How Much Inventory Do You Bring to a Show?
It is a constant question with no real answer. If you booth looks empty,
with just a few items, people will not be tempted to stop at your booth
or table. However, a booth crammed with merchandise is also a deterrent.
So managing your inventory at a show is important.
The common answer: bring more than you intend to sell. How do you calculate
how much you will sell? There’s a few guidelines we’ve gathered
from craft show exhibitors:
First, if the event you will be attending is not brand new, talk to
other exhibitors who have attended the show in previous years. Try to
get an idea of how many customers normally attend the show. (The show
promoters can also help you out with this question.) Were the customers
a buying crowd or just lookers? What types of products seem to sell
the best at the show? What price point? If you expect a large number
of buying customers, start building inventory months in advance.
Now, look at what you already know about your product line. What are
your best sellers? (Or, if this will be your first time selling your
crafts, what are the items your family and friends like best?) Do you
have any seasonal or holiday items that are appropriate? You should
always bring an excess of these items to a show.
While there is no easy answer, a good rule-of-thumb is to bring as much
as you can possibly carry to an event. However, if your crafts are small
and lightweight, this is much easier than if you carry large or heavy
items. So if your products are very large, concentrate on bringing as
many of your most popular products as you can.
Twice the amount of inventory as you expect to sell is considered a
You can always bring home what you do not sell, but craft shows cater
to those who buy on impulse, so you should always be prepared to have
enough inventory that you do not sell out of anything.
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