3 Must-Haves For A Successful First Impression At Your First Arts & Craft Vendor Fair

Arts and craft vendor fairs are a great way for handcrafters to gain exposure and, potentially, sell their items. If you are a handcrafter and have yet to dive into the world of vendor fairs, you may be wondering how to get your toes wet without sinking to the bottom. As with most things in life, first impressions are very important. In vendor fairs, first impressions could make a difference in your profits. Here are a few ideas. 


To transport your goods to the vendor fair, you'll need a trailer. At first, before your business gets off the ground, you can get by with renting a storage trailer from a company like Mar-Rube Trailer Rental. You can purchase a trailer later after you've seen some profit. For now, try to find a nondescript storage trailer to rent and one that can be pulled behind your vehicle. If you need a larger trailer, you may need to rent a vehicle with a towing package. 

At some vendor fairs, the trailers can stay as part of your setup, which is great because then all of your items will be right with you instead of down yonder in a parking lot. However, you don't want the trailer to be emblazoned with large lettering showcasing the trailer rental business. If you cannot find a plain storage trailer to rent, you can cover the trailer with a personalized banner to display your business name instead. That way, your business name will stand out, not the rental trailer company. 


Proper storage of your items inside the trailer is crucial, especially if you handcraft fragile or heavy items. Always place the heaviest items on the bottom and spaced evenly throughout the trailer. This may take some careful planning if your items come in various sizes and weights. You'll want to draw out a schematic of the placement of the items in the trailer so there is no confusion if you need to hurry and retrieve an item for an anxious customer. If possible, color-code the storage containers by type or size of item it holds, depending on what types of items you sell, so you can see which one is which when peering into the back of the trailer. For example, store woman's shirts in pink bins and men's shirts in blue bins. 

Purchase plastic storage bins to fit inside the trailer with as little space available as possible so the bins don't shift during transport. If necessary, however, you can tie the bins down or stuff pillows or blankets in between the bins. Fragile items should definitely be wrapped in appropriate packaging supplies, such as bubble wrap, and placed inside separate plastic storage bins within the trailer. 


A long table with folding legs will serve you well until you are able to purchase a fancier setup. Create risers to give a showcase effect simply by using a few small containers turned upside down. Once the risers are in place, draper a large tablecloth over the table and risers, while making sure the ends of the tablecloth reach the ground, but do not create a tripping hazard.

Place the table into the trailer after all storage bins and other items. If possible, lay the table on top of the storage bins and strap it into place. Alternatively, you may be able to place the table directly on top of the trailer and strap it down, depending on the guidelines of the trailer rental service. The idea here is to place the table where it can be removed from the trailer first. That way, you can set up the table and start hiding bins and other things underneath the table.