Fairs & Festivals

All across the country there are hundreds of really fun craft fairs and festivals that take place on holidays like the 4th of July. They offer multiple opportunities for exhibit marketing and are a great way to make a living or a quick buck.  I know this because  I started a home-based business after my son was born and quit a real estate career to stay at home with him.  I learned my exhibiting skills from the trenches selling personalized children’s books at swap meets and craft fairs.  The books were made on a computer in four minutes and had the child’s name, family and friends in the story.  I would cart around the books, computer and Garrison in his playpen.  The first time I exhibited was in a lady’s backyard craft fair.  I registered late and because the yard areas were full, I got stuck out in the front driveway.  That actually turned out to be the best spot because everyone had to pass by me to get in.  Every mother or grandmother stopped by to see my baby, then ordered books.  This was perfect because it gave me time to make their books while they shopped and then they picked them up when they left. I think I made about $1000 cash in about 6 hours.  That was pretty good at the time. I loved those days learning the secrets of selling in a booth by hit and miss.  Everything I learned at that backyard marketplace about selling on the fly, decorating my table display and drawing people over to see my products formed the basis for my career in the exhibit industry.  If you are a crafter,  hold regular yard sales or drag your treasures to the swap meet every Sunday you could improve your profits and skills by studying what business owners and corporations have learned from exhibiting at tradeshows and consumer shows.  There are a few great authorities out there to study.  I am one of them, www.exhibitexpertsaz.com or www.susanratliffpresents.com .  The others that come to mind are Susan Friedmann, www.thetradeshowcoach.com, Matt Hill, www.hillgroup.com and Julia O’Connor, www.Tradeshowtraining.com  Check everyone out for the latest tips and tricks to make you a better exhibitor.



6 Responses to “Fairs & Festivals”

  1. 1 MrAchievement (Stanley Bronstein) July 4, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    Fairs and festivals can be great places. I haven’t done too many of them in the past because it’s kind of hard to sell legal services in a trade show booth (grin) . . .

    Stanley Bronstein

  2. 2 Susan Friedmann July 7, 2008 at 11:10 am

    Thanks Susan! Appreciate being included in your list of experts.

  3. 3 susanratliff July 8, 2008 at 11:40 pm

    You are so wrong about selling services at tradeshows. There are numerous tradeshows and expos for the legal profession, professional organizations etc. I have several attorneys who are clients. The problem is your perception. Tradeshows are usually non-selling shows. No money changing hands. That means the objective is to collect leads for prospecting later, taking a survey, doing market research, debuting a new service. On average, 50% of exhibitors are services. Don’t use that as an excuse. Fairs and festivals will not draw your target audience, but check out the events for the legal profession on these search sites. http://www.tsnn.com, http://www.proshows.com. Pick up my book, Exhibit Like an Expert, at Barnes and Nobel or on my website http://www.susanratliffpresents.com, to discover how to make exhibit marketing work for you.

  4. 4 susanratliff July 8, 2008 at 11:41 pm

    I am honored to refer you. You are one of the best authorities in the business. I hope to see you at the NSA convention in NYC

  5. 5 Lynda July 14, 2008 at 9:46 am

    I think fairs and festivals are a great way to interact with potential clients, while also getting your name out into the world. You are spreading your energy and your ideas with others, which can only bring you more success each time you return.

  6. 6 susanratliff July 18, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    Lynda you are so right. I sold personalized childrens’ books at craft fairs and festivals for six years. Not only is it fun but quite profitable. Do you sell a product or service that way?

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