Behind the Scenes of a Craft Show

I know you all love coming to a craft show (as do I), and today I wanted to share with you some of the work that goes into prepping for a craft show.

This week I am on my way to Logan for the Craft Alive Logan Show.  This is the last show of the year for me, and all in all, I have participated in 10 shows throughout the year.

Stock

The first thing I need to think about is stock – without the stock, we would have nothing to sell.  This last show is coming off the back of the Craft & Quilt Fair in Brisbane in early October, where we sold out of many of our stock lines.  I am still crossing my fingers that two more parcels arrive before I take off on Thursday morning for Brisbane.  I am still definitely learning as I go along with stock, and attempting to guesstimate how much stock I will need is getting easier – however I still make mistakes.

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My wonderful husband is a “lego packer” – he can pack double the amount into the car as I can.  Thankfully, when I am packing it, it is after the show, when we generally have a lot less stuff.

Displays

After stock – my next priority is having the correct displays.  I have a short span of attention, and I always want to show off some of my new designs to our lovely customers.  Ensuring that I have the samples created for each collection is an absolute priority.  I also need to plan out my display area, ensuring that I bring enough samples to fill the walls, but not enough that I am wasting space.  For each show, I have a folder on my computer with images of the stand, and notes about what stock sold well.

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each booth needs to change from year to year, and i like to highlight any new collections which we have created.

Setting up the Booth

This is where it all begins to come together.  This morning as you are reading this, I will be at the venue in my grubby clothes, pinning quilts to the wall, and arranging the stock on our tables.

I like to lay out the quilts first – working out what goes where.  I then need to attach the lighting to ensure the quilts and samples are laid out to their best advantage, before I can put the tables together, and begin laying the stock out.

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The outside wall of our booth in Tamworth back in September.  I think I am getting a little better at laying out the displays.

This weekend I will have my wonderful sister-in-law Annette assisting me.  Annette has been sewing for the past 45 odd years, and loves embroidery as well.

Ensuring all of the computer stuff works

As we set up, there is the quick prayer to the gods to ask that all of the computer stuff works.  The most important of course is the eftpos machine, but because we are in large venues, there is always a chance you will have issues with communications.

THE SHOW

Now we get onto the good stuff.  For 3 days we get to talk to customers, share our passions, listen to their needs, and basically, have a party.

Each evening after the show has ended, there is more work to be done, re-stocking the displays, and making sure everything is neat.

On the Saturday night of this show, all of the vendors meet for a drink, and an update of upcoming shows.  This is one of my favourite parts, as you get to talk to other vendors – which at a good show doesn’t happen often.

After the Show

Sunday afternoon.  4.01pm. Controlled mayhem erupts.  All of the vendors are now attempting to break down their stalls, and get ready to return home.  My quickest pack-up was in 18 minutes (hubby was there to assist).  These days I am more interested in ensuring the leftover stock is stored correctly, and easy to sort when I get home.  We need to pull all of the quilts and lighting off the wall, pack it all back into the cases, and get everything back out to the car.  We are now ready to drive home (if we are lucky), and prep for the next show.

I love doing the show circuit, and getting the chance to meet customers.  I hope you will join me this weekend in Logan if you are in the area.

Until next time, have a Stitchin’ Day.  Julie.

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