It’s craft fair season! They can be the best of times, or the most stressful of times when your phone runs out of juice or you otherwise find yourself unprepared.
Here are a few things you should always bring in case you need to deal with damages to your canopy/booth, last-minute fixes for your wares, or other unexpected snafus. If you might be doing multiple craft fairs over time, it’s a good idea to have a basic kit to bring with you. Your “kit” could include a box of items, a travel crate, a bag, a fishing tackle box of things, or some combo of these.
- Duct tape.
- Painter’s tape. Unlike duct tape, painter’s tape will not permanently stick.
- Sewing needles and thread.
- Extension cords! You will needs these for power and lighting, especially if there are no plugs close by and they don’t supply the cords for you. Some venues provide them for a fee, but who wants to pay extra?
- Multi-outlet surge protector (aka power strip). Extension cord + power strip = ready for action.
- Clip-on lights. Easy to find at any hardware store.
- Glue. Super glue for sure, maybe other types depending on what your products are.
- A dolly or fold-up luggage cart. So you don’t have to break your back, or do a million trips, carting things from your car to your location.
- Folding chairs. If you want to stand for five hours, great! But for most humans, chairs will be your lifesaver.
- Credit card swiper. Many folks use the Square magstripe reader but there are others.
- Phone charger. Remember, you’ll be there many hours!
- Free giveways. People always like candy. If you have branded merch like pens or bottle openers, even better.
- Business cards. Even if people don’t buy stuff, they might shop online later—make sure you have your info updated!
- Flyers. If you have them for any upcoming events or promotions, bring ’em.
- Clipboard. Folks always seem to be searching for a surface to write on. Be ready with a clipboard.
- Extra price tags. Either the dangly kind or price tag stickers.
- String or yarn or rope. Handy for hanging things on displays.
- Safety pins.
- A fan. It can get hot!
- A space heater. It can get cold! We actually became friends with another vendor who was next to us because we were in a warehouse downtown during the winter and it was so cold that we bonded by chatting close to the space heater we brought.
- A Bluetooth or plug-in speaker. This way you can listen quietly to music in your booth if the fair doesn’t have its own bands booked or indoor speakers installed.
- Snacks. Sometimes the fairs have food trucks, but you can save yourself a grip of cash by bringing your own munchables.
- WINE. But I warn you: You might want to hide it in your coffee mug. Some fairs prohibit liquor. But it definitely makes a long day or night more interesting, plus you can make friends with your neighbors if you bring extra!
Although it’s a long list, it can be just a starting point for you. You can tailor this to the specifics of what exactly you are selling, be it clothing, jewelry or art. After a couple craft fairs, you’ll also figure out from experience what you need. Your neighbor sellers can also give you advice if they have been to several craft fairs. Don’t forget to ask them if you have any questions about other items you might need for future shows!