Paragon Shows Blog

Benefits of Email Marketing for Your Craft Business

Friday 20th October 2017

Recurring sales are key to the success of any craft vendor. But how do you encourage repeat business after the show? In this month’s blog, the Paragon team discusses how email marketing can help you stay connected with your customers, build your brand, and increase repeat purchases.

What is email marketing?

Email marketing is a type of direct marketing that communicates messages to existing or potential customers through electronic mail. When done well, an email marketing campaign helps your stay relevant and build your brand on a personal level. Businesses of all industries and sizes benefit from email marketing every day.

Benefits of Email Marketing

Staying Connected with Your Customers

The number one benefit of email marketing is that it allows you to stay connected with your customers. Once a customer opts-in, or requests to join your email list, you can share important news and announcements about your business and your products. For a craft vendor, this might include information on upcoming shows, new products, or special promotional offers.


Building Your Brand

When done right, email marketing helps you stay on top-of-mind with existing customers and reach new ones. And by “done right,” we mean consistently representing your brand. For example, if you’re a fun, upbeat company, your emails need to reflect that in terms of how they look and feel, and what they say. Consistency–in terms of the kind of information you are sharing and how often–is key. Every email should be sent with the intention of enhancing your relationship with your customer, building loyalty, and encouraging repeat business. Bear in mind that if done poorly, email marketing can hurt your brand.

Increasing Repeat Purchases

Because email marketing allows you to send personalized communications to a targeted audience (that is already familiar with your company and its products), it is an effective way to increase repeat purchases. Someone who has bought from you before is likely to buy from you again.

Getting Started with Email Marketing

Start collecting email addresses at your craft shows. It’s important that people opt in to receive your emails, otherwise they may be considered spam. Once you’ve put together a list, select an email marketing service provider. Whichever provider you choose should allow you to manage your contacts, create segmented email groups, and track the performance of your email marketing campaign. When sending emails, be sure to follow FTC guidelines, including telling recipients how to “opt out” from receiving additional emails.

Succeeding with Email Marketing

Whether you do it yourself or with the help of a professional digital marketing agency, email marketing is an affordable way to build your brand, connect with your customers, and increase repeat business. Have you had success with email marketing? Have questions? We’d love to hear from you. Share your comments and questions below.

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Festival of Trees is Back in Marlborough, MA

Wednesday 4th October 2017

Popular Event to Benefit Boys & Girls Club of MetroWest

After a one-year hiatus, the MetroWest Festival of Trees and Holiday Craft Sampler, an annual favorite in Marlborough, Massachusetts, will return this holiday season. It will run December 8 through 10 at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel & Trade Center in Marlborough. The event, which was hosted by the Marlborough Historical Society for the past 8 years, was cancelled last year due to a lack of volunteers.

Paragon Shows Partners with the Boys & Girls Club of MetroWest

Paragon Shows is teaming up with the Boys & Girls Club of MetroWest to bring back the Festival of Trees–which features a dazzling display of over 100 themed Christmas trees–along with a Holiday Craft Sampler, which showcases the region’s most talented artisans and crafters. The decorated trees, donated by local businesses, organizations, and individuals, are raffled off at the end of the event. All proceeds from the raffle will support local youth programs.

“We’re really excited to partner with the Boys & Girls Club of MetroWest in bringing back this favorite holiday tradition,” says MetroWest Festival of Trees and Holiday Craft Sampler Managing Partner Lou-Ann Clement. “All proceeds from the Festival of Trees will support critical programming for over 3,500 at-risk children and teens in the communities surrounding Marlborough, Hudson, and Framingham,” she adds.


Festival of Trees to Benefit MetroWest Youth

“For over 73 years, we have been helping children in the MetroWest community reach their full potential, thanks to the support of our individual donors and charitable and corporate partners,” notes Lauren Costedio, Marketing & Events Coordinator at the Boys & Girls Club of MetroWest. The organization offers youth programming centered around four key areas:

  • Character & Leadership
  • Education & Career
  • Health & Life Skills
  • Sports, Fitness & Recreation

“We’re very thankful for the opportunity to promote our organization’s mission of serving our local youth, while spreading some holiday cheer within our community,” Costedio adds.

Donating to the Festival of Trees

Businesses, individuals, and organizations interested in donating a decorated tree to the Festival of Trees should contact the Boys & Girls Club of MetroWest online, or call Lauren Costedio at 508.485.4912.

Festival of Trees and Holiday Sampler Discount Tickets

An estimated 5,000 people from over 100 different communities attend the Festival of Trees each year. Discount Festival of Trees tickets are now available and may be obtained through Paragon’s website. Crafters and artisans interested in displaying a booth at the event should contact Paragon Shows at 978.688.8888 or visit them online.

