Before the trip...
Make sure you prepare and pack well in advance. Needing something a few hundred miles away from home is not good.
Create a checklist. You may think only very organized people do that... Well, there is a reason they do.
Consider extra expenses, such as starting cash, food, personal shopping at the show, and some tourist self-indulgements, among other things.
Think Ahead: Try packing little boxes into big boxes, such as easy to carry plastic bins. It's much easier to carry one plastic bin rather than twenty little boxes.
Make sure you have a family member or neighbor who can watch your house, if need be. Provide them with multiple contact numbers to reach you..
Mind your vehicles both before and during your trip. Remember that it's extra hard on a car with extra weight. Changes in both temperatures and altitudes don't help either.
Perfect Your Table Space
lan your display: Try different table layouts with your own at home. Get some honest feedback on how it looks.
Use risers to lift items up closer to eye level and to make good use of the vertical space of the table.
Use the boxes you pack your items in to double as risers or shelves.
Reduce all clutter on your table. Products should be the focus and other things can be distracting.
Don't have too many of the same item on display. Keep them in reserve and replace the item when purchased.
Try to keep your table items as color coordinated as possible. Often times, people are looking only for specific colors for their house or project.
Bring your own lighting if possible. Good lighting will help the visitors see your products better and bring attention to them.
Have easy-to-read prices on everything. Placing price tags under your items requires guests to pick them up, increasing the risk of damage. An unclear pricing system will provoke guests to ask you how much each item is, which may pull you in many directions at a crowded table, or they may think they are bothering you by having to ask about each item.
Overall, make sure you and your table are inviting and friendly.
Promote the show yourself.
Don't just count on public show announcements. Promote yourself. If every vendor told a few people about the show, it would benefit everyone involved. Advertising in big markets is expensive, so try to pool resources.
During the show...
Don't hover over potential buyers. This will cause them to feel uncomfortably rushed and overwhelmed. Give them time to take things in.
Try to greet every person with eye contact and something simple and sincere like "Hello" or "How are you?"
Saying 'May I help you?" or "Can I help you?" will, 99% of the time, get a conditioned response: 'No, I'm just looking"
Start a conversation about an item they have purchased already. Don't say things like 'I have that same item cheaper!" Find complimenting items to what they have such as 'I have the perfect rug to go with that table." or "I see you have all items for inside your house, do you decorate the outside? It's my favorite part, let me show you why."
Share your knowledge. Most of the guest coming to shows are not 'professionals', for some it may be their first show ever. Teach them things.
Have free things for your guests and customers to take away with them, such as a flier with your top ten tips in an area of expertise. It can be a perfect way for you to integrate your contact information for future business. Remember: guests don't just buy at shows.
After the show…
If you've planned ahead, then breaking down your table should be just as efficient as setting it up. Hopefully by this time, you are many items lighter. That is unless you bought more than you sold, in which case you should consider that too while packing. You don't want to find a great deal on a rare item from another vendor and not have any room for it.
Make sure you pay the tax man. If the city or state required you to submit taxes, don't delay it.
Follow up promptly with any guest you said you would contact after the show. Such as inquiries about items you didn't have available during the show, or other such requests. Keep a good relationship and you'll keep them coming back.
You can also read this text directly from Linda's (3 Blind Mice) website.
(Click on "Vendor Tips" tab.)