I saw someone post how many days it is until Christmas a few days ago. I’ll spare you. My first reaction was “No…stop that.” But if you’ve ever given a handmade gift, you know that you can’t wait until after Thanksgiving to start thinking about the holidays. If you happen to be among those of us crazy enough to participate in craft shows, the holiday prep starts somewhere around mid-summer. I learned that the hard way last year when I tried to apply for shows when fall was arriving and some of the deadlines had already passed. Christmas in July indeed.
This year I knew a bit more about how it works and started paying attention much sooner. As a result, I’m participating in more shows this season. One has passed, and the next is this Friday and Saturday.
Because I had applied for a few shows, and organization is my life, I knew I was going to have to come up with a way to keep track of all the information that goes along with being a vendor. Every show is a little different, and I didn’t want to forget anything or mix them up. After a search that didn’t turn up exactly what I needed, I hit the computer and made my own. Rather than share it right away, I used it for a while to see if I’d missed anything. Of course, I had. But this version contains everything that I’ve found to be important to me.
This may not be the prettiest printable out there, but it’s definitely functional. I outlined each section in a different color for emphasis. It makes it easy to spot at a glance. The first section, in red, outlines the logistics of the show – kind of a who, what, when, where and why. I also made an area to mark whether the show includes handmade and direct sales, whether it is juried and the number of vendors.
The blue section relates to the booth space itself.
The green section covers application, acceptance and fees.
Some shows request or require vendors to provide something to include in goody bags or a raffle prize. The purple section is for tracking that info.
Yellow is for the meat of it all – how much money you spent and made and how many things you sold.
The very last section, in orange, is for your notes after the show. I like to write down how the traffic was, notes about the location, things I may do differently if I vend at that show again and whether I would want to try that one again.
These tracking sheets are working out really well for me so far. I put them in a three ring binder with any other show info, and I can flip to them easily to see when giveaway items are due or whether I’ve paid my booth fee. Even so, I’m sure there are some great ideas out there for info that could be included. What would you add?