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5 Do’s and Don’ts for Engaging Craft Fair Customers

Thursday 21st September 2017
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You’re ready for the holiday craft fair season. You’ve got an awesome display and an interesting variety of products to sell. But if you’re like most people, the process of selling your work makes you a little nervous or uncomfortable. Effectively engaging craft fair customers takes time and practice, but here are some practical tips to get you started:

1. Do dress for success.

You’ve put your best effort into your work and your display, and you should do the same with your personal appearance. How much effort you put into your appearance reflects on your work and your brand. While you don’t need to wear a business suit, leave the baggy t-shirts, sweatshirts, and sweatpants at home. Dress comfortably, but attractively. And if you sell clothing, jewelry, or other accessories, be sure to wear your own work!

2. Do be friendly, but don’t be overwhelming.

Bear in mind that any customer who visits your booth has likely visited many other booths and isn’t looking for another heavy sales pitch. However, customers shouldn’t be ignored, either. A simple “hello” is a great way to acknowledge a booth visitor’s presence without overwhelming her. From there, quickly look for clues as to whether or not your customers are open to further conversation. Are their eyes darting away? Observe their body language–are they angled away from you or are they relaxed and openly facing you?

If the customer appears open to talking, ask them a simple question such as, “have you found anything interesting today,” or “are you having a good time.” Don’t resort to talking about the weather. It’s a boring, easy fallback and a major turnoff to your customers.

3. Don’t have a scripted sales spiel.

Don’t have a scripted sales spiel. It will make your customers feel like you’re talking at them, not to them. Instead, be prepared to speak to customers about whatever naturally suits the situation. For example, if someone says, “What a beautiful necklace,” you might say,“Thank you. I made it with…” Then briefly share a selling point on your product. Next, turn the conversation back to them with something like, “Are you looking for anything specific or just browsing?”

4. Do be prepared to offer discounts.

It can be a successful selling technique to offer discounts to customers who are interested in more than one item. However, you shouldn’t feel obligated to give a discount just because a customer asks for it. A craft fair is not a flea market, and customers need to know the true value of your work.

5. Don’t forget to tell your customers how to reach you.

Recurring sales are key to the success of any craft vendor. With every purchase, include your contact information (email, phone number, Facebook page, and website) so your customers know how to reach you. Consider handing out cards with the dates of your upcoming craft shows.

The Importance of  a Positive Craft Booth Experience

Even if you do everything you should to engage your customers, some may still walk away without buying anything from you. However, if they’ve had a positive experience at your booth, they may come back.

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Holiday Craft Fairs in New England

Looking to engage more customers this holiday craft fair season? Reserve a booth with Paragon Show’s Festival of Trees and Holiday Sampler. This event brings together the excitement of the holiday season and the region’s most talented crafters and artisans. Our shows run December 1-3 at the Naugatuck Event Center in Naugatuck, CT and December 8-10 at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel and Trade Center in Marlborough, MA. Visit our website for exhibitor information. For discount tickets and details regarding upcoming shows, join our email list.

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10 Craft Fair Booth Tips and Tricks

Wednesday 6th September 2017

You’ve worked hard gearing up for the holiday craft show season and you’re ready to sell. But how much time have you put into your craft fair booth itself? When it comes to craft shows, appearance is everything. An attractive, eye-catching display can have a huge impact on your sales. In this month’s blog, we’re sharing 10 craft fair booth tips and tricks for creating a display that customers can’t resist!

1. Plan and measure.

Before you even get started, you need to know how much room you have to work with.

  • Using masking tape, mark off the dimensions of your craft booth.
  • Make note of where the aisles are so you can determine your table placement.
  • Allow space for customers to move around.
  • Don’t forget to provide space for a chair.
  • Note that your booth set up may need to be modified slightly for each craft show you attend.

2. Cover it up.

Once you’ve arranged your space, cover your tables from top to floor. This makes everything look “finished” and allows for discreet under table storage. Go with a neutral color for your table cover so you aren’t taking away from your work.

3. Stick with a theme.

When it comes to attracting customers to your booth, a clean, well-branded display can make all the difference. Your display should reflect who you are and what you make and sell. Your theme should be reflected throughout your booth–from your tablecloth, to your stands and display shelving, to your signs and price tags.

4. Display your signage.

Make sure you have a sign that clearly displays the name of your business and/or logo. It doesn’t have to be a commercially-produced sign. Consider making your own so you can show off the quality of your work.

Display your sign up high if possible, as signs placed in front of a table are not always visible.

