Tips for Craft Marketing and how to Pick the Right Craft Show

Craft Marketing

Are you into arts and crafts, making them yourself and selling them physically at various craft shows around the country? If so, at some stage, possibly in the early years of your business, you must have felt the need to work out better marketing strategies to sell more, make more profits and establish your brand in the crafts world. The key to success is to build on your experience of one year and implement what you have learnt in the next year.

In this piece, the focus will be solely on the marketing of crafts at physical shows and not through the online route. Hence your primary marketing goal should be to study your competitors and your co-sellers at a fair and analyse how they are going about their business. Simple things like the system they follow in arranging goods for display can give you valuable insights on craft marketing.

Two aspects will be highlighted here. The first is tips on optimally marketing your craft and the second is how to choose the right craft show that will help to maximise your sales.

Tips for craft marketing

In this section, you will know how best to market your crafts at any craft show.

  • Treat your visitors warmly – The first point of contact with potential customers is at the stall. Welcome them warmly but let them wander around and make purchase decisions. If you see that they are facing any problems, step in with a casual conversation to help them out. Do not be pushy and start with a sales pitch. Give them a free hand to interact with and appreciate your products.
  • Variety is critical – Have variety and a wide range of products on offer. Think of a flower show in your garden. If you have roses only, you will attract just rose lovers. Similar is the case for your crafts. Every year, apart from the products of the past, try adding a new line of items which is entirely different from your other things. The new items might not turn out to be best sellers but they will inevitably attract visitors looking for variety to choose from.
  • Have customers carry your brand – Your packaging after you sell an item should reflect your brand. Invest in paper handled bags or small recycled paper lunch bags and have the name of your brand embossed on it in bold. Get a custom stamp with your brand logo and stamp the bags yourself. When your customers meet friends and show off your product, they will not have to describe where they got it from. The logo on the bag says it all. It is one of the best types of craft marketing that you can adopt. Include details of your website too so that customers at the show can get in touch with you later with trade enquiries.

How to pick the right crafts show

The biggest shows with the highest footfalls need not be the best for you. There are other crucial factors also. Here are some of them though not in any particular order.

  • Consider the audience at the show – Consider the demographics of the location and whether the age of the attendees fit in well with the type of product. If your product is for the young at heart and the crowds are all middle to old age, you will not make much of a mark at the show. What about the other vendors? Do their products complement what you have to offer? You also have to consider the status of the neighbourhood. Upper class means more disposal income, more attendees and more sales.
  • Make a cost analysis – you have to estimate how much you have to sell to break even. For example, if a table costs $100 at the show and your items are on an average $10 each, you have to sell a minimum of ten of them to break even. Take into account other costs apart from booth fees. These include buying props to set up a pleasing display and transportation of your goods.
  • Outdoor vs. Indoor exhibits – An outdoor crafts show has a festive air about it and people flock in droves not just to buy exclusive craft pieces but to enjoy the weather as well. Unless the climate is awful and raining, it is better to opt for outdoor craft shows. However, the costs are more as you have to make provision for tents, tables, chairs and other extras while for indoor shows, the table and the chairs are often provided by the organisers.

These are some tips for craft marketing and how to pick the right shows.

Tips to start Wood Crafting

Wood Crafting

Starting off on anything that appeals to you is always exciting and challenging, whether it is a hobby or an entrepreneurial project. In the beginning there is always a sense of bewilderment and fear of the unknown but if you have the spark and passion in you there will surely be success at the end of the rainbow. All these hold true if you want to start off on wood crafting too.

Here are a few tips that will help set the ball rolling and make you an expert woodworking professional.

Increase your chances of success

Do not hope to begin with a successful project. You have to start on a small note, expect to fail and learn from your mistakes. Remember, it is only wood that you are working with and you can afford to try and try repeatedly to master the art. However, your focus should be to increase your chances of success quickly and effectively. Start with a project that you feel that you can handle well and be realistic about it. There are many stages that you have to pick up including configuring tools, surfacing, stock preparation, edge treatments, gluing up and finishing.

An important aspect of quickly picking up the techniques of wood crafting is to understand how all these stages bond with each other.

Acquiring high quality wood

The better the quality of wood that you acquire the more lustrous will be your finished product. But recognising good wood that will suit your purpose is not easy. Different varieties of wood have various grain, strength and hardness and not all are perfect for wood crafting. Hence it is always advisable to get in touch with experts and fix a specific vendor for sourcing wood. If you are located in a city or town in Australia, start with the yellow pages of your area and look for agencies specialising in arboriculture in Australia. You will get expert guidance on wood quality.

Buy high quality tools

Like all crafts, wood working too requires substantial investments in high quality tools. But it will pay you back in the long run. For example a tree care agency will have to buy very expensive equipment initially for tree and stump removal. But through tree removal in Melbourne cost and charges (or anywhere else for that matter) the investment is recouped many times over in a very short period.

For a beginner taking up wood crafting as a hobby, it can be a burden sometimes. But remember, those shiny tools that you have to acquire are not mere acquisitions but a mode of getting things done and creating beautiful objects. What you can do is to decide a project, and then buy tools that will help you complete it optimally. You can add to your stock of tools as you complete more and more projects.

These are some of the tips that will help you to start off on wood crafting.

Tips on Hosting an Art and Craft Show

art show

An art and craft show is unlike other exhibitions or music concerts where there are individual performers and a large section of the audience consists of just attendees to the show. In an arts and craft show, most of those milling around the stalls or paintings or other similar stuff are artists and artisan themselves. Hence there is a feeling of friendliness that pervades the show as everybody is proud of what they have contributed and wish to be respected and praised by others in the same community. Given all these variables, it is necessary that such a show be meticulously planned and held so that the group as a whole is not let down in any manner.

Here then are a few tips on hosting an art and craft show with scrupulous planning holding centre stage.

Fixing date and time – This should be your primary concern as a lot of factors will depend on this decision. Ensure that the date you have in mind does not clash with other similar events in the area or even any other program that is likely to draw away crowds from your venue. Once this is finalised you can move on to other areas of hosting the event.

Location and venue – Next in line is selecting the available space. As said earlier, unlike a music conference, the focus will be not be on a theatre or an auditorium but a location with large rooms and halls where the items can be displayed and with plenty of room for people to move around in a relaxed manner without crowds behind pushing them on. Art and craft can only be appreciated at leisure. An important part of the location is adequate parking space too.

Give a catchy name to the show, contact potential participants – More than anything else, a catchy name will draw in participants and visitors. It should reflect the essence of the show. If you have a specific theme in mind, the show should be named likewise. Next, contact artists and artisans to participate in the show. If you can rope in a leading and reputed artist initially, you can be sure that others will be flocking to take part in the event.

Local permits and permissions – Contact the local authorities to know about any licences or permissions that may be required. More often than not these might be too complex for you to understand and it would be prudent to get professional help. For example take the help of a property lawyer in Melbourne to take care of the statutory formalities if your show is in the city.

Marketing and promotion – This is the key to a successful show. The first step here is to design and create a flyer or brochure with all relevant information. Send this flyer to the print media and book multiple days for the ad to appear. This flyer can also be sent through email and post. Involve the local community so that the information spreads through word of mouth. Even in this digital age, the last method is still a very potent weapon to get any message through. Post messages on your website in details giving all required information.

And finally, be prepared for any eventuality as the best of efforts are often found wanting on some issue or the other.