Are You Ready for Market and Fair Season?

market and fair vendor booth with cute mason jarsAre you a vendor or artist who is busy preparing for the craft, fair and market season? If so, make sure you’re putting your best foot forward with these helpful tips.

Implementing some of these tactics could assist in generating more sales before, during and after the season ends.

Spring has sprung…
The arrival of Spring generally rings off the beginning of market and fair season. Often Earth Day has the first outdoor public facing events (along with seasonal farmers Markets).

However, when vendors are busily preparing their goods for shows, all too often any supporting print marketing materials (such as business cards) and ensuring their website is updated falls to the wayside – and this should NOT be the case!

Remember folks, this is YOUR business – so if anything you should be even more on top of matters. No time? Then hire a designer to create business cards or the like for you. No expertise to update your website? Then connect with a web master who can update your website with current information. You WILL be doing your potential customers a service.


Business Cards: Why You Should Have Them

Business cards still matterIt’s amazing how many times I’ve heard vendors at shows/markets or other public facing events say “oh I forgot them” or “I did’t think I would need them”. Seriously??  There’s nothing worse than meeting a vendor at an event and they have nothing to hand out but a ripped-up piece of paper! Sorry folks, in this day and age there’s no excuse!

Another reason these little items are important is – often you may be engaged in conversation with someone and another prospect may just walk away. Perhaps they are short on time? So having business cards easily accessible to passers-by could allow them to reconnect with you down the road – which could result in a sale. And for goodness sakes, don’t hide them or force people to have to ask you for one either!! Place them throughout your booth.


What to Include on Your Business Cards
Not sure what to put on your cards? The following are suggestions.. However, there may be other elements that you’ll want to include depending on your industry, products or services.

  • Simplicity does it – go for a clean, quality design.
  • If you have a logo, be sure to include it.
  • Business name and contact info – phone, email
    – in today’s digital age YES, you DO need an email address.
    – it’s not necessary to include your physical address if your
    business is a home office but do include your city or town.
  • Include a small image or two of your works – allowing folks to
    easily remember and visually identify with you
  • Include links to your website, Etsy shop or other online store.
  • You SHOULD have a website – NOT just a Facebook page!

Other suggestions: use both sides of the card. Say the front side has your logo and contact info and use the back side to include photos or images of your products or works. This way you’re getting more bang for your buck!

Need More Visual Real Estate? Use Postcards
If you feel you’d like to use a bit more visual real estate, then try postcards. With an array of sizes available, you’re not limited. These can provide more surface area for you to incorporate info and images about your business. If you are part of a seasonal market and fair show circuit, you can list where you will be next on the postcards! It’s a great point of reference for folks to have easily available and as a reminder of where you will be next. And if you do have a mailing listing, well you can mail them out too – so they can perform double-duty.

Business cards and or postcards are part of your print collateral materials used to market and promote your business. By having them you can make a nice statement which allows you to be more memorable.

eco-friendlyLord knows, both business cards and postcards are so inexpensive to print. And with digital printing, you no longer have to have mass quantities printed so that can greatly reduce your costs. That way you’re not left with a bunch of materials you cannot repurpose. It’s a bit easier on the environment too – which is a good thing 🙂


Have an Email Address Sign-up Sheet

As a lead into the digital space, consider having an email address sign-up sheet. Yes, inboxes can get pretty full these days – but sending out a few won’t hurt. You could do so quarterly. It can be a great way for you to stay in touch with interested parties. You could send out one for the holidays as perhaps your items make great for gift ideas. If you have a new blog post to share. And of course one that lets folks know where you’ll be ahead of the new season. Don’t forget to include any new products or services you may be offering.

With options like Mailchimp, Constant Contact and many more, once you set up a template, it can lay the foundation for your email campaigns. You can easily populate them with text and images.


Update Your Website NOT Just Your Facebook Page

First and foremost, you REALLY SHOULD HAVE A BUSINESS WEBSITE. It could be your etsy store or the like, but you need a professional digital presence. Now with that in mind, there are a host of reasons why ignoring your business website in favor of you FB page is a bad practice. And it light of recent events with Facebook’s data and privacy breaches, people may not be as motivated to go to a FB page – preferring your website instead!


All too often business owners simply post new information to their Facebook page rather than their actual business website. They may not have the technical expertise or knowledge to do otherwise. So this is the quick, easy and cheaper way to get new info about their biz out there. However, what may seem cheaper/easier to you initially may not be convenient for your customers. So this could be costing you more in the long run.

Your actual website needs to have current info too such as upcoming events, new products or services etc.

facebook vs business websiteThis way all of your customers are being served – and with a far better user experience. Blog about your last show – include photos, successes, encounters. It’s a treasure trove of potential high-quality relevant content which you can share and is really good for SEO (search engine optimization) purposes too!!

Furthermore, Google tends to look more favorably upon websites which are updated on a more frequent basis. So from a search engine optimization AND a website maintenance perspective, ignoring your site can have negative impacts.

Keep in Mind: Your Website is a Business Hub –
Facebook is a Marketing Channel

Yes, your Facebook page can be a great way to engage with people as a social media platform. But for those of us who want to “get in, get out and on their way”, having to navigate through much of the mindless chatter of FB is just not an option.

What needs to be better understood is your Facebook page is a marketing channel. Whereas the goal is to drive potential customers to your business asset or “hub” – which is your website. So if you’re not keeping your business website updated with current/relevant info, you could be alienating an entire segment of your audience and losing potential sales along the way. Remember, your website is your main business hub!


In Closing…

While preparing for the market and fair season can leave you short on time, recognize when you could use some assistance with your print materials and your website. It can reflect professionalism in how seriously you take your business and the customers you wish to serve. Furthermore, implementing these tactics as part of your marketing strategies can make sure all your bases are covered – which could result in a much more fruitful season!


eco-conscious graphic designer barbara rogersWritten by Barbara Rogers of Future Primitive Graphics. Helping businesses grow through better design and search visibility solutions. Creatively collaborating with those who genuinely want to make the world a better place with their products or services.