Creating a successful craft show is not easy, especially in the beginning. It involves time, effort, and money. The worst part is, when you don’t have the experience of setting up a craft booth, you may end up making lots of mistakes. Our intention in this article is to help you avoid as much trial and error as possible and help you create a successful craft booth the first time. How to set up a successful craft show booth?
There is a process to create a successful craft show booth. We will break down the process into a few points that make it easy for you to follow. We will cover all the requirements to create your booth, which includes the canopy tent, tables, lighting, shelves, and table coverings, etc. By the end of this article, you should be ready to create a fabulous craft show booth.
Have a good canopy tent
Not every canopy tent is made the same. When it comes to the craft show, you don’t have to compromise on the quality of your canopy tent. If by accident, your canopy tent tilts over due to a wind storm or if it collapses due to rain, it not only affects your products, it may end up damaging the nearby booth as well. In this case, you may be liable to pay their expenses, and of course, you lose your products as well. It can be costly.
This is why investing in a good canopy tent is a must. Eurmax heavy duty canopy tent is our choice. It is a heavy-duty canopy tent that withstands rain and wind more efficiently.
Remember, when you’re choosing the canopy tent, go for a 10 x 10 size. Because generally in a craft show, you get a booth of 10 x 10 space (minimal chance to get a smaller size than that). If your booth is outside, usually you don’t get any smaller than a 10 x 10 space. There will be other tents around you, and you are not allowed to take other people’s space and there are walkways everywhere. So, you have to make sure the tent and every product you have fit in your space.
We have done some shows in the past that was 12 x 12 and even 15 x 10. But you can expect to get a bigger size all time. Be on the safer side and choose a 10 by 10 canopy tent, which we feel is ideal for a craft show.
NOTE: Most craft show wants you to have a white color canopy tent. We don’t know why they are so picky. Be on the safer side and choose a white color canopy tent.
Setting up the canopy tent the right way
Now you have a durable canopy tent. It’s time to set it up in the right way. If you’re in a grass field, you can use canopy stakes if allowed. For long life and corrosion resistance, get galvanized steel canopy stakes. Eurmax Galvanized Non-Rust Pop Up Canopy Stakes is a good option. After nailing the stakes, make sure to keep some weights (maybe a stone over it) that prevents the stakes from uprooting in windy conditions.
If you’re in a concrete, stakes are not a choice. You may go with sandbags and weights. The sandbags must be around 40 pounds per leg. Eurmax 112 LBS Extra Large Pop-up Canopy Sandbags is a great option. For canopy weights, you may choose US Weight Tailgater Canopy Weights.
What we do is we have large drums filled with sand. We use four of them each of 150 pounds. We don’t worry about the weather at all because the weights are too heavy. Yes, it’s overkill, but it works for us. We’ve seen some harsh weather in our experience, and we’ve even seen other people’s tent blow away in the wind, but we didn’t have any of those issues. Because we had our tent right and the weights right. Make sure to get this part right, so you’re in peace to run the show smoothly without worrying about the weather.
NOTE: Use high-quality tent straps to tie down the tent to the weights. Never use flimsy ropes since it won’t last in harsh weather.
Display tables and clothes
We generally have two tables on either side. On the table, we keep the shelves (ladder looking shelves) that had three boards across them. The idea of doing this is, we can set things on the tables and the three levels of the shelves.
It is a great idea because when you keep more products on the tables, people won’t be able to see some stuff that is behind, and it’s not easy to pick them up if they want to touch and feel it. By having different levels, people can see everything and can touch and feel the products. It increases the chance of selling your products and it helps us stock up more products as well. Moreover, you get more space inside the tent since we use just two tables.
Underneath the table, you can keep all the boxes and other stuff that you’re not selling. Of course, the tables must be covered with clothes. So people won’t be able to see all those stuff below the table.
We use a Lifetime Height Adjustable Craft table that is highly portable and of good quality.
We use customized shelves for the display. The video below is useful for creating your own.
We have a cash box, keeping all 1s, 2s, 5s, 10s, and 20s as change. But you’re not going to make a lot of money if you’re not accepting debit and credit cards. We would say you might be losing at least 60% – 70% of sales if you don’t take the cards.