5. Make space for your business cards.

You want your customers to know how to reach you. Hand out your business cards to everyone because they can result in future sales.  If a customer requests something you don’t have at your booth, get a name and phone number so you can call later.


6. Arrange your work in categories.

Arrange your work in categories that make sense to your customers. For example, knit hats, mittens, and scarves are carefully arranged in a basket, while felted bird ornaments are displayed together in a tree. This makes it easier for your customers to find what they are looking for.

7. Pick the right props.

The right props can help you catch the eye of your target customers and show them how to use your products. For example, if you’re selling fabric cell phone cases, you might display one with an old phone in it.

8. Use multiple levels.

To draw people into your booth, use props, boxes, and shelving to create height and display your work at multiple levels. Adding height creates visual interest and provides more space for your work. When items are placed flat on a table (facing the ceiling), no one can see them from a distance and your booth will look empty and uninviting.

9. Light it up!

A well-lit display can really help show off your work, so ask the craft show presenter about power options in advance. If power isn’t available, consider using battery-operated string lights or tea lights.

10. Price EVERYTHING!

Most people don’t like asking how much something costs. Your prices should be clearly marked and large enough to read from a short distance. Make sure your price tags and signs fit in with your brand and your booth’s overall look and feel. For example, if you sell primitive art, your price tags might be made from jute and recycled brown paper.

Have any suggestions to add to this list? Share them with us!

Holiday Craft Fairs in New England

Looking to showcase your work at a holiday craft fair? Paragon Show’s Festival of Trees and Holiday Sampler brings together the excitement of the holiday season and the region’s most talented crafters and artisans. Our shows run December 1-3 at the Naugatuck Event Center in Naugatuck, CT and December 8-10 at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel and Trade Center in Marlborough, MA. Visit our website for exhibitor information. For discount tickets and details regarding upcoming shows, join our email list.


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Increase Your Sales with a New Holiday Craft Fair

Monday 28th August 2017


While others are winding down their summers, you’re working hard to gear up for the 2017 holiday craft fair season. Want to increase your sales and reach new customers this year? Try selling your work at a new holiday craft fair. In this month’s blog, we share four ways a new craft show venue like Paragon’s Holiday Sampler Craft Show can boost your sales and benefit your business:

1. Expanded Customer Base

If you’ve been showing at the same holiday craft fairs for the last several years, chances are you are reaching the same people. By presenting at a new craft show like Paragon’s December 2017 Holiday Sampler Craft Shows, you will sell your products to an entirely new group of customers. To make the most of your show, be sure to encourage people to join your mailing list and follow you on social media.

2. New Connections

When you present at a new craft show, you are going to meet a lot of new peoplefrom customers, to fellow artisans and crafters. And as every business owner knows, networking is essential to business success.

3. Enhanced Promotional Opportunities

If you present at a larger holiday craft show like Paragon’s Holiday Sampler and Festival of Trees, you will benefit from their marketing efforts, including press releases, social media, and blogs. Paragon also highlights crafters and artisans on their website, which provides extensive publicity for your work and brand.

4. Increased Potential for Wholesale Orders

These days, many small business owners attend craft fairsespecially larger oneslooking for new and unique items to sell. You never know when you might get an inquiry about wholesale orderseven AFTER the show.  

Holiday Craft Fairs in New England

If you are looking to expand your customer base and increase your sales, reserve a booth at Paragon’s Festival of Trees and Holiday Sampler Craft Show. We’re presenting two exciting shows this year:  our  Naugatuck Festival of Trees and Holiday Sampler from December 1-3 at the Naugatuck Event Center in Naugatuck, CT; and our Metrowest Festival of Trees and Holiday Sampler from December 8-10 at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel & Trade Center in Marlborough, MA. Contact us today to learn more or reserve your booth!

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How to Prepare for Your First Holiday Craft Fair

Tuesday 15th August 2017
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So you’ve decided to participate in your first holiday craft fair. Good for you! For many crafters and artisans, the holiday season is the most lucrative time of the year for sales. You’re excited, but a little overwhelmed, too. Not to worry! In this month’s Paragon Shows blog, we’ll share 5 tips on how to prepare for your first holiday craft show.

5 Tips on How to Prepare for Your First Holiday Craft Fair

1. Ask questions before you sign.

Before you sign your exhibitor contract, ask the craft show presenter the following questions:

  1. How many attendees are expected? Some smaller holiday craft fairs, which attract as little as two to three hundred attendees, may not be worth your effort. 
  2. What type of people typically attend this show? Adults? Children and families? Both? Do attendees typically look for higher-end crafts, or more economical items? This will determine if this show is a good fit for you.
  3. What other crafters and artisans are attending? This will give you a sense of the kind of craft show it is.
  4. What kind of support will the craft show presenter provide you? Some craft show presenters, like Paragon Shows, are truly invested in their artisans and crafters. They offer many benefits, including helping with breaks, featuring crafters and artisans on their website and social media, and providing 500 free promotional cards to all exhibitors.

