Preparing for your very first craft show is often a daunting experience - our blog post goes through what you'll need to consider from application to the big day, including free craft show inventory and checklist printables.

Application Process

Once you have decided you would like to participate in a craft show, the first step is usually to apply. Before you go ahead, it's worthwhile to do a bit of research to understand more about how they are marketing the event and what sort of customers are likely to attend. It's also a good idea to try and find out how many years the event has been running and how popular it has been. You'll also want to find out a little more about the location and if it is located indoors or outdoors.

Once you have found an event that is a good fit for your business, the next step is to complete the application form. Ensure that you answer all questions and provide quality photographs of your work to improve your chances of being accepted.

Lots of big popular events are very competitive so be prepared for some rejections initially. While you are waiting for feedback on your applications, it's a good idea to spend a little time on your booth design and layout as this can be repurposed between events fairly easily.

Booth Design

After sketching out a basic layout, mock up the stall completely at home using the dimensions the event has provided - use a tape measure and masking tape to mark out the footprint of your stall. Spend time working on where you will be positioning each of your products, and if you are using shelving or hooks work out if the products will be at a reachable height by most people.

Repurposing old crates, boxes or second hand furniture by repainting or covering in a nice tablecloth can be a really cost effective option for the main structural pieces of your display. From here, using interesting baskets and boxes, along with hanging key pieces from side frames or hooks can create an eye catching, engaging booth that draws those customers in.

Ensure that you can construct all parts of your stall alone if you are not bringing a helper along as there will be limited help on the day for any booth construction issues.

On The Day

Before you leave, ensure you create a complete inventory of all stock you are taking to the event. You can then either mark off sales as they occur, or do a secondary stocktake at the end of the event to determine your sales. Download our free craft show inventory template printable here »

It's a good idea to have a checklist of essential items you need on the day - checking them off before you leave the house ensures that you have everything you need for a successful event. Download our handy free craft show checklist printable here as a starting point »

Ensure that you arrive a couple of hours before the start of the event to give yourself time to setup your booth and grab a drink and a snack - in most situations you'll be unable to leave your booth for the duration of the event. Your aim is to be calm, composed and ready to engage with your customers rather than fiddling with displays and stressing out.