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Promoting at Trade Shows and Crafts Shows

By: Rachel Newcombe - Updated: 19 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Trade Exhibitions Crafts Trade Sales

When you’re in the crafts business, taking part in consumer crafts shows and trade exhibitions is likely to be a core part of your business and offers a key opportunity to promote your crafts business to both the general public and craft trade.

There are numerous crafts events and trade exhibitions that take place across the UK and worldwide each year. The trade events offer a great chance for businesses to display all their latest products and for owners of craft shops or businesses to go along, view the items available and decide what they’d like to stock in their shops.

With consumer crafts shows, it’s a case of craft businesses going along, having a display stand or stall and promoting and advertising all their products, courses and items for sale.

Trade shows are ideal for building up your profile with other key players in the crafts world. Even if you’re not having a stand yourself, it’s very worthwhile attending for a day or two, as it’s a good chance to network with other crafts people and let them know about your business.

Exhibiting at Shows

Consumer shows take place on various levels, with small local events, regional shows and large UK exhibitions. All options are worth considering, as even the small-scale shows are good for making local contacts and gaining new buyers. Regional and national events take place on a much larger scale, often in huge exhibition centres and going on for several days.

The cost of having a stand and exhibiting does vary, with the larger events commanding a higher fee. But if you consider the extra business and sales you could gain, especially if you have an online or mail order store that you can advertise, or run craft workshops, it can be very worthwhile. Sometimes there are chances to have smaller stands, or half a stand, rather than a huge one, which can help reduce the cost.

Whatever size stand you have, take time planning in advance how you’ll organise and display your crafts. As with any form of advertising, first impressions will count and you need to provide a professional appearance from the start.

Adding dimension to a stand will help, so you could create different layers, or have blocks on which to display some products. It’s good to add colour too, through display cloths, and don’t forget to have a large sign with your business name and website clearly listed on it.

If you’ve produced leaflets, brochures or business cards, both trade and consumer crafts shows are the ideal time to have them available for potential customers and business contacts to pick up – don’t forget to offer them, too.

It’s often hard to know exactly how much stock to take with you to consumer events. You don’t want your stand to look under-stocked or to sell out of everything too quickly, but on the other hand you don’t want to take too much and look you’ve not sold anything. It’s a fine line and quite a balancing act to work things out, but once you’ve done one show, you’ll have a better idea of how much you need to take.

Extra Benefits of Shows

Some of the shows will consist of more than just companies selling their crafts. Many have additional elements, such as speakers, classes, workshops and demonstrations, which are great to be involved with. They can work well to highlight your ability to offer more than just craft products, and can help build your name up as a craft speaker or demonstrator.

If you’re keen to advertise and promote your business as much as possible, then the extra add-ons are a great way of hands-on advertising to an audience who automatically like crafts.

Find out well in advance if any of the events you’re attending offer these extra advertising opportunities and put yourself forward as a potential speaker or demonstrator.

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