Holiday Craft Show & Markets

christmas marketing craft show holiday market Oct 29, 2023
Christmas Craft Show Sign

The holiday season is an incredible time for makers like you. The air is buzzing with excitement, and shoppers are eager to find unique gifts for their loved ones. While e-commerce is booming, there's something special about in-person sales, particularly at holiday craft shows and markets. So, let's talk about how you can create a captivating, sales-generating booth that will have people flocking to your handmade products.

 

Preparing for the Show

  1. Research the Market - Not all markets are created equal. Some focus on high-end handmade products, while others might have a more cheap MLM goods kind of vibe. Know where your products fit in. Research the type of customers attending the show and what they're looking for.

  2. Inventory Planning - Don't underestimate how much stock you'll need, but also don't overwhelm your booth. A rule of thumb is to have enough inventory to restock your best sellers a couple of times if working a one day only show and enough to restock your booth a couple times if you are working a 2 or 3 day show. This ensures you have enough products to keep your booth looking full and giving customers a variety to shop from, but just enough so that you aren't left with a ton of stock after the show is over.

  3. Marketing Materials - Prepare promotional materials like business cards, flyers, QR code sign and a banner with your business name and logo. Make it easy for people to remember you and find you online. I recommend giving out cards with a coupon code on a next purchase on your website, this encourages shoppers to visit your website after the show.

 

Setting Up Your Booth

  1. Location, Location, Location! - Where your booth is situated can have a significant impact on foot traffic. Corners are often prime real estate, as are spots near food vendors. If possible, book early enough or get to the venue early to score the best spot.

  2. Booth Design - Your booth should be an extension of your brand. Keep your aesthetic consistent with your online presence. Use a backdrop or a tablecloth that complements your branding and products. Your in person space should have the same vibe your online space has. Be sure to create different levels on your table to add visual interest and optimize all real estate available to you.

  3. Signage - Clear, visible signs will help you stand out in a sea of vendors. Consider an overhead sign or a chalkboard with your brand name, and smaller signs for pricing and product details. Be sure to price all products or have clear pricing signs at each section.

  4. Lighting - Good lighting can make or break your booth. Natural light is ideal, but if you're indoors or selling in the evening, invest in battery-operated LED lights to make your products shine. Christmas Twinkle lights do an amazing job at setting a "mood" during Christmastime.

  5. Festive Atmosphere - Create a cozy, festive atmosphere that invites shoppers to explore your booth. For fall shows, think pumpkins, autumn leaves, and warm colors. Thanksgiving could incorporate gratitude-themed decor, while Christmas shows might feature twinkling lights, snowflakes, or a small tree. Use holiday-specific scents to draw people in. Whether it's the smell of cinnamon during the fall or fresh pine for Christmas, aromas can evoke powerful emotions and memories.

  6. Holiday Music - Depending on venue you could play holiday music softly in the background, but make sure it's not overwhelming. The aim is to enhance the shopping experience, not to compete with customer interactions or other sounds that might be happening at the venue.

 

Making Sales

  1. Engage with Customers - Stand, don't sit! AND for the love of all things please stay off your device (at least when customers are around) this makes you more approachable. Initiate conversations by asking visitors if they're shopping for anything special. Tailor your product pitches accordingly.

  2. Bundle and Upsell - Offer holiday bundles or packages, and upsell complementary products. If someone's buying a knitted scarf, suggest matching gloves or headband.

  3. Special Holiday Products - Think about having limited-edition items. Offer special holiday-themed products that are only available at the show. Limited-time items create urgency and can attract more sales.

  4. Gift Sets - Package your products as gift sets wrapped in festive paper for easy gift-giving. This could be a trio of scented candles for fall, a “Thanksgiving Hostess Kit" with a charcuterie board and cheese set, or a Christmas “Cozy Night In” set with a blanket, hot cocoa mix, and a book.

  5. DIY Gift Wrapping Station - Depedning on room available you could offer a DIY or staffed gift-wrapping station with a variety of holiday papers, ribbons, and tags. Not only does this add value to your products, but it also solves a problem for shoppers who dislike wrapping gifts. This could be a complimentary thing, or an upsell.

  6. Special Offers and Promotions - Offer holiday discounts by creating special promotions like "Buy One, Get One 50% Off" or "Spend $50 and Get a Free Ornament."

  7. Mystery Grab Bags - These are super fun during the holidays, you can wrap them in bright colorful packaging and offer them for $10 with purchase (or whatever amount makes sense for you). This is fun for both you and the customer, you get to offload some inventory that might not otherwise move and the customer gets a surprise gift to open. These are really fun to do for kids as well.

  8. Payment Methods - Cash is king, but not everyone carries it. Make sure you can accept credit cards, and consider using mobile payment options like Apple Pay or Google Wallet (even Venmo, Paypal and Cashapp are popular now a days).

 

Community and Customer Engagement

  1. Photo Op - Set up a small, Instagrammable corner with holiday props where people can take photos. This serves as free advertising when they share it on social media. Don't forget to display your social media handles and maybe a special event hashtag.

  2. Giveaways - Hold a giveaway of a holiday-themed product. Encourage people to drop their business cards or fill out a form to enter. This also helps you collect emails for future marketing.

  3. Charity Partnership - Consider partnering with a local charity, school, church or club and donate a percentage of your holiday sales. Not only is this a good deed, but it also appeals to the holiday spirit of giving and might encourage more purchases.

 

Wrapping Up

  1. Networking - Don't just focus on customers; network with other vendors too. They can offer valuable insights, and you might even find opportunities for collaborations.

  2. Collect Emails - If you haven't already, start an email list. Offer a small freebie or discount as an incentive for people to sign up. This way, you can continue to market to them long after the show is over.

  3. Post-Event Analysis - Take note of what sold well, customer feedback, and any logistical hiccups. Use this data to refine your approach for future shows.

 

Holiday craft shows can be hectic but also incredibly rewarding. By incorporating these holiday-specific tips into your booth, you're bound to create a magical shopping experience that resonates with the spirit of the season. It's all about going that extra mile to make your booth a holiday shopping destination, not just a stop along the way. Happy holiday selling!

Taught by leading e-commerce and handmade industry advisors, Flourish does more than teach you how to sell online, it will teach you to build your handmade or vintage brand and scale your small business to reach a global audience.

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