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The Difference Between Ordinary & Extraordinary

by Karen Booy
as published in the CRAFTLINK Newsletter.

 

The DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ORDINARY AND EXTRAORDINARY -- Is that little "EXTRA." Craft promoters Judy Meixner and Trudy Ferguson of WCC Promotions Inc., spend many hours each year jurying for new exhibitors for their show. The dynamic duo share the following thoughts on getting accepted into top shows and increasing your craft sales while at the show.

Travelling extensively throughout the year, Judy and Trudy are always on the look out for new vendors. How do they pick and choose new vendors?

First they look for an impressive display.

1) DISPLAY: Good Product + Great Display = PROFITS

- develop a theme for your product display
- look professional
- presentation is #1 you must stop your customer long enough to sell!
- who is the busiest at a show??? Look at busy booths and see what they are doing RIGHT!

DISPLAY TIPS:

- use a theme: a specific colour, a season, or a current trend
- used skirted tables
- think of a room in your home when creating your display
- collect interesting antique display pieces, chairs, trunks, tables, wagons
- don't forget about lighting, lighting SELLS
- a rug looks great and encourages weary buyers to stay longer
- begin early -- think about your display while you create your product line

Half of Judy and Trudy's job as show promoters is assembling a show filled with artisans and antique dealers of the finest quality. The other half of their work is attracting people to attend their show. After all the work they go to, to attract the public, once they arrive, they want each person who attends to enjoy their experience. The team works hard to create an event so the public will want to return. Judy and Trudy feel that each exhibitor of their show is representative of their show helping to create or destroy the show attendees experience. Since they place such an importance on a quality experience of their customer, the public, it is no wonder that the two place such a high value on a crafters salesmanship.

2) SALESMANSHIP:

- be interactive with your customers
- have a positive attitude
- don't begin your relationship with a show promoter by complaining about previous shows and promoters
- become a "self-promoter" -- work hard to promote the shows that you are involved in by distributing flyers and "talking up" the show

Trudy and Judy are always reevaluating their exhibitors to see if they are maintaining the high standards that the pair have set for their show. To keep up the standards they are always looking at the product lines of their exhibitors.

3) PRODUCT: QUALITY = SUCCESS

- use quality supplies, use current fabric and colours in your products
- be creative, develop your own sense of style
- always add something new and different to your product line to keep customers coming back
- variety is the spice of life

When being juried for a new show:

- first impressions for your business = printed materials
- always use the best paper for your printed materials
- be considerate of the show promoters time
- be organized and professional
- send a SASE for returning your portfolio
- remember to include the Who, What and Where of your craft business when applying in writing to a show promoter

FINALLY... be mature enough to see your weak areas and work on it.

More information on Crafting the American Dream
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