Have you ever participated in an art festival or craft fair as an exhibitor and worried about preparation and all the items you need to bring along? Today I’ve prepared a list of items you should consider packing, along with some general tips on your attire in preparation for your next event. Even seasoned pros forget the essentials from time to time, so "making a list and checkin’ it twice" is a handy habit for you to get into before you leave for an event to avoid scrambling at the last minute for something you’ve left behind.
Here's an initial list, which you can adjust as needed to fit your craft:
- Packaging: Bags, Tissue Paper, Bubble Wrap, Product Tags
- Cash: Make sure to have small bills ($1's, $5's & 10's)
- Money Box or Waist Apron
- Credit Card Machine (if you have one)
- Laptop (if necessary to track inventory or manage your sales)
- Any Display Items: (i.e.: boxes for vertical displays, jewelry stands, hanging racks w/hooks)
- Tent or Canopy (if necessary and not already included in the cost of the event)
- Display Table(s) and Tablecloth(s) (if necessary and not already included in the cost of the event)
- Guest Log: It’s nice to have a good quality notebook for people to provide their email addresses for you to gather their info for future promotions & product updates
- Shop Sign
- Store Policies Sign (i.e.: cash or check only, sorry no refunds or returns)
- Small Box of Office Supplies (scratchpad/notebook, pens/pencils, calculator, small stapler, scotch tape)
- Receipt Book
- Tools: Basic set of tools including a hammer, pliers, duct tape, screwdriver or Leatherman Multi-Tool
- Garbage Sacks
- Mirror(s): Stand alone or handheld if your items can be worn
- Your Products & Inventory List: Make sure you have enough stock to sell
- Copy of your Business License
- The Name and Phone Number of the Event Organizer
- Paper Towels & Glass/Surface Cleaner
- Food and Drinks: Snacks are best, things that you can easily set down or hide if a customer walks up (a small cooler works well)
- Sanitary Wipes: If you are selling jewelry, sanitary wipes or rubbing alcohol with wipes to clean off any items someone may have tried on
- Additional Lighting: If you are working indoors, consider if you will need additional lighting and if there are electrical outlets for you to use
- Camera: If necessary, you can take pictures of your displays and use the images to promote your events online
A great idea is to confirm which items are already provided at the event you are attending so you don't have to pack everything. So, I know some of these items may not apply to what you sell, but this list will get you on track to identify the items you can’t live without when you head out for your next event.
And, for those of you like me that like to check-off your list, I've included a printable version of this list. Just click on the image below to download and print.
And finally, let's not forget about your attire for the event. First and foremost, wear comfortable shoes & comfortable clothes, but nothing too sloppy! If you are working outside, wear layers so you can adjust accordingly. Consider the weather and temperature. If it’s cold, consider throwing in a blanket, gloves, and a hat. If it’s hot, throw in some sunscreen and a cap. Also, you may want to throw in a backup outfit just in case. Last but not least, if you are selling items that can be worn, make sure to include them as part of your attire so that people can see what they look like on you!
Best of luck at your next event and let us know if you have any suggestions to add or improve the list!