What every artist should needs for a successful art market

What every artist should needs for a successful art market

Taking the leap and venturing into the world of craft fairs and art markets is such an exciting time! But if you are anything like me, there is a lot going on when preparing for an event which makes it easy to forget everything you need. And, if you’re new to this world - you probably don’t even know what you need to bring with you to your market.

Today - I’m going to share with you my event kit. Everything from how I store and transport to what I pack in it. Let’s get started! I’m going to use the word EVENT but please know this applies to art fairs, art markets, pop up events, craft fairs, whatever you want to call it!

Let’s start with the WHYI’m not going to answer WHY ART EVENTS AND CRAFT FAIRS today. That will be something I will cover in a future blog with you. Today, the why is WHY AN EVENT KIT. The answer is simple - so you are prepared when you get to your event destination.


With most events, you walk in the morning of the fair, and you don’t have any clue what kind of situation you are going to have. From booth space, weather, and environmental conditions to foot traffic and how people engage with your booth – it varies between every art show! Having a kit will provide you with an arsenal of supplies to adjust on the fly and take care of yourself as the day goes on. Because these events can get busy or be REALLY boring.


Starting with my kit, I purchased this from Michael’s. What I love about it

  • Handle
  • Divided top compartment.
  • Spacious bottom half for bulky items


My event kit can be broken down into 3 categories:

  • Supplies for booth set up.
  • Supplies for selling.
  • Supplies for self-care.


Category 1: Booth Set Up


The supplies that I find to be the most helpful for my booth set up includes scissors, duct tape, s-hooks, chain, zip ties, price tags, tape/sticky tac, lint roller and wire (for 2D artists).  All of these items are great to have on hand. I recommend choosing a duct tape and zip tie color that would most closely match your booth tablecloth and tent canopy.  I find that I use the duct tape the most to pin back my tablecloth to make sure shoppers don’t trip.

I use the sticky tac/tape for securing my price tags since I don’t attach them to my artworks.  I find the sticky tac is great because it’s reusable and durable in all weather conditions. Just don’t every put it directly on your artwork – especially in hot weather!

Lint rollers are great to clean pet hair (guilty) and other little debris off your tablecloth.  Remember, this is your STORE! You want it to feel clean and approachable.

The s-hooks and chain come in handy for hanging tote bags and coffee mugs.  I find that they aren’t often used but great to have on hand in case of an emergency!

Other odds & ends items if space allows : wire , wire cutters, bungee cords, hammer, needle nose pliers.


Category 2: Selling


This category may feel obvious but trust me when I say this – you don’t want to forget ANY of these items! Make sure you always have your card reader in your kit and charged.  I recommend also keeping a charged power bank with you as back up for your phone and card reader. 

Along with your card reader, make sure you have cash!  I have done some events where 90% of my buyers are using cash – so it’s important to not miss out on those sales.

Last, but not least, business cards and a newsletter sign-up sheet with a pen.  I know, I know – business cards may SEEM out of date, but friend, I tell you they are not.  In the last year I have received multiple commissions from people taking my business card home.  These commissions have come 4-8 months AFTER they took the card too – so it’s worth it, trust me!

A newsletter sign-up is another amazing way to stay engaged with your potential customers.  Social media is phenomenal, but the algorithm is often not our friend.  I also believe in forming a closer and more tight-knit community with a newsletter.  This is always my goal with my newsletters and if you haven’t yet, I do recommend checking them out.  It’s always great to follow other artists’ newsletters to get ideas and inspiration!


Category 3: Self Care


The most important part of an event (especially an outdoor event in extreme weather) is taking care of yourself.  This looks like packing healthy food and snacks that won’t make you feel crummy.  My go to favorite is this broccoli salad, https://downshiftology.com/recipes/broccoli-salad/ .  I can’t eat dairy so in the recipe, I just sub dairy free options and it is still SUPER tasty! Chopped carrots and guacamole and overnight oats are also favorites of mine. I recommend that you try some different foods and find out what works best for you.

I just pack everything up in a little personal cooler the morning of the event.


Packing your own food is always a good idea since you don’t have to leave your booth to find food and wait in food truck lines, and you don’t have to spend any of your hard-earned money! = MORE PROFITS!!

Another, very important component of self-care is having water!  Some events will provide the artist’s with water but I find some of the smaller craft fairs and art markets don’t have the staff or resources to provide water. Bring extra water, and I mean H20 not soda, and stay hydrated!  Nothing will take you down faster than getting dehydrated during an event.

A few other essentials for self-care that I always keep in my kits are: tissues, chapstick, breath mints, hand sanitizer, bug spray (outdoor events), pain reliever, book/sketchbook, and hand warmers (in the cooler months)! 


Be sure to head on over and check it out my vlog about this topic! I talk in more detail about the event kit and show examples!


Download your artist event kit here: https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0563/3386/1036/files/event_kit_checklist.pdf?v=1703714712

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