When attending craft shows, there are some simple things to keep in mind that will make you a better neighbor. Remember that there are others at the event who, like you, are there to make money. To make the best of things you should try to acknowledge the needs and rights of your fellow crafters.
Stay within your allotted space
If your display needs that extra “couple of inches”, buy it from the promoters before the event. Often you will need to purchase a “double” booth or at least an additional half space. Check with the show promoter to see what options you have regarding measurements. If you do not want to incur that added expense, you may need to redesign your display so that it will fit in the space you purchase. Whatever you do, do not extend your display into your neighbor’s space! The quickest way to make an enemy at a show is to steal space from a fellow exhibitor. And it is stealing. When you put your display into another crafter’s booth, you are taking space that someone else has paid for, which is theft, not to mention, rude.
Design your booth in a way that makes it accessible without infringing on your neighbor
While this relates to the guideline above, it is actually a little different. Sometimes, a display layout may need to be accessible on two sides. In most cases this would require a corner or end spot (yeah, they cost more too, check with the folks in charge of your event). If you are side by side with two other exhibitors, your booth will only be accessible from the front. Don’t expect your neighbor to redesign their booth so customers can get to an extra side on yours.
Be friendly to fellow exhibitors, but don’t be a pest
It’s fine to visit with other exhibitors at a show; in fact I love meeting new crafters! But don’t stand around talking if a customer walks in. Remember, craftspeople are there to make money. They can’t do that if someone is continually visiting or blocking customers from viewing their wares.
Give yourself enough time to set up before the show begins
Setting up a booth at a craft fair takes time. It takes more time for some than for others. Whether it takes you a few minutes or several hours, be sure you allot enough time to finish before the customers arrive. Boxes blocking aisles keep customers from visiting other booths. Even if you are not in the aisles, setting up a display in your space while the show is open distracts customers. This can hurt sales for yourself and your colleagues.
To sum it up, be aware that there are others attending craft events beside yourself. Be courteous to fellow craftspeople and keep in mind that what may work best for you may infringe upon other exhibitors. Too many negative happenings can make enemies of your fellow craftspeople, or even get you banned from a show. By getting along with others, you can sometimes make important contacts and better yet, friends for life!