As a craft show organizer, I've watched countless vendors 'in their element' and... not in their element. Whether you're a seasoned pro or ready to apply to your first craft show, there is a very important "Code of Craft Show Vendors" that is mostly unspoken, but should be followed in order to make great sales and to make your show run smoothly (for you AND for the organizer).
CODE 1: BE PRESENT AND FRIENDLY
I can't tell you how many times I've watched vendors buried in their phones while customers wait for them to look up, but when the vendor doesn't look up, the customer walks away. Make sure to greet your customers and make them feel welcome to ask you questions or find out more about your product and give them your full attention (or tell them you'll be with them in just a minute because understandably, you could be merchandising or doing a social post). Craft show customers are coming because they want to support and meet YOU, and you can gain some loyal followers by being welcoming and present at shows. One thing I notice about vendors who have high sales vs those with low sales is the engagement with the customers goes hand-in-hand with higher sales.
CODE 2: ENGAGE WITH YOUR FELLOW VENDORS
We are all in this together and you'll find you'll have a great experience if you get to know the vendors with booths next to you. Be mindful of their space, as well. Once you have introduced yourself, you can offer to watch their booth if they need to get food or use the restroom and they can do the same for you. Who knows; you may even forge a biz relationship and collaborate on a new product with them! These are your people.
CODE 3: DON'T LEAVE A SHOW EARLY
We know shows can take a lot of energy out of you and you will be ready to pack up afterwards, but resist the urge to pack up early! A lot of seasoned shoppers wait til the end of shows because they know they will be less crowded then and you may miss out on a big sale! Unless you've discussed it beforehand, leaving early doesn't sit well with show organizers.
CODE 4: LEAVE YOUR BOOTH SPACE AS YOU FOUND IT
Make sure you leave your space as you found it: clean and empty. Throw away all your trash and break down all your empty boxes. Organizers have to stay until the last vendor leaves to make sure the venue is left clean and in good condition. Stack your broken down boxes by the trash can instead of IN it so that others can throw trash in.
Strawberry Swing Indie Craft Fair Curator Katie