Business Focus: 10 Tips for Holiday Craft Show Success

Executive DirectorBusiness & Finance2 Comments

Here we are again in the final days of November, which means that soapmakers around the world are getting ready for holiday crafts fairs, where they will be showcasing their finest wares. If you are selling soap at holiday boutiques, here are some tips to help you with your holiday displays:

  1. Display your products right up front: Because soaps and body care products are delicate and often subtly packaged, moving a display case or table to the front of the booth makes the products stand out more than if they are lined up along the sides or the back. Many shoppers are timid about stepping into a booth, unless something grabs their attention right away.
  2. Build height into your display: Eye level visuals are attractive and help your soap’s fragrance reach customers’ olfactory senses. I’ve often times gained customers at shows, because the scent reaches out and draws them to the booth.
  3. Put out samples: A sample of your soap or lotion in the bathroom, along with a small card that gives your company name and booth location gives a hands-on experience for shoppers to try the product. Put out small sizes, because sometimes the samples disappear. At one show I put out a sample of my Tuberose soap in the ladies room near my booth. An hour later I went to use the restroom and discovered that my soap had disappeared, dish and all. (I had been there after the cleaning crew and they had not removed it).
  4. Give your display visual interest: Stagger the products so that the products visually overlap, making the display look fuller and more appealing. Shoppers avoid displays that seem picked over.
  5. Replenish your display: Keep your display looking fresh, and also the activity of restocking attracts shoppers. Don’t forget to check the tidiness of your display. As the show gets busy, items get moved around; take the time to tidy up.
  6. Add eye appeal: Colorful wash cloths, scrubbies, and holiday ribbons draw attention to your display. Reds, oranges, and yellows are the fastest colors to reach the eye. Adding splashes of color in to your display will draw the shoppers’ eyes.
  7. Make signs that help you get your message out: Remind shoppers that your products make great stocking stuffers or office gifts. Make the signs colorful and bold enough to be easily read while walking toward your booth.
  8. Offer something for free: Seconds can be cut into small pieces to offer as free samples. We all love getting something for free. Offering a free sample gives you the bonus of having an extra opportunity to engage with shoppers, increasing the potential of converting them to paying customers.
  9. Be festive: Bring the holidays into your booth. If you have clothing that is holiday themed have fun and wear it
  10. Enjoy the season: . Shoppers are more likely to buy from someone who is sincere and enjoying themselves.

Have a fun and successful show season!  If you have other tips that you would like to share, please add a comment.


Monique Hodgkinson is a member of the HSMG’s Social Media Committee. For over five years she successfully marketed her handcrafted soap at small regional and large wholesale shows across the country.When not making soap, Monique spends her time as a marketing consultant serving small and medium sized businesses.

2 Comments on “Business Focus: 10 Tips for Holiday Craft Show Success”

  1. Good advice…here’s a few of my pet peeves:

    1. Be sure your signs are professional looking! There’s nothing more tacky than handwritten signs scribbled out crookedly on the back of a coffee stained piece of used notebook paper with a pen that’s about to run out of ink! Have some pride people!

    2. Stop selling your 5 oz. luxury bars with organic oils and exotic butters for $3/bar! You’re killing me (and our entire industry)!

    3. Put the dad gum weight on the front of your products! How do you expect me to buy something if I don’t know what the heck I’m getting?

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