A comprehensive vendor’s guide to preparing for craft fairs and markets in Hawaii
Local craft fairs and markets are a staple event in Hawaii. It attracts visitors and residents who love to support local artists, crafters and small businesses that offer unique, one-of-a-kind products that can’t be find anywhere else in the world. If you’re someone in Hawaii looking to grow your customer base, showcase your products or artwork, you should consider participating in the many craft fairs and markets that these islands have to offer. Preparing for the many craft fairs and markets here in Hawaii can be daunting especially if it’s your first time. So here’s a guide to some of the key steps for vendors in preparing for the many craft fairs and markets that Hawaii has to offer.
Research the Event
The first step in preparing for markets and craft fairs in Hawaii as a vendor is to research the event. You should familiarize yourself with the event’s location, date(s), as well as it audience base. Try to get an idea beforehand, of the type of shoppers that typically attend. This can help you understand whether or not the event’s customers fit your ideal target market. You should also research other vendors or businesses that frequently participate at the event to see if your business has a potential in succeeding too.
Additionally, you want to research the event’s application process. This can include anything from vendor fees, deadlines, to required licenses or insurance policies in order to participate.
Researching the event can help you save a lot of time and energy when it comes to preparing yourself for the many craft fairs or markets in Hawaii. This will help you in tailoring your products to the specific audience attending these events and can even help you set sales goals for that day.
If you’re still finding it difficult to locate applications for the many craft fairs and markets on Oahu be sure to check out the link below to my article that lists some of the many Hawaii craft fairs and markets:
Crafting Your Product Line
Preparing a winning product line is the next critical step to succeeding at craft fairs or markets in Hawaii. It’s crucial to offer high-quality products that match the impeccable craftsmanship and authentic style of Hawaiian goods. It’s obvious that if you want to thrive in Hawaii craft fairs and markets, you should be selling products that resonate with the aloha spirit. Some examples could be handcrafted Hawaiian jewelry, clothes, or art that include designs that reflect the unique vibe of the islands. Sticking with just some of these design principles will simply give your product line an edge.
In addition, consider crafting products that will meet the expectations of the tourists that come to Hawaii. Things such as beach essential kits, Hawaii-themed paintings, or tropical patterned designs can have a lasting impression for shoppers that visit Hawaii’s craft fairs and markets.
As a vendor, you should aim for unique products that speak to the significance of the Hawaii’s culture and its appreciation, rather than everyday items that can be found in mainstream retail.
Attractive Packaging and Presentation
The next step for vendors preparing for craft fairs and markets in Hawaii is to assure that your packaging is attractive and presented thoughtfully.
It should be eye-catching, unique and that highlight your brand’s message. Try to use prints and colors that reflect the authentic character of the Hawaii and use it to your advantage.
Additionally, the presentation of your products should be inviting and make people want to discover more of what you offer. This is important for vendors that are selling alongside businesses that have similar products. Consider using shapes, vibrant colors, or show stopping items like a 40″ photography print or painting that make people stop to take a second look.
After attending many craft fairs and markets in Hawaii as a vendor, I’ve learned that the designs of your packaging is just as important as the products you sell. Not only does it make your product look and feel more valuable, but it makes the perception of your business valuable. Don’t take this step lightly. If you’re not good at designing logo’s or labels for your business, find someone that does.
Build a Social Media Presence
Social media can be a powerful tool to help vendors prepare for craft fairs and markets in Hawaii. It enables you, as a vendor, to showcase your product(s) outside the physical world. This helps you build an online presence and allows you to create a community. Use it to build rapport with your audience and promote yourself and any upcoming events you’re planning on participating in. Businesses in Hawaii function differently.
People of the islands love to support local and enjoy the community aspect of the islands. So spread the word on social media! Share how you create your products and tell your story. This can be done with time-lapse videos showing your process. People want to gain insight of tears you shed in order to just make one single product. This will bring value to those that seek products like yours and tells your story as the creator.
Instagram, Facebook and twitter are just some of the popular social channels you can utilize to build your online community. Share stories or your craft and engage with your followers. Learn what their taste in preferences and ask them questions about new things you create. The more you learn about your audience’s preferences, the faster you can create things that people will want to own.
Social media can also be a great way to promote any upcoming event you’re participating in for free. You can do this by tagging event organizers and other vendors that plan on participating in the event. It’s an effective way to hype up your audience and help people know where they can find you next.
Set Up Your Booth
You should always preplan your booth space before attending any event or craft fair. This will prevent you from dealing with any hiccups on the day of. All event organizers will give you a floor layout that tells you each booth location. It’ll also show where the entrance is and where the restrooms or food stands will be located. It’s important to always preplan your booth setup before attending an event. It can drastically defined whether or not people will step into your space
Bring any required items such as tables, clothes, tie-downs, or weights and pack them in your vehicle so its easy for your to unload and load before and after your done for the day/night.
Prepare for Weather
Another important thing to keep in mind is the weather and wind conditions during the day of the event. This’ll help you prepare accordingly and can ultimately prevent your products from falling to the ground or being damaged from the rain.
Experiment with your booth or table layout and based it off the event’s floor plant. Make it engaging, memorable, and inviting. Did you know that people prefer retail arrangements in the shape of the letter U? Or that the typical person is attracted by circles? Yeah, me too. According to Entrepreneur.com’s article, 7 Layout Secrets of Big Retail, U-shaped displays or table arrangements present an inviting environment as if you’re being hugged. Apply this to your booth layout and see the difference on how much more customers you’ll get walking through.
Furthermore, at the end of the event, have an idea of how you’ll pack things up. The key is efficiency! Have separate container for certain products and stack things on your wagon, cart or vehicle from big to small. Having an idea of how you exit the event space is just as important as how you enter it. You’re not getting paid at this time so work smart and not hard.
Be Prepared to Adapt
Craft fairs and events are not always glamourous. Sometimes the weather doesn’t hold in your favor or the crowd simply isn’t the right one for your product. Be prepared to adapt!
If one of your products that are at the forefront of your space isn’t selling, switch it out. Change the layout of your booth if needed. Sometimes you just have to accept the fact that people are just there to browse. Use this as a learning experience rather than a failure. Learn to adapt by expanding your offerings and adjust pricing for specific events if needed. If worse comes to worse, disregard the event in the future. Lastly, I want to make it clear from personal experience that you should never mix emotions with business. Just because people don’t want to buy from you doesn’t mean you’re doing things wrong. It just means that they’re not your audience. Pivot from this! Change your strategy, booth layout or make adjustments in the future. Experiment with different techniques and see failures as an opportunity for growth.
Participating in craft fairs and markets in Hawaii is a great opportunity to help grow your customer base, showcase unique products or artwork, and connect with the local community. Preparing for these events as a vendor can be daunting, but by following the steps in this guide, you can be on your way to succeeding in the many craft fairs and markets Hawaii has to offer. Good luck and I wish you nothing, but success and abundance!
Have any Questions? Comments? Suggestions? We’re in this together!
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