We have compiled some Tips and Tricks to help you prepare for your RCF experience!
BOOTH SHARES + SET-UP
If you are sharing your booth space with another maker, be in close contact with them! This is important for the look and feel of your booth. We send out a booth share email shortly after notifications go out so you can begin planning your set-up as soon as possible. Make sure you connect and discuss all of your plans for the Fair and your booth set-up. Maybe there’s an opportunity to collaborate and strengthen the presence of your brands. Get the word out with your audience/fans. Articulate where you’ll be located so it’s easy to find you!
If you are participating in an outdoor Fair make sure you connect with your boothmate especially if you plan to share a tent or rent tables. Also, please note that half booths may be oriented with the shortest side facing the aisle, so please plan your booth accordingly.
Plan ahead. Don’t wait until the last minute to plan out your booth set up. Always double-check what you signed up for (in your application invoice + application confirmation email) to fully utilize the dimensions you paid for! Practice setting up your booth in your house or yard to estimate the time it takes and troubleshoot. Be flexible. Are you sharing a space with another maker? Consider how this will effect how customers view and/or walk in to your booth. Think of your booth as a mini boutique. Gone are the days of a table with items laying flat. Think of ways to bring customer eyes up (horizontal space). Table risers are a great way to bring allow your customers view your inventory on table. It brings the product closer to eye level. Having a stool or taller chair are also advantageous ways to bring yourself at eye level with your customer at your booth. Decorating your booth with flowers or plants and a sign for your company name will make your booth an inviting, chill and comfortable space. We cannot stress this enough!
Renegade Craft Fairs operate in indoor and outdoor venues (rain or shine)! If the event is outside, think about how your displays will be affected by sun, rain, or wind.
Will it just be you? Do you have friendly, approachable staff/friends/lovers/volunteers you can schedule? Try to always have a backup just in case – you never know! If you don’t have extra cash to pay for assistance treat your pal to dinner or incentivize them with a trade! Always pack snacks, beverages, meals (if possible), because these Fairs get busy and it’s not always easy to leave your booth when it’s bumpin’.
PROMOTING YOUR BUSINESS
Include a mailing list sign-up at your booth, with signage to let folks know how to get in touch with you after the Fair or how to follow you on social media.
Let buyers know that your business name and link to your website is also on the Renegade Craft Fair website, in case they lose your information. Renegade reserves the right to select roster images and photos provided by the links submitted in your Participation Application. Once our Roster is live, please check your business name and link are accurate.
Add our online map in your promotions and share your booth number.
Business cards, buttons, temporary tattoos, postcards, catalogs, line sheets for store buyers, and other fun materials are a great way to start the conversation with your potential customers.
Once you have been selected to participate in Renegade you will be emailed a Participation Kit! Make sure to share the news of your acceptance and participation in the Fair with your fans + friends by using our promotional e-flyers for the event and our maker stamp on one of your own social media announcements. Post to your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and blogs to get the word out!
Also be sure to keep up with Renegade by following along on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and on our Blog! Find us on Snapchat @RenegadeCraft. Invite your fans to our Facebook events!
Show off your brand! Create signage with your name so that shoppers can find you. A catchy booth display and clear signs indicating your business name will make it easy for people to find you again. Try non-conventional booth signs using wood, acrylic, or chalkboards as signs!
BEST PRACTICES FOR MAKERS
Give a smile, say hello, tell folks about your products, offer samples, and make a connection! Avoid using electronic devices while customers are in your booth. People might be put off if you’re on your phone or iPad, so keep that in mind when trying to make the most of your participation.
Most people’s priority is to sell their work at the Fair, but also remember your work is being seen by thousands of attendees. This is your chance to make a lasting impression on a large audience, which could lead to future online sales, wholesale orders, editorial features, and other amazing opportunities.
We encourage you to accept credit cards at the Fair. Many mobile card readers now provide offline mode capabilities for your device or tablet, which allows you to accept swiped card payments when Internet service or your connection is giving you trouble. If you sell out of a product, try offering free shipping so booth visitors can still make the purchase. Make your prices clear. Some customers are too shy to ask for prices, so consider making a easily visible sign of the prices of your items.
If you offer items in various colors, it’s nice to bring that along to the show with you, though you don’t necessarily need to have them on display. If a customer is browsing let them know you offer a certain item in various colors!
Creating a memorable experience is key to helping buyers to choose you and to remember you. Get creative with your booth and appeal to the senses of shoppers.
