They are a lot of work but they can be fun!
Here are some insights I have picked up over the years:
1. Hope for good weather!
What are you taking? How will the weather effect what you set up?
With my water colors, I am prepared to take a variety of work if the weather is great and a smaller inventory if it looks like bad weather.
I am lucky enough to LIKE drawing in front of a crowd so in a pinch, I set up and do drawing demonstrations if the weather is really bad.
2.Price everything so that the customer can see the cost. If you have time, create a colorful hang tag that is highly visible and consistently in the "same" place.
Many times, if the customer has to ask, they will just keep on going. Signs for pricing will work too.
3. Pass out information, contact info for follow up. Some people are there to buy that day, some are there to do research for later. Business cards and/or brochures should be placed in a few different places so they can take the info in passing. I would know the number a each that I placed out at the beginning of the show, a count at the end of the day tells the # of people who took the cards/brochures.
With this short period of time, info on a copied paper will do. If you are a computer whiz and can create a tri-fold brochure,go for it. Some fairs, I term "Meet and Greets", sales are predictably low but LOTS of people to talk to and promote your art/craft.
4. Long, plain color table cloth to cover the top and the front of the table, this allows you to store things under the table - hidden from the viewers.
5. Introduce yourself to the artists or crafts person in the booths on both sides of you. Offer to watch their booths for bathroom breaks and ask if they would do the same for you. And then take a break every hour or so.
6. Things to pack for yourself. Craft luggage on wheels is great! (I have a neat, lidded basket that I have used for years.) Try to be as organized as possible, so you can find the thing when you need it.
~ This is where I would pack my business cards and/or brochures too.
~ Money Bags with change, the first sale of the day is exciting but if the buyer only has a fifty or a hundred dollar bill, you can deplete your stash and be in trouble for the rest of the day. Somewhere to keep money, I like pants with deep pockets, left for my stash and right for in coming monies.Keep it organized, not just crumpled up in there.
~ sales receipt book or record book - you are a business, you know?
~ are you going to take charge cards? check out phone options and terminals, or just don't take them ... it may cost you sales but you have to decide.
~ pencils, pens, few markers in case you need a sign
~ tape, just in case, clear and masking
~ blank paper or cardboard
~ paper towels, these will serve many uses (tissue if your prefer)
~ wet wipes
~ a small mirror (I am not vain, but I might have food stuck in my teeth)
~ water and a nonmessy snack or food, if you are lucky, you will be too busy to eat a lot and you have to be ready to talk, with out cheesees on your fingers or Doritos on your breath.
~ breath mints
plastic bags (various sizes) for you product
updated class info or brochures
tax permit (most state require you post this)
camera(have one of you booth neighbors take a photo of you and your booth)
photo album of paintings or past projects
travel kit, small brush, paint, bottle of water, paper or cards to paint on
map (if it is a new area)
phone numbers of local contact
commission forms or job book
first aid kit
gloves if it is a fall event
Along with a tent and weights, you will probably need
~ tv tray, can serve as a work station or info area
chair or two
display table, new light weight ones on the market are great
table cloth to cover the front for storage
ANYTHING YOU WOULD ADD TO THIS LIST???
LET ME KNOW AND I WILL ADD IT TO THE LIST AND LINK TO YOU!