Post Event Craft Show Tracking

Another show is in the books.  We had an average show yesterday.  Not the best show ever but not the worst by any means.  We made our booth fee back and a good profit.  Now is the time I start thinking forward to the next show but don’t make that mistake.  Instead I will take some time today documenting sales and making notes about the show.  Here is why this is so important.  

Even if you are a casual crafter that just sells in one or two shows a year, it is important to keep track of what you sell.  This can help you know what items sell best, if you are pricing correctly and how much profit you made.  

Here is how I do it.  I have a spiral notebook that I use during the show.  This is where all of my handwritten notes are kept during the show.  If we are exhibiting with Holton Handicraft items, I use a count and recount system to track sales.  I count each item before the show and write it down in the notebook.  Then at the end of the show I count each item again and enter it into the notebook.  For Lathe Junkie items we used a tagging system to keep track of inventory and make it easier to select items out of our Etsy shop.  During a show we write down the tag numbers in the notebook.  The actual tags are set aside for comparison later.  This notebook page is also used to make note of our booth number, booth fee and starting cash amount.  It is also a great place to write down tidbits picked up throughout the day.  I balance out the cash and credit card amounts on this page too and compare them to the tallies I kept throughout the day.  At the end of the day it is a one page snapshot of what happened at the show.  

I use a worksheet to track all of our sales, online and at shows.  This worksheet is designed to look at what was sold my month.  I can also track the items that were sold and the expenses involved.  It tallies my sales for me so I can see quickly how I am doing each month.   

I like to give a show three years and then look back at how we did before I decide if it is a good show for the following year.  My tracking methods allow me to see that quickly and know when it is time to walk away from a show or if we should continue to exhibit in it.  

Take the time after each sale or show to track your sales.  Use my method or create your own.  You will find lots of benefits and maybe even save some money and grief in the process.

Until next time...