Sight: Decorations like lights, garlands, floral arrangements, and table displays are all inviting signals to a memorable booth.
Smell: If you can, include scents in your booth, like fresh flowers and candles to create a cozy environment for shoppers.
PLANNING + PREPARATION
Make a production plan in order to have your goods ready in time. Do you have a new line or product you’re looking to roll out at our Fair? Build anticipation by doing a sneak peek or giveaway via social media.
Plan to always bring more than you think you will sell. If you sell out during the middle of the day, you miss out on opportunities the rest of the day (or weekend). Customers will shop all day long. Bring a variety of products to sell and present. What sells best one day, might not sell as well the next day. The more inventory you can bring along for the event the better. If an item sells really well, you’ll want to have plenty in stock. You might look at what has sold well at other events or online for you to determine what to bring.
Create sales goals for Renegade weekend, and bring enough merchandise so you can meet those goals! Remember to keep a record of your sales for Renegade weekend – those records can help you plan your inventory for your next show!
Consider doing a bundle sale (3 for the price of 2, etc.) or offer a small free item with a large purchase. Have a mailing list? Offer a discount for people who sign up at the Fair! Have a pile of old wares that are not moving? Having a discount or a clearance box because everyone loves a sale! Include promotional materials so customers can connect after the Fair. This could be an eye-catching business card, sticker, button or post card. Keep your customers wanting more! Also, bring lots of cash to keep sales running smoothly! Some customers prefer to pay in cash, so change comes in handy.
We suggest bringing plenty of water, coffee, and snacks with you to keep you energized through the duration of the Fair. As mentioned, it is also helpful to bring a helper along with you to help run your booth, and hold down the fort so you can take a couple of breaks throughout the day.
Snack suggestions: something sweet (chocolate covered almonds), something healthy (edamame and apples, carrots and hummus), or something salty (olive oil chips) to cover a full range of your snacking needs! Coconut water is also a great refreshing beverage to keep at your booth.
Some handy tools to bring to the Fair for the weekend:
Supplies: Safety pins, pens, sharpies, screwdrivers and screws, jute or rope, chalk, scissors, tape, rubber bands, zip ties, a notebook, and cash for making change.
Toiletries: Hand sanitizer or wet wipes, sunscreen, Ibuprofen and travel size first-aid kit.
Electronics: Square card readers, business cards, portable phone charger, and a calculator.
Clothing: A hat (for outdoor Fairs), comfy tennis shoes for the day if you need to change out of the uncomfortable ones, apron / box for keeping cash, and a table cloth.
Buyers are encouraged to attend our fairs, and may be making orders to stock their shops for the season. Be sure to set realistic production timelines for your staff, yourself, and for your buyers. Setting timelines will help prevent burnout and ensure buyers receive their goods as promised.
When taking wholesale orders, be sure to keep in mind how this will change your unit volume. Make sure to set a minimum order, either by cost or by item, to help guide your timelines and share with buyers ahead of time.
Nothing is worse than running out of business cards when meeting with potential buyers. We suggest bringing more business cards than you think you’ll need, and pass them out to all the buyers you meet. Also, bring plenty of line sheets to make orders and to stay organized. We also suggest to have as much of your product on site for buyers to view in person, but if that’s not possible, be sure to include clear product photos and keep the fonts, size of photos, and layout the same throughout your materials. View our post on photography here for tips on how to photograph your product!
Buyers showed interest in your work, you schmoozed with the best of ’em, and now you have future orders placed! Great, but what’s next? Show appreciation for your buyers by sending them a thank-you card in the mail, or shoot them an email with a link to your shop website to remind them of your visit together and thank them for their business. The extra personal touches will go a long way!
By definition, a linesheet is a sales sheet used by makers to provide wholesale information on products they sell. It includes images, descriptions and details on how to buy the products.
Think of this as a template for selling your work. Buyers need to see the products, they need information on said products and they want to know a bit about you, too! They also want to see what’s new, what’s a best seller (if applicable) and how to place an order – because that’s the whole point. You want to SELL SELL SELL!
Remember that your photos or scans of your products could make or break a sale. Also include variations of your products like colors and sizes. Think of this sheet as a need-to-know piece of paper/PDF that will get your items across in a direct way.
Seasoned wholesale sellers will tell you to include policies to cover all of your bases. For example, include how returns work or what your maximum/minimum orders are.