Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pre-Planning Lists

What do you do to ready yourself, and your products, for an art and craft show? I’ve done several outdoor shows, but I’m no expert and it’s exactly why I’m asking you! In the meantime, I’m searching the Internet for virtual feedback already provided – I just have to find it!

Life experiences have taught me to do several things to help myself organize. I’ll share with you, please share with me…

A couple of weeks out, I start making a list of (non-sale) items I want to have available in my booth, not just for me personally, but some items for visitors, too. At the top of this list are a trash bag (hopefully to remain bee-free, unlike what you’ll find around the town square!), box of tissues (little boys love tissues!), hand sanitizer, and an extra, quickly available chair.

I remember vividly my last show…
It was in the spring. My sister came from Dallas to help/share the booth. It got extremely warm that afternoon – not an unexpected occurrence in Texas. I now realize it was a precursor to our miserably hot summer! Anyway, I’ve always arranged my tables/items where a few folks at a time can “enter” and get underneath the shade of the canopy. I’m so glad I had shade to offer a particular seasoned citizen that walked in, leaning precariously on her cane. Her pasty skin and dazed expression greatly concerned us that she was on the verge of blacking out. My sister immediately offered her a chair. I ran and got water from another vendor. (My mother would have told this lady she should be wearing a hat!) After a while, she recovered nicely and left the booth with a wide smile and a pink complexion! I’m so glad we were there for her.
Another list I create is simply a category of items/products I plan to offer. This is just a general list of things I’ll have within the booth such as aprons, card holders, tissue holders, books, doll clothes, bags, bookmarks, prayer beads, and anything else I may have by then. (I have several new products to add, if I have the time to get them done!) Having this category list helps me in coming up with the various displays I will need.

A running to-do list also begins a couple of weeks out. Putting a price tag on each apron, etc. is on the top of this list. I’m really bad about not attaching tags as I go. If I did, it would make the last weeks before a little easier! But, I just want to create!

Making name/price “signs” for categories is second on the to-do. Like the tissue holders (for those small plastic wrapped individual size tissue packages that get torn to shreds down inside a purse or a backpack or a diaper bag)... I don’t put a price tag on each one. Instead, the display holder itself will have some sort of sign with the price.

Next I create an inventory list. This list shows each item and its price, and any notes of a free item that may go with the purchase. It’s a good thing to have this inventory list within a notebook in case a price tag gets lost or if on a bathroom break a helper needs price verification!

And, finally, a priority list of things I would love to get done for the show! If I don’t, that’s okay. I've got to draw the line somewhere, and simply wait until the next show!

Speaking of which, I have several shows coming up! Check out the Events page and try to come by! I love meeting new people, and always enjoy the warm familiar friends who stop by my booth to say hello!

Anyway... the main reason for all my lists … so I can better focus. Especially when life gets in the way, I can go back and check my lists and not fret over the little things because I wrote them down in between the clouds.

Now, to figure out how to make the booth attractive & showy with all my pretty ;) handmade items!

Don’t forget … please share how you prep, organize, and ready for your arts/craft shows!

P.S. For addition information, check out Tips For a Successful Art Show written by Pepi's Musings!!!


  1. I started going to shows with my parents when I was about six. I break things into categories, booth, walls, table & weights. (basically all the big stuff) Then there's the products I'm selling and their displays (most of my products are already on their displays). Then I have business box-a large rubbermaid tote. My business stuff includes the cash box, change, visa stuff, notepad to write sales on, first aid kit,cleaning stuff, mirror and my tablecloths. I also have the packaging box which has bags, boxes etc. Last but not least is the personal stuff such as medicines, food & drinks. I have some things as you can tell that aren't a "true fit" for their category and are there because that's where I have the place to pack them.

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