2. Tailor your craft offerings to your audience.

Use the information you know about the fair’s attendees to tailor the kinds of crafts you’ll make and sell. For example, if you’ll be selling fiber and yarn arts at a family-oriented craft show, you might include more items (e.g. felted toys or brightly-colored hats and mittens) that appeal to younger children.

3. Tell everyone about your craft show!

If you have an email list, send an email notification about the fair to all of your customers. (Remember–customers must “opt in” or choose to be on your mailing list or it’s considered SPAM). Use social media to tell your your colleagues, family, friends, and customers about your participation in the fair. Be sure to include a link to the craft show’s website. Some presenters, like Paragon Shows, offer discount craft show tickets. Be sure to include any discount links in your social media posts. Everyone loves saving money–especially during the holiday season.

4. Plan Your Inventory

Once you know the expected number and type of attendees, it’s time to get crackin’ on your inventory! Be sure to make a variety of items so your booth is well-stocked and interesting to the eye. As a rule, it’s always better to over-make and come back with a few remaining items that can be sold later, than to under-make and miss critical sales.

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5. Work on your display. 

When it comes to attracting customers to your booth, a clean, well-branded display can make all the difference. Your display should reflect who you are and what you make and sell. For example, if you sell primitive decor, this should be reflected throughout your booth–from your table cloth, stands, and display shelving,  to the fonts, graphics, and materials used on your price tags and packaging. Spend some time doing a display “test run” at home before setting up on the big day.

Holiday Craft Fairs in New England

Looking to showcase your work at a holiday craft fair? Paragon Show’s Festival of Trees and Holiday Sampler brings together the excitement of the holiday season and the region’s most talented crafters and artisans. Our shows run December 1-3 at the Naugatuck Event Center in Naugatuck, CT and December 8-10 at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel and Trade Center in Marlborough, MA. Visit our website for exhibitor information. For discount tickets and details regarding upcoming shows, join our email list.

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The Value of Local Craft Fairs

Tuesday 25th July 2017

At a time when nearly everything is mass-produced, local craft fairs give you an opportunity to purchase quality, handcrafted items from skilled artisans. Local craft fairs provide several other valuable benefits to you and your community.

Craft Fairs Feature Unique, Handmade Products

Craft fairs feature unique, handmade products that are often made in smaller or limited quantities. Some items, such as fine paintings or intricate glasswork, are one-of-a-kind finds that you simply cannot get in a store. “Craft fairs expose people to a whole new world of beautiful, unique products” says Kevin Clement, owner of Paragon Shows. “When you attend a craft fair, you often have an opportunity to meet and speak with the artisan who handcrafted the items you purchase, which is pretty special,” he adds.

Craft Fairs Showcase Quality Products

Let’s face it. Handcrafted items are always superior to anything that’s mass-produced. The items you’ll find at Paragon Show’s juried craft fairs and Festival of Trees and Holiday Samplers are made from the highest quality of materials, with great attention to detail. Sure, mass-produced products are a little cheaper than those that are handcrafted, but they typically lack in quality. “And because each item you purchase at a craft fair is individually handcrafted by a skilled artisan, it’s going to have its own unique ‘personality’,” Clement adds.

Craft Fairs Help Preserve Culture and Tradition

Paragon’s craft fairs bring together crafters and artisans who are skilled in a variety of mediums, including:

  • Photography
  • Painting
  • Woodworking
  • Pottery
  • Sculpture
  • Beading
  • Glasswork
  • Weaving
  • Metalwork

Oftentimes, the knowledge and techniques involved in these different mediums have been passed down from generation to generation. By providing a space for talented artisans to gather within the local community, craft shows help raise awareness and appreciation of their work.

When you purchase handcrafted products at local craft fairs, you help support talented artisans and preserve culture and tradition. The holidays will be here before you know it. Be sure to put Paragon’s New England craft fairs on your calendar!

Craft Fairs & Holiday Shows in New England

Paragon’s Festival of Trees and Holiday Sampler brings together the excitement of the holiday season and the region’s most talented crafters and artisans. Our shows run December 1-3 at the Naugatuck Event Center in Naugatuck, CT and December 8-10 at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel and Trade Center in Marlborough, MA. Visit our website for exhibitor information. For discount tickets and details regarding upcoming shows, join our email list.


Are you a crafter or artisan? Help spread the word about the value of handcrafted products by sharing this article on your own social media platforms. 


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