Sunday, 6 July 2008

Trunk Shows: An Example of What Works

A little info about what works

A trunk show is an essential way to market your craft and yourself. I have had a bunch of jewelry trunk shows that have done really well and I wanted to take some time to share some of my tips with all of you.

First, I find a location. There are a few options here, you can use your own house, a friends house, an office, a gallery, etc. To maximize your profit, use a venue that does not require overhead. This location should be easy to get to and have ample parking.

Second, I pick a date I would like to have my trunk show. I have had successful events on weekends and week nights after a typical work day. On the weekends, my hours are usually from 11am to 5 pm. During the week, 6 to 9pm. These times give people enough time to get to your show as well as take their time looking at your pieces.

Thirdly, I have had successful shows using both free advertising and purchased advertising. I tend lean towards as much free advertising as I can because I am on a budget.
I start working with 'word of mouth.' I am on a few social networking sites such as Facebook and Myspace. I create an event that is open to all of my friends and all of my networks. Using this type of advertising is completely FREE and often these sites send reminders to make sure the persons attending don't forget.
I also go to our local newspapers and add events to the local calendar. If even a few people see it, it's is better than nothing.
I email everyone I know to tell them about the show and encourage them to bring friends. I also blog about my plans and put up a few pictures.

I have also done mailings. You can create a post card fairly easily and take it to Staples or print them out yourself on your computer if you have a decent printer. It is faster and the picture looks better when I have had them done at Staples. This should have the date and times of your show, as well as directions and a contact number. These are great because people can put them on their fridge or take them to work and put it on a bulletin board, etc.

Fliers! These WORK! You can give them to a few friends, post them in public places, ask store owners to put them up, as well as putting it up at the gym, doctors office, schools, Starbucks, Target, and etc. This can at least grab people's attention, even if they do not attend. It will start a buzz about yourself. You can use any color paper you want, but I chose a blue and green for mine.

Next, THE ACTUAL EVENT!! Yay! The show date has arrived and you might be thinking what you need to do to get ready. You should always provide a beverage of some sort - be it juice, water, soda, or wine. It is your choice. I usually offer water, juice, and wine. Snack-wise, I have offered cookies, cheese and crackers, veggies with dip, and candy. Who knows what people are in the mood for, so a variety is a good idea.
Music is completely up to you, something that is your style but not overwhelming. I really like Nora Jones, Jack Johnson, and Ben Harper - most of their songs can be played at a normal to low level but still have people humming a long.
Make sure that people have the option to sit down - whether to get a closer look at your pieces, to chit chat, or just to sit after a busy day. When I set up my jewelry I use a dining room table and place a few chairs around so people can sit down and try on my jewelry. This way they get a realistic look at themselves and the jewelry. Comfort is KEY!
Make sure everything that can have a tag, has a tag. This gives people time to either make an impulse buy or to mull it over and perhaps eventually purchase.
Gift bags are a great idea to not only complete the purchase, but to show the customer you care from beginning to end how your craft/art is represented. People judge everything!
Accepting credit cards will improve your profit margin drastically. I have used Paypal and Propay. These are reliable processing companies. I know there are others out there, but these are what have worked for me and can work well for you as well.

SIGNS! People will be looking for a way to get there even if they know how to get there. I have a large sign that I hang from the porch of where I have local shows (I also use it at festivals and shows). I also put out a sign that can be seen from both sides and has a LARGE arrow pointing people in the right direction. You never know when a sale will literally walk in the door. People get curious. A good sign will peak curiosity.

Lastly, be yourself and be proud of your work. You have worked hard to have a show in addition to creating your work. Don't be afraid to tell people about yourself, how you got into creating, what inspires you, and that you love seeing people love your craft. Confidence is key and will help you sell more!

If yall have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me through email or through

Have a wonderful week! And GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR SHOWS!!!!

- Morgan


beth3rdfloor said...

Great post, Morgan!! Thanks for all this info!

love2sew said...

Wow This information makes it sound so easy. Something I will try real soon. Thanks for the awesome tips.


Nora said...

oh How I love this's so great! but anyways I will contact you about a couple of things that I still want to have very clear...and I love also the humorous and detailed way you described the event , thanks

Laura B said...

This is a great post with fab information! Thanks for sharing it with us all. I have started planning mine thanks to your inspiration!

Melissa said...

Thanks for sharing all this great info!


Hello everyone, This is a very helpful information, we should share with everyone at Etsy business forum, thanks Morgan and beth for posting, have a great day! :-)

Erika Obscura said...

Cool Blog. Good tips! :)

Mary V. Smith said...

Great post and blog...thanks!

Becca said...

Thanks Morgan, I am already thinking about doing one of these in the fall for holiday shopping :)

my little Aura said...

thanks for sharing!!!it's really great information I will give it a try....

B.B. Bellezza said...

Great info! (I know I am just finding it more than a month later!)


cloud9design said...

Thanks Morgen! I'm having my 1st Trunk Show in November! I didn't think about the time being a factor during the week....maybe I'll switch to a Saturday...

Cloud9 Design