Quilling Show and Demo Tips
Denise G Cameron
Many artisans are participating in craft show, bazaars, demonstrations etc, so I thought I would share some my tips from when I did shows. It is important to remember your display is a reflection of you. If this is your first time setting up a booth, do a dry run at home then invite friends over to critique your display.
A number of shows are juried and require your area to be set up in a certain manner, pay very close attention to the rules you receive. If using a table make sure to have a tasteful covering that goes to the ground. This space under the table if useful for storing supplies and stock. I found when arranging the table to have different heights, staging the table with the current season, i.e. now would be a small tree. If the space is available do a grouping so customers get an idea of how items would look together, than perhaps buying the whole grouping. Check to see if electricity is offered, if not battery operated lights may be an option for those dark rooms. Do not forget the space behind the table, I used a folding screen system where larger picture could be hung.
Most shows permit set up hours before the doors open, so give yourself ample time for this. All your items must be carried to your location so choose your props very carefully many can serve a double propose. If you plan on doing several shows a small hand truck or wagon are VERY handy! Have a guestbook set out for customers to sign, this is a great way to add to your mailing list. With preprinted pages for names, address, emails, also check off boxes if they are interested in classes, hosting a home show etc. I used two types of business cards, basic one set out on the table for all to take and more elaborate ones with quilling for customers who purchased or who wanted to order in the future. I also had my portfolio of work on hand for those who wanted to see it. Bring you projects along, people love to see you quill, I would just quill shapes placing them in a bowl for samples. I always had extra paper and pins for people to give it a try. This also came into play when someone would question the prices stating it was only paper and they could do it. I would politely hand them some paper and a hat pin offering them a try, most could not even start the shape with out a mini lesson. Do not sell yourself short, you are an artist, your work is worth the price you are asking. It has become a trend at shows for the customer to offer you a lower price, more so at the end of the day. There are many who only attend shows the last hour to do just this.
Most important have fun and let your personality shine... you are a Quilling Artist!
Reprinted from November 2006 Custom Quilling Newsletter