by Lisa McGrimmon
Have you ever had a nightmare about showing up at a big craft fair only to realize you've forgotten something extremely important at home?
Do you double and triple check as you're packing for a show, convinced you're going to miss something crucial?
I'm going to guess that many of you have experienced some craft show packing anxiety at one point. So, to help keep you calm, organized and on track, here's a list of what to bring to craft fairs so you won't forget a thing.
When I started doing craft shows, I did my best to keep all of my show supplies packed and in one place when not in use. However, I found it impossible to keep everything packed because some of it was used outside of shows.
After a couple of panicky packing experiences, I created a checklist of things to bring to shows and kept it with all of my display items. It's been a while, but I also did home parties when I first got started. The things I needed to bring to craft shows were slightly different from the things I needed to bring to home parties, so I kept separate lists, one for shows and one for home parties.
If you keep your own lists for craft fairs and home parties (if you do them), when you're ready to pack up for a show, you can just pull out the list, and work through to ensure you have everything you need. When you can be certain that you haven't forgotten anything, you can have a much calmer day, and focus on your customers.
Everyone's list will be slightly different, so to get you started on your own list here's a list of items most people need to bring to a show:
Of course, you'll have your own specific items that you need to bring to art and craft fairs. I'd suggest using this list as a starting point, and then adding to it so you have all of your own specific items listed on your own master list.
For example, under the display section, I've included risers, shelves, gridwalls, stands, mirrors etc. You won't necessarily use all of those items in your own craft display, and there may be some things specific to your own display that are not on the list. So, use the list as a place to start, and add or remove items to the list to create your own specific list that accounts for everything you'll need to bring to a juried art show.
After a show, take a minute to note whether there is anything you did not bring with you that you wish you had. If you've forgotten to bring any important items, add that on to the list for next time.
A little bit of time spent organizing can go a long way to helping you feel more calm, and making your day run smoothly. You can be very busy during the days leading up to craft fairs, so anything that helps you to be a little more prepared is a welcome resource that will allow you to focus on other tasks.