I am hardly an expert on the subject, but I have done a few craft fairs now, and some of my friends have been asking my advice about playing the circuit themselves. The best I can do is offer links that I have found helpful and pointers I have learned from my own mistakes.
1. Go for the networking, stay for the sales. Don’t get me wrong; just because you’re starting out, doesn’t mean you can’t expect to have sales, but craft fairs, especially in this economy, can be as valuable for networking as they can be for turning an immediate profit. I have gotten many calls after the fair about custom orders and bulk orders from people I have talked to at my booth.
2. Display is important. Go to other craft fairs. How are other booths set up? If you sell jewelry, which jewelry displays catch your eye?
3. Planning is everything. Display is important, yes, but how do you manage a great display when you only have an hour to set-up the tent, the table, the product… I like to have a trial run of my display in my living room the night before. Take a picture so you remember what works.
4. Price appropriately. If you price too high, people won’t buy. If you price too low, people think your work is cheap. Research similar products and price what yours are worth. Make sure you cover your costs and pay yourself for your time.
5. Have fun! Be friendly. If you have a booth buddy, take a break and walk around and introduce yourself to other vendors. Make sure you bring food and water if it is an all day event. Invite your friends. If you’re having a good time, other people will too!