What to Pack for a Craft Fair with Downloadable Checklist
I kind of hate to say it but the Christmas season is almost upon us. When I ran my granola company that meant craft fairs and winter farmers markets every weekend. It was always one of my busiest times of year.
If you are just starting out doing craft fairs or farmer’s markets it can be hard to figure out what you really need to pack. Between your products, cash, table clothes, business cards, and a table and chair, it can seems like a ton to lug around.
I asked a few of my friends who have done markets and fairs what they bring with them. They said everything from sunscreen to a notebook and pen. I think a large vinyl business sign and a hand truck are important. Check out the list and don’t forget to get your free printable checklist.
The List of What You Really Need
- Product – Duh! Bring lots!
- Change – at least $100. I usually brought $50 in ones, $40 in fives and a roll of quarters.
- Card reader for your phone – If you have a smart phone get a reader. There are a bunch out there, I have used Square and Paypal and been happy with both.
- Hand Truck or Dolly – I put off purchasing a hand truck for a long time. Once I gave in and got one I felt so silly for putting it off so long. This is the one I had and loved it! I could put my plastic storage containers on it and it was wide and long enough they didn’t fall off.
- Table – I used to set up a long table at the back of the tent with two smaller tables along the sides. But play around with your set up. Sometime people don’t want to come inside a tent so setting up a long table at the front works. Your set up will change if you are in the middle of a row or on a corner.
- Chair – I like to have a chair. Even if I am standing and talking to people most of the time it is nice to have a way to rest my feet during long events.
- Tent – Most places give you space for a 10×10 pop up tent. I like the E-Z Up with detachable sidewalls. The walls are nice if you have rain or wind and need to keep your product protected.
- Tent weights – DON’T FORGET THESE! Every outside event will require these. E-Z Up makes a version that will hold 40lbs of sand. There are also tutorials for making your own.
- Large Business sign – Get a vinyl sign to hang from your tent. Make it big and easy to read. Don’t include your address and phone number, it makes it crowded. Just your business name, tagline and website. Staples has good prices or VistaPrint.
- Product signs – Make signs for all your different products. Clear and easy to read, either on cards for in front of each product on a few signs that list everything. You can put them in these.
- Price list – Make sure your prices are clearly marked. People don’t want to have to ask you what everything costs. If you offer a deal for buying more than one of something, display that promenantly.
- Tablecloth – I always liked black. Too much pattern will distract from your product and white gets dirty so easily.
- Boxes or crates – For elevating or holding your product neatly. It is nice to display at a few different levels. Depending on your product you might want to have racks, baskets, card holders, etc.
- Business cards/Brochures – Have something that people can take with them to find your business again. Business cards are great, they are small and relativly cheap. If you offer services a brochure is nice, but more expensive.
- Email sign up sheet – It is nice to collect peoples information for your email list. Having a sheet on a clipboard with a pen attached makes it easy for people to sign up. If someone buys from you make sure to point it out, mention if you send out deals or coupons.
- Paper towels – Cause stuff spills, or gets dirty, or your nose runs…
- Bandaids – I can’t tell you how often I was the only vendor to have these, and they got used often!
- Sunscreen – Even if you have a tent bring some sunscreen. Sometimes the sun is shining right on you and sunburns suck.
- Notebook and Pens – For making lists, getting information from other vendors, directions to the great ice cream place down the road, any number of reasons.
- Bags/Tissue – Whatever you might use to package up your product. It is nice to have a way for people to carry your product away. Branded bags are great if you can afford it, but bags from the grocery store will work fine.
- Trash bag – I always had a grocery bag tied to my chair for trash, it save me from walking around to find a trash can.
- Napkins/Cups for samples – If you sell a food or drink, give out samples. You will sell way more if people can try it.
- Waterbottle/Snack – For yourself. You won’t always be able to leave your booth to find something to eat or drink, so bring your own.
- Book to read or project to work on – I always brought something. Most of the time I never picked it up but the few times it was completely dead I was so glad I had it. Some times if you seem busy people won’t come in your booth and you will lose business though, so be careful.
I have put together a downloadable checklist for you. Just enter your email below and you will be emailed a link.
Have I missed something you think is necessary? Tell me in the comments!
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