For Vendors: The Ultimate Guide to Prepare for an Outdoor Craft Show
Going to trade shows is a great way to grow sales and strengthen the brand personality. As autumn is on the corner for the ‘BACK TO SCHOOL" sales, the best and busiest season for trade shows is coming soon. To ensure that you are far from flustered when you start your event, we at Quictent make a roundup of things you should pay attention to. Let’s dive into deep from the first step: Do some research to know about the show.
Table of Contents
Know About the Show
- Basic information. It’s all about the date, duration, and event location. In the year before 2019 when the world was running regularly without the Covid-19 pandemic, this would not be a big thing. However, everything changed after the pandemic, so did the trade shows. Restrictions and policies vary date by day ( a bit exaggerated), in some cases, even the event host would be unsure if the event will be held on schedule or not. Therefore, keep in close touch with the host to see if the show you’re going to would take place as expected.
- Important details. After knowing the basic information, you may take some time to research the following:
- Post-pandemic safety measures. As the COVID-19 still impacts our daily life in a few ways, so it will do for outdoor craft shows. Check with the host for the detailed safety measures you should follow. For example:
- Is vaccine a must?
- Is a mask mandatory?
- Should each booth keep six-feet away from each other?
The rule of thumb when trying to know the show is to contact the host at your earliest convenience if you have any concerns about the show. Just keep in mind: the more information you collected, the better you can move on with the further preparation.
Prepare for Show Supplies
The basic information helps you decide whether to enter the aimed craft show or not. After selecting the show you aimed at, you should pick out proper supplies. The most important parts are a tent (usually a pop up canopy) and trade show furniture (the desk, counter, chair, etc.). Below we listed details of each.
Pop up Canopy
First, let's talk about a few basic features for a pop up canopy when you are picking out one for a vendor craft show.
- Lightweight & easy-to-carry. Generally, you have to drive to the destination in advance for a craft show. For this reason, you need a canopy that is lightweight and easy to carry, or it would be a burden.
- Proper size. The canopy should be spacious enough to hold all displays but not be too big, or it would make transit difficult.
- Removable sidewalls. Usually, no sidewalls are required because the perfect layout is to make potential customers see everything inside clearly from all directions. However, sometimes when we do not want too much sunlight exposure, sidewalls are required. A canopy with removable sidewalls can be a perfect solution.
Now that you've known what to look for when picking out a canopy for a craft show, let's take an in-depth look at our suggested seller for pop up canopies – Quictent. Started in the early 2000s, Quictent is a popular brand featuring shelter-and-alike categories. In terms of pop up canopies, there are 4 series:
4Season – Pop up Canopies with Church Windows on Sides
Privacy – Pop up Canopies with Mesh Windows on Sides
Screen – Pop up Canopies with Screen Netting
No-side – Pop up Canopies without Sides
Rich in size, color, and style, you can easily find a proper tent for your show. Of course, most pop up canopies are equipped with a roller carry bag for easy storage & transportation. For some, there are also sandbags in addition to general parts such as ropes and stakes for extra weights. What’s more, Quictent provides free shipping for all tents! The two most popular ones are the Privacy 10’ x 10’ Pop up Canopy with Sides (7 Colors Available) and the No-Side 10' x 10' EZ Pop Up Canopy (4 Colors Available).
Trade Show Furniture
A professional look and welcoming atmosphere can instantly ensure your displays stand out from the competition. That's the reason why trade show furniture is so important. Unlike home or retail furniture, although aesthetic requirements are part of the trade show fixtures, the most important factor should be portable and easy to transport as they are not a one-time investment – we exhibitors usually hope to move them from event to event. Another determining factor is the easy assembly as the last thing we’ll do before a trade show is breaking out the toolbox to assemble the tables and seating.
In all, in terms of the trade show furniture, we highly recommend you:
Consult the show host to know if they will provide trade show furniture for free or have the regular contractor(s) for rental. In this way, you do not have to take fixtures from event to event, which would be hassle-free.
Ask someone who has experienced this show (or other similar ones) to know:
a). If it’s worth investing in your show fixtures
b). If there are trustworthy vendors for rental and
c). What you should pay attention to when picking out show fixtures.
Other Necessary Supplies
After picking out the bulky supplies, we can move on with the preparation of other necessary supplies that seems to be trivial but are important. Here we’d like to categorize them into two parts: one for business and the other for personal care. Given the specific items for personal care would vary from person to person, for a reminder, we highly recommend you print out a checklist accordingly.
Custom order forms
Extra price tags
Small cooler with food and drinks
Cleaning wipes and paper towels
Below is a summary of what you should pay attention to when picking out proper supplies.
Key Features should Consider
Pop up Canopy
Trade Show Furniture
Consult the Show Host/ Experienced Friends & Prioritize Rental
Make a Checklist
Make a Checklist
Create an Inviting Atmosphere for Your Booth
It seems that you've everything done: You have known everything about the show, you have gotten selected supplies. What else is left behind? The answer is an inviting atmosphere for your booth. Below are 5 elements that you can consider when designing a trade show booth.
Easy access for attendees is the rule of thumb when planning a trade show booth. Although a unique layout looks cool, however, it's usually costly and not space-friendly. Besides easy access, you should also consider the merchandise displays – just make sure your products have a top spot in the featured sections. A simpler rule: Ensure your attendees can see what you're dealing with clearly from almost all angles. After all, none of us want to miss potential leads.
Well, since we've decided to make the layout as simple as possible, to stand out from other owners, we should pay more attention to the style. How? To impress your audience with your brand's personality. Be sure to use the trademark and color scheme to connect your booth to your brands with banners, posters, or other signage.
The booth staff is the moving display. Whether there are employers or just yourself staffing your trade show booth, the dress can be a code to make your booth stand out. For instance, you can customize T-shirts and caps. Of course, outgoing and up-beat are highly recommended characteristics which definitely would create an ideal atmosphere.
Music is a powerful tool to create a welcoming atmosphere when we use it correctly. Too loud music paired with the noise from thousands of attendees may do little but distract and annoy attendees. It's also likely to leave a negative impression. Therefore, you should take the brand, the potential audience, and the event location into consideration when deciding whether to use music or not. If you're uncertain of how music will affect your booth, the best solution is to skip the tunes. Of course, music is always a good alternative to break the silence when warming up.
As most of our Quictent users usually take part in outdoor vendor events in the daytime, lighting is not a necessity. Exceptions are that you're attending a night market. Lighting is a determining factor in such an occasion. Using lighting properly can make your booth eye-catching, thus, quickly draw the attention of your target audience. But remember do NOT overuse lighting! No attendees would like lights that are too bright.
Once you figure out the look of your booth, we highly suggest a practice setup to ensure everything would work as expected. The best way is to review the booth as a customer, then you can know what to improve.
Be Active on Social Media
Use social media to bridge you and your followers. Let them know what you’re going to display and what you’ve prepared for them, and invite them to stop by your booth to enter a contest, pick up a giveaway or watch a demo. Also, do not forget to post photos and video clips from the event to your social channels before, during, and after the event.
We know it’s time-consuming and energy-taking to prepare for a vendor show. That’s the reason why we outline what you should pay attention to throughout the whole process in detail. Do you think this blog post is helpful? Do you have anything else want to know? Do not hesitate to tell us. We’ll take your feedback seriously and keep you in the loop.