When you attend events with the intention of displaying and selling your work, you want to make the most of the experience. That means developing a functional and efficient setup, but it also means creating one that is aesthetically pleasing to your customers. This article shares how to put things together in a way that will lead to your growth and success.
Before you work on the aesthetics of your arrangement, there is some groundwork to lay. Address some practical issues by sorting your necessities. For instance, give some thought to your wares and what their requirements are. Maybe you need mostly tabletop surfaces, or perhaps some portable shelving is in order. Clothing and jewelry might require dress forms and mannequins, while framed work might require easels. Think through your structures, how many you’ll need, and how you want to set them up.
As you mull things over, do some sketches and mockups to sort your basic layout, and then consider how you’ll work out details beyond those displays. For instance, do you need specialized lighting, packaging for fragile materials, or lifting equipment? All those aspects should be weighed into both your transportation to and from events, as well as the booth itself.
Think Through Processes
As you brainstorm, remember that you will need to be able to function effectively in your space. This means being able to chat with customers while also keeping your eye on your goods, as well as having appropriate storage for purely functional items.
Contemplate the practical aspects of managing your business as well. For example, you need to decide where within your space you’ll make transactions, and how that will work before and after the event. CNBC notes that many Americans don’t carry cash these days, so it makes sense to enlist the services of a point-of-sale system. A POS is ultra-efficient, handling everything from tracking your inventory to safely collecting customer data, and it’ll keep you and your customers on the go with its all-in-one services.
The other portable tech device you should consider is your phone. You need reliability and power when you’re working events, so if you’re due for an upgrade, look for something that will support your venture properly.
Market Your Wares
When the bones of your setup are configured and you know how you’ll function within that framework, give some thought to your wares and how you’ll present them to customers.
Crochetpreneur points out you’ll need to select your inventory thoughtfully, looking at the performance you see at various events and evaluating what you feel is working. This will help you make decisions about what products you need to focus on, what events are your best fit, and how your market niche is trending.
It’s also time to give thought to your aesthetics. Consider specific product displays such as shelving, drapery, and easels. Think about what colors will work well for showcasing your products, and whether you need any backdrops or dividers within your booth.
Keep in mind that at events, your uniqueness can be a big selling point. Allowing customers to sample your creativity can spark their interest in your work, so consider how that could work for you. Have some handouts ready to send home with browsers so they’ll remember who you are and know how to contact you later.
Plan for Tax Season
Even if selling your art is a side hustle, you’ll still need to pay taxes on your earnings, including sales tax. It’s a good idea to put some money away so you’re not caught off guard by a hefty tax bill. Also, many small businesses choose to set themselves up as a limited liability company (LLC) for the tax advantages this entity entitles them to.
Fairs require significant effort, and you’ll likely want to tweak your setup over time. Thankfully, with careful planning, you’ll be set up for success right from the start. Ensure you put practical matters first, and then everything else will fall into place.
Kelli Brewer is proud of her military family and is passionate in supporting military families. She uses her work to offer support and resources to families experiencing the challenges of deployments. Together with her husband, they created DeployCare to offer understanding and support to our service members and their families. Their team is composed of veterans and their spouses who have experienced many of the issues that arise when there is not adequate support when needed.
Been there did that for 14 years, Andrea. I don’t think I’d have the energy to do it now. An exhausting life but so fun.
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