If you don't do craft shows like me you may need some ideas on getting all your items ready for display. When getting ready for my show last year this was actually one of the fun parts of the home show process. Being able to see my items displayed in all their color and options really brought my items to life and out of the closet and drawers where they often sit until they are sent out to their new homes.
A few things to consider when getting your items and your home ready for shopping and visitors. Space for displays, area for check out, food, and visiting. Being able to have semi designated areas for each is really helpful when planning your layout.
I devoted an area to display my items I also rearranged furniture for the event specifically to address the above. I used my buffet, dining table, and a full blank wall for display. This was an area that was a little bit tight but completely manageable even with over 40 people at one point. Having separate areas there were places for guests to go and mingle when not browsing.
Consider holiday decorating when planning, I opted to not put the Christmas tree and ALL my holiday decorations up after the show. I did put out a few things to make it festive but kept it to a minimum to cut down on crowding.
I moved all seating to my living room, so guests were not as tempted to sit at the displays, and this freed walking space too. I moved extra lighting into the shopping areas, when colors are important so is lighting. Since I sell purses I need a way to display purses, with the consent of my husband I nailed tacks all over one wall, the tacks really did not leave a big mark and I figured my husband had all winter to repair (which he did not, but that is another subject) actually with my home show approaching I will just use them again. I rounded up baskets, buckets and containers from all around the house for displays, I should add when dumping baskets in use, find a central spot like a laundry basket to dump so re-sorting is easier.
I needed to price my items for a more retail setting, I opted for a blanket pricing on like items, like coin purses, wristlets and some of the accessories this saved me from having to price individually, I had nearly 300 items on display. I did individually price my totes, as those were less and more tricky to do blanket pricing, and if they sold I kept the tag so I would know which items to take out of my etsy shop. I included the name of the item, price and a small sticker that would indicate if a matching accessory was available at the show. Keep the tags for inventory purposes after the show, take at check out.
Food, the most obvious spot for a food spread is in the kitchen, for me this is easy as I have a large kitchen and of course this is where people tend to gather. I had a buffet and bar in this area and it took care of itself.
Sitting and chatting space is important too, though most guests will stand and chat. I had enough seating for about 16 people separate from the shopping and food, and there were at least some people sitting at all times.
Check out, this was super handy to have a completely separate away from everything check out. I have a good size foyer and was able to set up a table, chair for my friend who helped with check out and a chair for the person checking out. Many like the isolated nature of this as they wrote checks and tallied the receipts.
Another item to think about is coats, I live in a cold weather state and in December that means big bulky, long coats. I completely emptied my front hall closet and filled with hangers, however with over 40 attendees this filled quickly. I did not have a back up plan and ended up dumping them in my husbands desk, which also filled quickly. If you have a spare clothing rack, tuck into a room nearby. I have an upstairs but there was NO way I could have handled going up and downstairs to fetch coats, seems silly but think about this too when planning.
Other extras that might help. A list of items available and at what price points. Many have budgets or spending limits, listing items you have available at 10.00, 20.00 and so on will help attendees find what they want. Baskets, if you have handle baskets or buckets available leave these around your items or at the front door so shopper have a place to gather their goodies.
Packaging, if you have items that would benefit from special or gift type packaging stock up now. Cellophane bags, gift bags, tulle, nicely packaged items give the feeling of gift ready and shoppers like things that are fast and easy to give, if you have done some of this it will inspire others to think of their gift lists.
Tailor and prep your items and your home, but thinking about it ahead of time and coming up with a plan makes it easier. I had my show on a Thursday, I rearranged and started setting up on Monday prior, this also gave me a visual for a few days to make adjustments so the day of the show I was ready to go. Feel free to share your ideas or give a retweet to help others who may be thinking about a home show.
Also this is the second in a series, you can see more "home show" ideas on the left under my "labels" tab, Follow me as I will be adding to this feature throughout the fall.