens
Clear tape – scotch, masking, packing and maybe duct tape too
String
Safety pins
Push pins and tacks
Paper clips
Clothespins
Super glue
Hot glue gun
Zip ties
Pliers
Screwdriver
Wire cutters
Hammer (if you will need to stake the tent on grass)
Water jugs, cinder blocks or tent weights – stakes if you are on grass
Dustpan
Trash bags
Tools of your trade to demonstrate your craft
Camera
Tupperware containers to transport materials to show
Dolly to carry your supplies to your booth
Water
Snacks
Sunblock
Directions/contact info for the show
Apron
Candy dish
Pocket mirror
Breath mints
First aid kit
A friend – if you don’t want to leave your booth unattended while you go to the bathroom (you’ll have to eventually!), bring a friend

Booth Decoration and Shop Information:
Signs
Brochures, catalog, free literature (optional)
Business cards (a must)
Discount coupons for your website
Portfolio (optional, great to show people who might want a custom item or to a potential wholesale client)
Mailing List
Table cloths
Additional fabric draping
Risers
Baskets
Shelving
Pegboard
Chair or stool
Backdrop
Banner
Lighting (if an option)
Mirror
Carpet or floor covering (this is also optional)

Packaging:
Bags with your shop’s name on them – we print our logo on stickers
Tissue or butcher paper for fragile items
Gift wrap
Ribbon

Finance:
Signs with prices or
Individually price each item using hang tags or stickers
Calculator!!!
Cash box with change – ones, fives, tens and coins
Squareor other credit card reader for your phone
and/or
Knuckle buster and imprinter slips
Wholesale Order forms
Receipt book
List of inventory to mark off your sales
Sales tax chart
A copy of your sales tax certificate
Notebook to keep track of your expenses during the trip – mileage, hotel, etc.
Clipboard (for customers who want to write checks, fill out a custom order or need to sign cc slips)

Don’t forget to bring your smile and interact with potential customers. Most importantly, bring lots of inventory!

 

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27 comments

  1. Holy cow, I needed this 2 weeks ago for my first show ever. Thanks, I have another one this weekend.

  2. Craft shows sound overwhelming! This list should be helpful though as we plan our Etsy Craft Party which will include some tables for artists (like me!) to sell their work.

  3. I’ve been doing craft shows for some years now – wish I’d had a list given to me way at the beginning :-)
    I’d include a thermos of coffee in there too – very important survival tool !

  4. Another great article! Thank you! :-)

  5. Quite a comprehensive list! breath mints and/or gum are an essential :) Thanks for the fickr link – great to see other artists’ or crafters’ displays.

    I would also suggest that you keep your show gear packed in plastic tubs with lids. That way you can just grab the tubs, tent and tables and go.

    - Rach

  6. Whew that’s lots of stuff! What a great list! I also brought various sizes of bungee cords, rope, eye hooks, and screws to secure the displays. You never know when the wind is going to blow hard enough to blow things over! Weights of some kind are also important to hold down your canopy.

  7. Fabulous list – Thank you!!! Last show we did I forgot to grab our banner! DOH! Now I have this list printed out so we can check off things as we load them.

  8. Super helpful! I appreciate it :]

  9. Great! So glad the list will be useful, and I need to print it out for myself for our next show to make sure I actually bring all these things too!

  10. Oh man! I would have forgotten (or not thought of) at least half these things. thanks for the fabulous list – which I am printing immediately!

  11. Thanks for the list. I am doing my first ever fete (not brave enough for a full on craft show yet) in a month or so. I’ve been trying to make a list, but now I dont need to. Lucky really as a Calculator!?! SOOO obvioius but I hadnt even thought of it!

  12. Great list! I have found plastic tubs to be a must – easy to move and especially to throw your product in, in case of bad weather. I keep one tub always stocked with all of my show supplies so preparation is super simple and mostly done. I also keep a basic cash bank in the tub so I’m not scrambling to get change before each show.

  13. I am preparing to do my firs craft show in October, this list was EXTREMELY helpful for a newbie such as myself. There were several things I never thought to do/bring that you mentioned here such as a clipboard – so simple but so forgettable! Thank you so much!

  14. This is great! I vended at a craft show last weekend and this list would have been very useful. I’m saving this one for the next event. Thanks for sharing!

  15. Ditto on the tubs. And I am printing this list and keeping it in one of the tubs!

  16. Looks great! I have a list that needs adding to, and I think this one has everything (and then some!) that I could think of. Thank you :)

  17. I have done shows for 27 years of my life, on two continents, you have a good list. I would add: a small notebook for new contacts, one page per lead, everyone who buys or who is really interested. Then a cushioned rubber mat for standing. Rubber in case it is wet. A stool is better than a chair because you do not change your height relationship by standing up. This is threatening gesture. A stapler, one to open up for afixing sheets of paper to a surface. A friend/spouse is nice but I find that very quickly I have a relationship with other participants to, ‘Keep an eye on my booth.’ Winter shows I keep a bottle for ‘aiding’ my morning coffee. I have often kept a bottle of wine to offer people who are seriously responding. It loosens the pocketbook.

  18. Name (required)

    I’ve operated a craft show and also been a dealer, and here’s my list of what to take (displays not included): business cards and holder; calculator; camera with charged batteries and/or film; candies for table; change in coins and paper bills; containers and lids for packing; cushion for chair if you aren’t bringing your own; extension cords; extra price stickers; fire retardant spray or certificate re: flammability of table cover if needed; first aid kit; flashlight; eyeglasses; hand lotion/medications; in case of emergency – phone numbers of family members; inventory; Kleenex or other material for packing; lamps/lights; notebook; paper/plastic bags for customer purchases; paper clips, push pins & extra tacks; paper towels; pens/pencils; plastic sleeve for tax chart; receipt books with name and address stamped on receipts; repair kit: scissors, glue, etc.; safety pins; show schedule to use as a bag stuffer & handouts; stapler and staples; sticky tape; table cover; tablecloth clips; toilet tissue if desired (I’ve been places where promises of sufficient supply were not upheld); water/iced tea/pop; and wet wipes.

    I find that I do overpack, just like I overpack for camping, but I’d rather be prepared. Of all these things, the one thing customers have a regular complaint about is not having an artisan’s contact information for future reference. My business partner and I try to put a business card and receipt in each person’s bag to forestall any issues.

  19. Thank you, Thank you. I am preparing for my first craft fair next month and I would have never thought of some of these items but know I will want them with me. You also helped me figure out how to stake my tent if I am not in a grassy area. Very informative!!

  20. Whoa, thank you. This is very helpful article!

  21. I only do indoor fairs so don’t need a lot of these things as not necessary / wouldn’t be permitted, but I keep everything in large crates that stack and don’t slide around the car. That way once I have packed all the crates then I know it is all in there somewhere. The admin stuff inc the toolbox goes in one coloured crate, easy to spot when you are wondering which box the screw driver is in.

  22. Great list of items to bring…….Just don’t forget the coffee………….

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