Attending art festivals and craft fairs is a fun way to meet people, gain new customers, and potentially earn lots of money. One of the challenges for artists in attending these festivals or shows, though, is that your competitors are, at least in some cases, literally surrounding you. Your potential customers have dozens - and sometimes hundreds - of different options in where they spend their money.
So, what can you do to increase sales at art festivals? The following are a few things you can do to help attract customers to your booth:
- Differentiate Your Booth - One of the best things you can do to attract customers is to make your booth unique compared to your competitors. Use bright (but not THAT bright) colors to set you apart from the black and white and gray of your competitors and make sure the arts or crafts you are selling are visible to people who are walking by. If possible, set your booth up in high traffic areas and be sure to keep your area clean.
- Be Friendly but Not Pushy - Have you ever gone to a car dealership? It doesn’t matter if you are looking to buy a car or if you are there simply to use the bathroom, the second you step foot on the property you will see people starting to approach you to sell you something. It can be kind of frightening. Don’t let the customers that come to your area feel the same way. Give them a smile, say hello, maybe ask how their day is going, tell them if they have any questions or need help to please come talk to you, and then let them be. In some cases, it is ok to strike up a conversation or try to sell them something, but if you get too pushy, customers will be out of your booth fast - and they won’t be coming back.
- Make Sure You Have Enough Products to Sell - One of the worst things that can happen to you while at a festival is to sell out your arts or crafts. That statement sounds a little odd because if you sold out your products that obviously means you were popular, right? This is true, but if you sell out that also means that there are likely people that would have bought your arts or crafts if they could have, but you were sold out. It’s one thing to sell out in the last hour of the last day of the festival, but it’s quite another to sell out the first or second day. Be sure that you don’t sell out too early.
- Think Beyond the Art Festival - Sometimes, for whatever reason, customers are not ready to purchase your products at the art fair. It is a good idea, then, to help them remember you even after the festival. A good way to do this is to give something away for free. This something can be as simple as a business card with your website (if you have one - and it is probably a good idea for you to have one), phone number, the address of your shop (if you have one), and any other information people will need to find you and your products. You can also offer a contest or promotion where people who come to your booth can sign up to win one of your products (or some other prize) for free. If you can’t give items away for free, one option is to have a newsletter sign up sheet so you can contact people who came to your booth, whether they purchased something or not. The key to all of these is to make sure that people you met at the festival remember you after they leave.
These are just a few of the things that you as an artist can do to increase sales at arts and craft festivals. Do you have other ideas you’d like to share? Want to discuss some of the things we mentioned? Please comment below or on Facebook.