Six Tips to Becoming a Craft Show Superstar
Rebecca McQuigg Rigal | GOOD
In an age where consumers have become as comfortable with e-commerce as they have with e-mail, the prospect of maintaining a presence in the physical marketplace can be lost on many a creative entrepreneur. But being physically present at a local craft show, arts and crafts festival, or business forum can be what sets your craft-brand-business apart from the competition. Even employees at Etsy, the premiere creative e-trepreneurship, are encourage to attend craft shows and conferences. After all, it’s integral to have those face-to-face interactions.
We recently spoke to Danielle Maveal (also known as Daniellexo), Etsy’s education coordinator, who graciously prescribed six tips to help transition purveyors of handmade goods from the comfort and anonymity of the world wide web to the real world of the craft show.
1. Go as a shopper. Don’t do a craft show without attending first as a consumer and researcher. Bring a notebook and jot down which booths and artists attract you as a buyer. Is it weird when you go to a booth and the artist doesn’t stand up? When someone asks you, “Have you heard of my line before?”, does this question start a natural conversation? It should. Is the show well attended? Are people spending money? Scope it out first and you’ll feel much more prepared when you show up next year with your own wares to peddle.
2. Caffeine and a big smile. Honestly, being caffeinated can help you soft-spoken or laid-back types. Before a workshop, I make sure I’m well rested, caffeinated, and mentally prepared to show some enthusiasm. If you aren’t smiling, your audience is going to wonder why on earth they should care about what you’re selling. Smiling is contagious, use this cue to convince those you are meeting that they too are excited about your work.
3. Be unique. I know, sounds obvious, right? When you’re thrown into an offline situation, you might immediately want to blend in. Standing out feels pretty vulnerable. Your quirks, authenticity, off-beat humor, passion and idiosyncrasies are what make you memorable, even more than your fancy letter pressed business card.