here are my pearls of wisdom!
+ bring a friend with you, so when you need to use the restroom/eat you can have a trusted person keep an eye on your stuff
+ tag everything. customers like having prices nice and clear, few will inquire about an item's price if it is not obvious
+ bring more stock than you think you'll need. you never know who is going to love what. for a particular show, i made some small, inexpensive coin purses, much to my suprise, they were a hit and i sold out!
+ never underestimate the convienence of rolling luggage. if your show does not supply flatbeds and dollys, rolling luggage is an excellent method of getting your goods from your vehicle to your booth without zapping your energy
+ if sharing a space with another crafter, discuss money handling BEFORE the show, and buy change (ones and fives mostly) the day BEFORE the show, so if the computers are down at the bank, its less stressful because you don't have to be at your booth that exact moment
+ get a good night's rest, and a good breakfast!!
also, my list of must-haves for shows:
promo stuffs: business cards, fliers, postcards, freebies
display things: of course! (think: large bowls, platters, acrylic risers, divided snack trays, etc. to keep your products off of the table, to create visual interest. i always place a shiny plate of pins (or anything small) at the edge of my table to catch people's eyes. they see the tray first ("oh, shiny!") and quickly see what i sell. this is when i start talking to them, and answer any questions)
signage: if you sell things that are impractical for tagging, and easier to group
bags for purchases
about $200 in change
money apron (personal preference)
nail clippers: for emergency hangnail removal
extra tablecloth(s): just in case / to use as a blanket / to sit on
mints: because minty breath is appreciated by everyone
allergy pills: because you never know what's going to be in the air that day, and you don't want to be out there with a runny nose all day!
free candy: for the kids
pens & markers
mailing list sign-up sheet
clip board (i'm suprised i didn't write this in earlier, i always take my clip board!)
duct tape: you never know when you'll need it!
digital camera: so you can show your friends what they missed
For outdoor shows, also concider:
clamps: to keep your table cloths in place if it gets windy
sunscreen & lip balm
extra tablecloths: for shade! create an instant wall on your canopy and stay cool
plastic drop sheets: in case the weather suddenly turns foul
and last but not least:
a cheery disposition and good attitude!
oh - and music! i bought a boombox purse just to take to shows so that everyone can listen to my ipod out there. i prefer to keep it under the table, pointed up, so that everyone hears the music. it drew people nearer too, because they were trying to find the music source! http://www.mosmyownspace.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=groove-master&Category_Code=music