We use PayPal chips and swipe card machines for all our shows. PayPal gives you the debit card to use the money in your PayPal account immediately. Square is another and most popular card reader that most people use. What we don’t like about square is sending the money to the bank account. You can’t use the money until it gets deposited in the bank account.
But in PayPal, you can use the money instantly. After you’re leaving the show and you want to fill the gas for your car, you can swipe the PayPal debit card. So, the bottom line is you can use the money in the PayPal account even before the money gets transferred to your bank account.
NOTE: The only downside of the PayPal card reader is it requires internet service. When swiping a card, if you lose the internet connectivity, you may not know whether the money gets credited to your account or not. But we’ve not faced that issue so far, neither we have heard from any of the PayPal users.
Have a Toolbox
When you’re running a craft show booth, you never know what kind of problems you may face. We highly recommend having the toolbox containing (hammers, clamps, etc.) to handle those issues. You may also need things like staplers, tape, pin, clips, etc.
Lights, Fan, and Inverter
Lights: Many times, we had our booth in gloomy areas (under a lot of tree covers) where our products look very dull. It will reduce sales since the products don’t appeal to the people. So, adding shine to the products in those areas will boost up your sales. Have some lights to add the sparkle to your products. We use the Ryobi Lithium-Ion Flat Standing LED Light. It is battery powered and lasts long. We used to hang it in our tent and keep it in the direction we want.
Fan: Craft booth is an all-season business. During summertime, the fan can be useful. We use the Ryobi Hybrid Portable Fan. If you’re in a craft show, you will see tons of this. The Ryobi fan is a high-quality battery fan (batteries and charger included). It is relatively cheap compared to rivals. But it doesn’t look cheap; the quality is fantastic.
Power Inverter: You must have this. You can charge your phone, card readers, and make sure it doesn’t run out of power. Both your phone (or iPad) and card reader is essential for sales. You don’t want to lose the sales due to the drained batteries. Have a power backup. You can use the inverter to charge your fan, light batteries as well. We take RYOBI 150-Watt Powered Inverter with us to all our shows.
Without transportation, you won’t be able to take your art from the shop to your store. We think you have to definitely consider trailers. We use it for our transportation. If this is your business, trailers are the long term solution. If you’re not made up your mind yet on booths, you can use your vehicle for now.
We keep all our tools, signage boards, tables, canopy tents, display shelves, etc in the trailers permanently. We have customized inside our trailer to accommodate all the things that are required for the show.
The trailer saves us a lot of time; that each time we don’t have to load and unload the products from the truck. Moreover, you can rest assured that none of the products that are required for the craft show will be missed during transportation. We keep everything in the trailer so we don’t miss anything required for the booth. The only thing we have to load is our craftwork.
Wagons or Carts
You may not know the distance from the parking lot to your booth space. More often it far away. You need carts to carry all your products from your trailers to your booth. Carts are the only solution for that. It keeps the products safe (without falling down) and we can quickly transport all the products to the booth.
We use the Sandusky Lee Muscle Carts. It can transport up to 400 lb. The Steel mesh crate has a powder-coated finish for durability and corrosion resistance. The wheels are good and big enough for a smooth ride on any terrain. The only issue we see with this is it’s not foldable. If you’re looking for a foldable cart Mac Sports Collapsible Folding Wagon is a great choice.
Branding your booth
Use signage boards because you want the people to remember you in the future. You can hang it outside the tent, or you can make a table and have your logo on it. Create a unique logo that can stick to people’s minds. Use business cards, and keep it on the table. If they want the card, they can take it. The idea is to try and make your booth look like a shop. Give the feeling to the customers as if they are getting inside a store rather than a small tent.
How To Set Up a Successful Craft Show Booth?
You’ve to just make a checklist of the above points and implement them. We’ve covered all the essentials for creating a successful craft booth. If you incorporate all the above-required things your craft booth should be fail-proof. Just focus on your craftwork, add value to people’s lives, and creating a craft booth is just a breeze.