re: bags - I think it depends on the show and on your product. I personally think it cheapens your product and your booth when an items gets tossed in a rumpled old grocery bag. You can buy brown paper lunch bags, or plain loot bags at the dollar store if your items are small enough, or use small white garbage bags if you have larger items.
Unless you're all about using recycled/reclaimed materials. . . I think packaging is important, and people will remember you if you have great packaging! Your customers don't know that you're a student working at McDo, nor should they - all they know is that you're a crafter selling your wares.
And to add a few more pearls:
- Be sure to read the show rules carefully - can you have a "sale" or "X percentage off "sign? can you hold your own raffle (chances are you can't!)?
- Make sure you're table coverings hang to the floor, and give them a quick press the night before - you want your booth to be inviting, not cheap looking.
- If you're a first-timer, set your booth up once or twice at home prior to the show - get it down pat, how long does it take? Allow for at least that much time the morning of. Take pictures so you have a reference for next time - of what does and doesn't work
- If you can, walk around the show while you're there - what booths draw you in? Are there 3 other booths with a similar product to yours? How can you make yourself stand out when people have already walked by 3 other scarf booths?
- Never chew gum at your booth! if you can avoid eating at your booth even better, of course if you're alone you can't help it, just try to be subtle about it, and don't pack a smelly lunch - would you want to smell someone's tuna sandwich while you're shopping?
I couldn't agree more about the Bags. If you feel that your product is not something people would buy at a dollar store, then your bag should represent that too. I sell jewelry and use those little organza bags. People love those. They are likely to keep it in that bag with my business card rather than is I just put it in a ziploc or something else.
I also look at other's booths for ideas and to see who is doing well and adhere to don't eat at your booth. Drinks ok, but nothing worse is when you just take a bite and someone asks you a question.