This week, I’ve been talking with all my maker friends as they prepare to head toward craft shows and make the majority of their yearly income.

I’ve put together some top tips for craft show success this season.

Craft shows are like living, breathing organisms - they're always moving, growing and changing. Your display should reflect that

1. Do Self Care

Craft shows are hard work! Make sure that you take out some time for you.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s rewarding yourself with the best cheeseburger ever post-show or making sure that the night before is an indulgence of bubble baths, candles, and a good book.

Make room for you in the hectic run-up to a craft show.

2. Create a Uniform

Making your whole store about your brand means making yourself about it too. Creating a uniform means you’re clearly the one working the stall and the go-to person for all things you.

Funked Up Fluff elaborated on this by describing her go to uniform: “flowy clothing, Birkenstocks, and knitted socks”. As a seller of handmade socks, she focuses on environmentally friendly products that shirk mass produced, short-lived, low-quality product. She seeks out yarn that is hypoallergenic but never artificial and works hard to ensure that her customers are connecting with the past values of clothing that lasts, feels good, and brings joy. Her stall is filled with colourful and bright socks, her product photography is nearly always taken outdoors, and her focus is to reduce the harmful environmental impact of disposable fashion. She’s drawn toward knitted, flowy, and practical clothing in general, but when it comes to her craft show, her uniform is key and she always falls back on a uniform that helps sell her clothing and aligns with the brand she’s grown.

3. Aim to be Flexible

Organization is my life and I’m all for a plan that you can stick to. BUT sticking to a plan rigidly can make for more stress in certain situations.

Craft shows are notorious for disorganization. There’s just so much going on, there’s so much for the organizers to handle and manage, and sometimes that means that everything you’d planned for simply doesn’t happen.

Being willing to work with a new stall, or make the most of a new neighbour will make for a less stressed you. Even the best-laid plans don’t always work out, so you have to be prepared for that. Of course, if things are dreadful and it’s not working at all, track down your show organizers and see what can be done. But, even in these cases, you may need to compromise.

When things go wrong Flexibility and compromise at craft shows

4. Tweak Your Display

Building on #3: nothing is set in stone. Craft shows are like a living organism, constantly changing. Because of this, your display shouldn’t be the only rigid, non-changing thing there. Make sure you take stock of what your display looks like, see if it fits with how the show feels, does it need tweaking to stand out? Make those changes.

5. Make Time to Chat

Craft shows = networking opportunities. Make connections and talk to people around you. Knowing people at these events, connecting with other crafty business owners, and developing a community will set you up for success. The bigger your support circles of business owners who get exactly what it’s like to be crafty and own a business – the bigger your success.

6. Get An Early Night

This is the stuff of moms and grandparents. An early night cures all ailments and, better yet, it’s going to mean you feel good and ready to slay your goals the next day.

Stepping away from perfect and getting an early night is far better than staying up all night and making yourself exhausted. You need to be on your A-Game. So, get the basics done:

  • Pack
  • Get your money
  • Make sure you have all your paperwork

Create a checklist to make your process easier, or download my free one here. Check off your important things. And then: Go. To. Bed.

7. Remember Your Product

Generally, be prepared. Develop a routine that works for you and always double check it in the morning. I know it sounds silly but always check you have your inventory, a float, and the basics for a successful show. I know many amazing and seasoned craft show attendees that have forgotten their stock, their float, and other things. It’s easy to get swept up in the moment of craft show excitement but always take a breather and remember to double check you’ve got everything you need.

routine at craft shows: develop one and make sure you double check everything before your show

Make your life easier: get your free checklist for craft show success.

Free craft show checklists

No more recreating your checklist every month, instead reprint the same list for every show. Don’t reinvent the wheel – work with what you already know.

I’ve included a craft show checklist and a toolkit checklist. Your setup tools are completely separate to your display needs, by dividing these into two lists, you’re able to make sure nothing bleeds over and that all your items get checked.

Get your free craft show checklists here:

Pinterest: 7 ways to guarantee craft show success