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5 Tips How to Run a Successful Low-Cost Home Craft Show

March 17th, 2008 at 09:29 am

You've been to those infomercial home shows (BLEH) where a rep takes an hour of your time showing stuff you don't really need....

You've been to a home boutique where the place is packed with specialty items, they hand you a hot tea or coffee to sip, and it's a pleasure to walk around browsing...

How about something inbetween?

By default (since my first choice venue fell through), I am hosting a home craft show in a couple weeks. It has been fun planning! Without any retail experience, it's falling together well.

1. Get commitments from your sellers.
Every seller needs to take ownership of the event by taking a volunteer assignment. Examples: placing low/no cost ads in local media outlets, making street signs, or bringing snacks/drinks.

I am charging no table fee, a very nice perk for my sellers, however, each is responsible for some other part of the event.

2. Motivate your sellers in prior weeks in attracting guests
Prepare an email flyer, as well as a print flyer and send these to your sellers at least a month ahead of the event date. Send reminders (such as weekly) to your sellers to distribute these and give them specific ideas!

In the reminders, include anecdotes of your own experiences giving out the fliers to give your sellers a feeling of confidence and comfort. Examples: hand out to church friends, neighbors, school contacts, co-workers, shops frequently patronized (the shop will likely allow fliers to be left for other customers).

3. Have small refreshments for the guests.
I am holding my entire event outside, so this is less problematic than if you have an indoor event. We will have individual sized plain water, flavored waters, soda. Trays of very inexpensive snacks are planned, such as pretzels, cookies, crackers. The cost of snacks can be shared by your sellers, or (in my case) are being brought as part of the 'fee' to be in the event.

4. Have a 'freebie' for guests.
On our flier we have included a coupon to be reedemed at the event for a goody bag. My sellers have donated small items (representative of what they sell) and I have made very nice goody bags with the items, including: jewelry samples, greeting card samples, hair ribbons and bows, fun magnets and pins, and more. Coupons should indicate "while supplies last". Other shows have drawings for one large basket or box of similar donated items, but there are local laws regarding raffles I wish to avoid.

5. Make the event festive but inexpensive.
Our event is a spring boutique and I'll dress up the front of the house with balloon bouquets, a big banner, and create shade structures with draped sheer fabric overhead. Other holiday events can make great use of decorations you already have!

Wish me luck and stay tuned for more blog posts as the time gets closer!

3 Responses to “5 Tips How to Run a Successful Low-Cost Home Craft Show”

  1. mstooke Says:

    i wish you luck sounds like a great idea love to hear what happens

  2. karen Says:

    just wondering when your running this type of craft sale, which I am looking also to do something similar in the fall. Except I'm looking at putting in an old barn. Do you need to put a special insurance on this??

  3. Nancy Says:

    I am planning my first Christmas boutique to be held in my home. How far in advance should I send out an email/notice to recruit crafters? I was thinking early June as to give these crafters time to commit and also enough time to make their items. Do you think that's too far in advance? I really want this to be spectacular and successful and would greatly appreciate any advice you can offer. Thank you!
    ~Nancy

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