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I am seeing more and more readers report that they are signing up for craft shows. (Yay!) Craft shows can be great sources of income. However, the one thing about craft show customers is that many are more likely to purchase when they can leave your shop with their product.
I thought that today would be a good time to share tips for personalizing and customizing products on the spot while at craft shows.
8 Tips for Customizing Products at In Person Events
- Verify that you have electricity available in your booth or table. You can’t personalize items if you can’t bring your Silhouette or Cricut machine with you. Similarly, make sure that you have enough space in your booth or table to be able to set up your machine and still have plenty of room to display products. It’s a good idea to bring extension cords and a power strip.
- Collect payment before you personalize. Just like any other product you sell, payment should be collected before you start customizing a product.
- Bring a helper. It’s even better if you can bring a trained helper. Ideally, your helper can run your machine and apply the customization while you interact with customers and sell your products.
- Offer a limited number of personalization colors and fonts. It’s not practical to bring every color of vinyl or material that you own to the show. Instead, stick to the basics. (For me: this usually means black, white, and the colors of the rainbow.) Similarly, offer only a handful of fonts – preferably ones that cut well and don’t need editing before cutting.
- Cut out as much as possible ahead of time. For example: If I am offering a circular frame with a monogram inside to be placed onto a tumbler, cut out the frame ahead of time and you’ll only have to add the monogram after the customer orders.
- Don’t have your customer wait for their items. I work better when I’m not distracted. If you are personalizing a product, invite the customer to walk around and shop and return at a later time to pick up their product. This also gives you time to package it nicely before pickup.
- Have order forms ready to go for customized orders that you cannot complete on the spot. If you are personalizing orders on the spot, you are going to get a customer or two that wants to make several changes or wants an entirely different design. Instead of using all your show time creating one product, have a form available to capture the order and arrange shipping to the customer.
- Don’t be offended when customers ask what type of machine you are using. If you are using your machine while at a show, you are going to have customers asking about the process. You certainly don’t have to share your secrets or teach them how to use it, but don’t be rude when they inquire.
Have you ever offered personalization on demand at shows or fairs? How did it go? Share your experience in the comments. Read more about craft shows on Cutting for Business.
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Since 2015, Christine Schinagl has been helping crafters start and run craft businesses through her blog, Cutting for Business. As a Silhouette and Cricut crafter herself, she has a unique take on what works and what doesn’t work in the craft business world. She also teaches a course on creating digital SVG designs, available at How to Design SVGs.