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How To Host A Holiday Craft Show With Other Artists

blogyourbrand colorado springs handcrafted soap handmade holiday Lotionbarcafe Soapy Time

Day 2 of #blogyourbrand How to put on a Holiday Craft show you ask? What is involved? Every year we put on a Handmade Hollyday. We started with having a holiday stop and shop and invited a few of our friends that made handmade items also. With my name being Holly well you see (Hollyday) was perfect. We sent out invites, hung signs at local coffee shops, salons, schools, ect. That was 8 years ago. Now we have 10-13 vendors that set up their products and customers come from all over to buy them. Can I tell you it is our most successful show of the year? I believe sharing is caring Lotion Bar Cafes moto is Every Bar Has a Story (we will get to that a little later) but without all of these other small business owners I would not be the person I am today. I love supporting other local handmade businesses and I LOVE to see them succeed and grow! So once a year I open up our place, taking furniture out. Basically empting out our house to set up tables and decorate for Christmas. I love the holidays. Why not bring other people together to have a one stop shopping experience. Things you will need to get started: Time - I know right, most of us do not have tons of time but if you plan it out a little over a few months it is not so overwhelming. I start 3 months before and order signs, get vendors, ect. That way everyone has time to get the buzz going about the event. A venue - you do not need a huge place, or house use what you have. Figure out how many you can hold it may only be 1-3 vendors and that is ok. Vendors – Find enthusiastic, friendly, outgoing people that love what they do and it shows. When they are excited it makes others excited. Try not to overlap types and products. A good mix of vendors is always nice. I usually have one cupcake gal, a jewelry person, artist, yummy dips, baby items and so forth Vendor Cost - I only charge 25.00 and I pay for all advertising and I also provide lunch….. No craft show out there does that ....You do not want "HANGRY" vendors. If you want you can provide a snack. Or you can let them know it will be a long day bring a snack for yourself. You can charge whatever you want especially if you rent a big venue to cover cost.……I wanted it to be a gift. The 25.00 goes towards the food and advertising but it also makes sure my vendors are invested somehow. If they are invested, then they will not cancel or do a no show. (That has happened and they said well I did not pay anything so its ok I did not show up). Plus, there may be others that want to be at your show that you could have replaced them with. I provide tables all they have to bring is their coverings and product.(but you can require them to bring their own.) Advertising - Every year I have made and invite on Facebook, made flyers, yard signs and we have a banner that hangs on the house. I have used a radio station, paid advertising in local paper and paid for an ad. We always ask at the check-in table where did you hear about this event 90 percent was Facebook invites, word of mouth and flyers (FREE ADVERTISING). So I no longer spend the money elsewhere. Our banner has all the info but no date (we always do the first sat of November ) so that’s what is says. The yard signs I do change out to have the new date on them. Also make a flyer that the other vendors can print and hand-out to their customers. This also their event so make sure vendors spread the word! [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="407"] Here is a sample flyer![/caption] Door Prizes - Who does not like door prizes? I ask local businesses to advertise in the goody bags to the first 100 people and do not charge them, But I do get a door prize to give out. We do a video drawing at the end of day and draw winners and advertise for the company…. it’s a win win. Plus, gets people to go to our Facebook page. Draw the customers in - I like to do a big give-a-away we do a drawing for soap for a year … and everyone loves it. I give all vendors tickets, so when customers shop they get a ticket from every vendor that they buy from. My customers love the vendors that we bring in and even request a few. We also give away the goody bags to the first 100 people. We have people that are in-line waiting for us to open. This year the last hour we are going to have a HAPPY HOUR the last hour of the day. Which is typically the slowest hour of day. SO during happy hour vendors can have a sale on things that are not moving or put a special blow on discontinued items. Community - I am all about community and why not use your event to share in that. We ask everyone to bring a canned or non-perishable food item that we started out helping one family for Thanksgiving and over the years it has been several and last year we helped out the downtown Acacia Park homeless. For every item they bring they get a special ticket for another SOAP FOR A YEAR prize. Organization - being organized when planning an event is very Important I make my check list, make a map of where vendors are going to be. I have clear directions for vendors. I put a little note and gift at their table. The note tells them the hours, tear down time, what’s for lunch and a thank you! Set up - I have everyone set up no later than night before so everyone is refreshed and ready for when the doors open. You want everyone ready to go and not rushed, also have them invite VIP customers or people that cannot make it on the event day. This is a great time for the vendors to get to know each other and network usually from 6-8 do not want it too late, but great fro those just getting off work and can not make it for the Saturday event. Helpers- YOU cannot do it all by yourself. Find some friends or relatives that would love to help. Have someone greet them. You can have a runner (someone who checks on the other vendors and grabs things you may need.) Someone refill coffee/drinks. Glitz and Glam- Know a photographer , clown or even have a fun costume? This adds a little fun to your event. We have a soap costume that we have used over the past few years. This year we have a new one. Here is the what it will be ...lol I am not posting a picture of my husband wearing it yet, because I want it to be a surprise for our customers. I hope this helps you get started with putting on a holiday craft show! <3 Holly


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