My new way of measuring craft fair success

I went crazy in 2015 for craft fairs. I got a taste of it and couldn't get enough— the anticipation while prepping, talking to customers and getting real-time feedback, pushing past exhaustion when I got home to unload and count the cash... It was exhilarating to see how much I could make in one weekend.

That year, sales was the only thing I really aimed for at craft fairs. I did everything I could to get those sales: discounts, a very tiring display set-up, hauling all our products in, going to as many events as possible, etc. I assessed the success of each craft fair based on sales alone (and wrote about it).

But I was missing a huge part of the potential of craft fairs.

In context of a sales funnel: I was aiming for craft fairs customers to travel through the whole process. I wanted customers to see my booth (awareness), get enticed by a discount (interest/consideration), then purchase (purchase).
While a sales goal is fine, I wasn't thinking at all of the potential of craft fair audiences— interested customers that would turn into sales at a later time. 

The only way I consistently invest time into Pickles on a weekly basis (besides fulfilling orders) is posting regularly on IG/ FB, a very basic "marketing" technique. (It works, though: I still can't believe our Seconds Baggies sold out in 9 hours on Monday). As a long-term plan to increase sales, I should be focusing to grow this audience as much as possible.

My acquisition rates for these platforms are very slow, but at every craft fair I've been to, the follower count shoots waaayy up during those weekends with the willing, hungry consumers looking for new small brands to discover.

So last year, I thought about how I could gain even more followers/ subscribers during craft fairs and started to run 2 promos:
  1. Free card with any purchase with an IG follow
  2. Subscribe to our email newsletter to win a $30 gift card raffle
With these promotions, my acquisition rate went up by like 10x during my craft fairs weekends last year, at a very low cost (the cost of a card + $30 divided by however many emails I got). My website sales also went way up— I had more customers in the funnel to covert during new product releases, sales, etc.

Craft fairs have thousands and thousands of people walk through and there is so much opportunity to reach them, even if they don't convert to sales right away. I'm of course still tracking sales at the events, but there are now other performance indicators I'm using to assess ROI that relates to a larger, longer-term plan.

That being said, please add to my sales, new subscriber/follower count, OR my general happiness to connect with people at Renegade Craft Fair in SF a month from today!

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