GOOD

Six Tips to Become a Craft Show Superstar


In an age where consumers have become as comfortable with e-commerce as they have with e-mail, the prospect of maintaining a presence in the physical marketplace can be lost on many a creative entrepreneur. But being physically present at a local craft show, arts and crafts festival, or business forum can be what sets your craft-brand-business apart from the competition. Even employees at Etsy, the premiere creative e-trepreneurship, are encourage to attend craft shows and conferences. After all, it’s integral to have those face-to-face interactions.

We recently spoke to Danielle Maveal (also known as Daniellexo), Etsy’s education coordinator, who graciously prescribed six tips to help transition purveyors of handmade goods from the comfort and anonymity of the world wide web to the real world of the craft show.

1. Go as a shopper. Don’t do a craft show without attending first as a consumer and researcher. Bring a notebook and jot down which booths and artists attract you as a buyer. Is it weird when you go to a booth and the artist doesn’t stand up? When someone asks you, “Have you heard of my line before?”, does this question start a natural conversation? It should. Is the show well attended? Are people spending money? Scope it out first and you’ll feel much more prepared when you show up next year with your own wares to peddle.

2. Caffeine and a big smile. Honestly, being caffeinated can help you soft-spoken or laid-back types. Before a workshop, I make sure I’m well rested, caffeinated, and mentally prepared to show some enthusiasm. If you aren’t smiling, your audience is going to wonder why on earth they should care about what you’re selling. Smiling is contagious, use this cue to convince those you are meeting that they too are excited about your work.

3. Be unique. I know, sounds obvious, right? When you’re thrown into an offline situation, you might immediately want to blend in. Standing out feels pretty vulnerable. Your quirks, authenticity, off-beat humor, passion and idiosyncrasies are what make you memorable, even more than your fancy letterpressed business card.

4. Ask questions. You know what people are interested in more than anything else? Themselves. Take a genuine interest in the people you meet, and they’ll like you. This goes for talks and lectures too. Try to facilitate conversations, not only between yourself and members of the audience, but between attendees. If people feel good about this event, and you’re the facilitator, you’ve succeeded.

5. Selling isn’t everything. Meeting people in real life is about connections. If you’re trying to sell your idea or product to someone who doesn’t need it or want it, you’ve wasted a connection. Perhaps that person happens to know a supplier who could really help you out. So tell your story and ask for theirs, you never know how you can help or inspire each other.

6. Brand yourself. Your outfit, your choice of words, the color of your tablecloth—this is your brand. When you make these choices, ask yourself, what is this saying to my audience? You don’t have to become a brand robot. Have fun.

There are tons of resources out there to help you find the right shows to attend, fill out craft show applications, network offline, display your work creatively, and more, so do your homework. And don’t forget to bring a camera so you can prove to the Internet that you exist in real life, too!

Danielle Maveal writes the Etsy Success newsletter and is always working on a new blog post for Etsy’s blog. You can also chat with Danielle live in Etsy’s interactive online workshops, the Virtual Labs.

This post originally appeared on www.refresheverything.com, as part of GOOD's collaboration with the Pepsi Refresh Project, a catalyst for world-changing ideas. Find out more about the Refresh campaign, or submit your own idea today.


Articles

McDonalds sells a lot of coffee. Over a billion cups a year, to be exact. All that coffee leads to a lot of productive mornings, but it also leads to a lot of waste. Each year, millions of pounds of coffee chaff (the skin of the coffee beans that comes off during roasting) ends up getting turned into mulch. Some coffee chaff just gets burned, leading to an increase in CO2.

Now, that chaff is going to get turned into car parts. Ford is incorporating coffee chaff from McDonalds coffee into the headlamps of some cars. Ford has been using plastic and talc to make its headlamps, but this new process will reduce the reliance on talc, a non-renewable mineral. The chaff is heated to high temperatures under low oxygen and mixed with plastic and other additives. The bioplastic can then be formed into shapes.

Keep Reading Show less

For over 20 years, our country has perceived itself as more divided than united, and it's not getting better. Right after the 2016 election, a poll conducted by Gallup found that 77% of Americans felt the country was divided on the most important values, a record high.

The percentage of Americans who agree that we disagree got higher. During the 2018 mid-term elections, a poll conducted by NBC News/Wall Street Journal found that 80% of Americans felt the nation was "mainly" or "totally" divided.

We head into the 2020 presidential election more divided than ever. A new poll from USA Today found that nine out of ten respondents felt it was important to do something about the conflict in our country. We can't keep on living like this forever.

Keep Reading Show less
via Honor Africans / Twitter

The problem with American Sign Language (ASL) is that over 500,000 people in the U.S. use it, but the country has over 330 million people.

So for those with hearing loss, the chances of coming into contact with someone who uses the language are rare. Especially outside of the deaf community.

Keep Reading Show less