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10 Tips 
For Last Minute Show Success

By Karen Booy
 As published in  CRAFTLINK Newsletter


1. Regroup: Gather all your show information kits.  Carefully read through your contracts and confirm show dates, show hours, move -in-times, booth sizes and locations - then add them to your calendar.  Double check that you have paid all your fees.  Please read all your show information carefully and thoroughly, do not call the show promoter with your questions.  Would you rather have your show coordinator promoting the show or spending time answering question  that have already been addressed in the show literature? 

2. Reorganize: Spend an afternoon in your studio. Put on some fast music and do a quick clean.  Return equipment and supplies as you clean and take note of supplies needed.  Place all unfinished product in one area and finished in another.  Price finished product, add to your inventory list and then store for show.  Consider what stock you will take to what show and organize accordingly.  The more work and organization you can do today - the easier the show - tomorrow.

3. Refresh: Did you take photos of your booth last year?  If not, get in the habit of taking a quick photo after set up.  Documenting your display is a great way to mark your progress and provides a valuable insight into how to make future improvements.  Review last year's booth display, what worked and what didn't?  Check out your display pieces.  Do they need any maintenance?  Perhaps a coat of paint?  Decide if you need to refresh your booth - or redesign your display.

4. Realistic Goals: Check your calendar, how much time can you count on for production?  Set realistic goals for product completion and sales goals.  Don't try to create a schedule that will kill you.  Do you need to consider asking for, or hiring help?  Are there small things that you could delegate so that you can spend more time in production?  Or could you add to your production by getting help with base coating, pricing, pr other small but important tasks? 

5. Reformulate:  Now is the time to look at the big picture - not get overwhelmed in the many small details of running your craft business.  Take a moment to step back and look at what you hope to accomplish over the show season.  Keep your eye focused on the direction you are headed and you won't become so stressed or overwhelmed with the many small details.  While the details are  important you must be clear about your big purpose.

6. Review:  If you don't have a show checklist - create one.  List all the things you need to include with you when you leave for a show.  start with major categories and then include everything you will need. (Example: Promotional tools: business cards, business card holder, brochures, business sign, black marker, pens etc..  Tools: toolbox, hammer, nails, staple gun, stapler, tape, screwdriver, screws, etc.).  Keep your list with you when packing for a show and add missing items. When you have a really complete list, get it laminated for durability. 

7. Renew: Check your printed materials. Are they going to  showcase you and your business in the best light?  Have you added your website and e-mail address to all your promotional pieces?  Don't overlook the power of the Internet to promote your business 24/7.  Why not create a show list letting people know the shows that you will be involved in.  Not only does that help promote you  - it helps to promote all the other shows you are involved in!  Imagine if everyone did that...

8. Recreate:  Are your products fresh and exciting?  Can you take some old designs and add new life with some new hop colours, textures or accents?  Can you create a 2003 version of your product and start people collecting a new issue each year?  Don't try to sell the same old-same old and wonder why sales are flat. Even yearly hot sellers can benefit from a face-lift.  Hey, that includes you - get that haircut now before you don't have time!  Be as fresh and exciting as your product.

9. Recharge - Recreation:  Take time for yourself.  Eat well, get enough sleep, exercise and protect yourself from burnout.  Why not schedule a message as a special treat - perhaps after cleaning and reorganizing your studio? Don't forget to schedule in quiet time for reflection, this is where you may get your most creative ideas.

10.  Receptive:  Remain receptive to the comments of your potential shoppers.  Listen to what people say about your product.  , your display and your pricing.  Find out what people are looking for, perhaps you find a seed for a new product.  Step back and watch the flow of shoppers in your booth.  Can they easily see your items?  Can they easily move about?  Always stay open to new ideas. Don't keep doing what you've been doing or you will just keep getting what your getting!


More information on Karen Booy & Craftlink

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