Here are a couple of tips I put together from my experiences so far of doing open art markets. Hope you enjoy.
by Kathy / wellerwishes.com
Your appearance: Make an effort! Dress nice!
People dress as an extension of themselves and as a visual artist I am no different. But when I am feeling over extended I tend to dress to "hide". My first day at SOWA, I was in such a rush in the morning and got such a lack of sleep the night before that I did not give as much thought and consideration to my appearance as I normally would. I did not look and feel as "bright" and chipper as I might and this may have showed to my visitors. From now on, when I'm getting ready to go, I will imagine that I am attending to a casual outdoor party where I want to put my best face forward and I will prepare accordingly.
Your booth is more than just a table
As a designer, I'm well aware of this simply by my day to day work - you always have to consider the whole space allotted, not just a portion of it . I strive to keep the bigger picture in mind when it comes to my booth presentation also, while also always considering the details as well. This is a work in progress - in the future I plan to have a nice backdrop on one of the walls as well to really further activate my space (plus I have some other fun things up my sleeve for future set-ups)!
Your attitude and demeanor at your booth
When you are manning your own booth, you are always "on". This is a casual, relaxed and the atmosphere should be fun and light. When working at or attending any outdoor art/craft market, a very personable mood in the air comes packaged with the event given the outdoor relaxed vibe. People are approaching your "personal space" to check out your wares -- and everybody is different. Some potential customers want to talk; some would prefer to be left alone. How to act/react? It's a fine line to walk, between being totally involved in everyone who approaches and starting conversations, and being a passive, relaxed but friendly and on constant stand-by for any possible questions or interactions. My goal is to just be myself, but to try to temper my mood to the day, and to the vendor "hat" I am wearing, consistently, for the allotted time. I don't want to be too caffeinated, or too ultra-relaxed, either. I am there to "work it" after all but in a relaxed way. (I don't want to scare people away with enthusiasm! Ha.. ) It takes some getting used to, but honestly I think I'm getting better at it.