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May 01, 2012

Three Step Guide to Show Success


Three Step Guide to
Show Success

It is hard to believe the "un-official" start to summer is only days away. While many are busy planning their vacations, camps and activities for the summer, we encourage all customers to consider doing several shows this summer -- even if that is something you have never done. Craft shows, street festivals and fairs can be a great way to improve your sales for the entire year if you choose the right show and do everything you can to maximize the event. In this issue of the En-light-ener we will outline how to approach this in three steps.

Step 1

Picking the correct show is important and, unfortunately, there is not a full proof method without doing extensive homework. By doing some preliminary homework you can pick the better shows for your line. Always contact the event's coordinator/promoter and get as much preliminary information as possible. Find out things like how many people attended last year’s event, theme of the show if any, what things they have added, who exhibited and contacts for past exhibitors so you can call get their experience with the show. Also, if they have a preliminary list of exhibitors for the upcoming show,  you can cross reference the repeats. If a large list return, this will tell you the show was very good for them.

If possible make sure your target price for candles will be consistent with the show. If your line uses upscale glass and you want to cater to the high end candle purchasers, then the "flea market" show is not a good fit. If you want to clear out old inventory on your candles, then a flea market might be right. If you have the list of exhibitors and they include candle companies, research their general pricing or type of candle line they offer.

"Google" the event to see what type if any pre- or post- press took place. Make sure all cost of entry are clearly outlined and you know the rules of the show. If you can’t park too close to your booth, you may need extra time to set up or a hand dolly or wagon to get your candles to the booth. If the show is outside and you can’t set up a canopy, then the candles may melt.

If you want to minimize the impact to you for a potential bad show, try and tie in with a vacation, visiting friend or relatives, or close to a vendor (hint, hint, hint) where you can tie picking up materials after or before the show. This way if the show is not successful it help defray the cost of getting to a place you were planning on going.

Step 2

Preparing for the actual show can be the most important aspect of having a successful show. By doing your research on the type of show and what type of exhibitors can help determine what type of candles to bring. If the show is "Country Themed", be sure to bring fragrances best suited for that audience. While it may go without saying, we do want to note if there is a theme be sure to heavily stock up on those type of fragrances, i.e. Apple Festivals, Peach festivals, Strawberry and etc bring your best fragrances for that theme.

The hardest part of any show is knowing how much inventory to bring to the event. You definitely do not want to bring too little and loose out on potential sales, but at the same time you do not want to bring too many candles because you will have to carry them to and from the booth. If the show is close enough have a back up plan where the candles are easily retrievable for someone else to grab for you.

Another important aspect of preparing is having a "Plan" for maximizing the event. Selling your candles is always the primary focus but the event should also be used as a great opportunity to gather email addresses or mailing addresses for people who stop by the booth. Be sure to offer something like a "Basket", free tea lights, or other promotional ideas to get this information.

If you have a data base be sure to let your Customers know where you will be and be sure to stop by. Maybe have incentive if they say we got your newsletter or something offer "free" or discount at the show. If you have followers on Facebook be sure to promote where you will be.

Step 3

"Showtime" starts early in the day of the event. Be sure to have your car packed early and give yourself extra time to arrive. Bigger events do limit how close you can park to your actual booth and will make setting harder and longer. Smaller shows may let you drive up to set up but will require you to move the vehicle well before people starting arriving so be sure to leave yourself time for this.

Make sure you have as many different fragrances as you have available for potential customers to test. Use the entire show to interact with anyone walking by or into your both. The direct interaction with potential customers can be priceless. Find out what they like and dislike about candles, what fragrances they may be looking for and ideas for new glassware. Don’t sit behind the booth waiting for people to walk up, stand in front and make yourself available for any questions.

If you have people helping out be sure to walk around and possibly talk with the other vendors find out what shows they like. Look at the other booths and get some decorating ideas and layout on what seems to be working for them.

While the inclination will be if the show is going slow to pull out your book or phone we encourage ignore this temptation and interact if possible.

While there is no guarantee the show you will pick will work out exactly as you planned but preparing can help make it as successful as possible. As mentioned earlier if you can use the show as another platform can definitely help you feel productive that day.

Hi! I'm Chandler!
I can help you
learn how to make candles.


How do I keep my wick centered in the candle?

For votives

You have several options: the wick pin is an excellent way to ensure the wick is centered in the candle. An added feature of using the wick pin is that it allows you to use other wicks such as cotton, flat braided and round wicks in the candle. Another option with votives is to use the 33 mm oblong clip. This clip fits perfectly at the bottom of the candle and ensures your wick will stay centered at the bottom.

For jars and container candles

It is a littler trickier but the Glue Dots are an excellent way to keep them in the center of the container at the bottom. To ensure they are straight throughout the candle secure the wick on top of the container with a wick bar or other securing bar.

It is very important for the safety of the burning candle and performance that the wick is centered in the entire candle. When the wick is not centered it can waiver over to the sides of the glass container making for intense heat in a confined area.



May 2012

Featured Project:
No Melting Required

As the summer rapidly approaches many are planning activities for summer camps, Vacation Bible Schools and school year end carnivals. While standard candle making and/or soap making may be too extensive, there are still many activities to introduce these crafts and help spread your name with very little cost. 

100 % natural candles with rolled beeswax

For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of the beeswax sheets, they are exactly what they sound like – sheets of beeswax, but come in a variety of colors.

Typically a square braid wick is used for rolling beeswax and the type of wick depends on the size of the finished candle. I recommend you get a roll of a small and medium to start (4/0 and 1/0).

We have books available that show the many wonderful things you can do with beeswax sheets. I recommend BK-3, BK-4 and BK-5 to get started.

Not sure which to try? I suggest getting a sampler pack of mixed colors and textures. You do not have a choice of color or style, but it is usually a good sampling across the board and it comes with a free book.

Wax Art Crystals Candles

Wax art crystals, or granulated wax, is a wax that has been formed into tiny beads slightly larger than sand. The product is available in a myriad of colors. What makes this so easy is that the wax does not have to be melted. It can be easily poured into any "candle safe" container. For anyone who has seen Sand Art, the concept is identical except when you are finished you have a candle that can be burned.

Once you have selected the proper container, take a completed wick assembly (one with a base) and place into the glass container. The best wick for this application is going to be something like a 34-40 paper.

The best way to get started is to select several colors and gently pour into the glass container with a spoon or other dispensing tool. You can take multiple colors and layer them in the glass to the desired height. For ultimate effects such as waves, you can take a long, narrow pointer such as a knitting needle and slide down the side of the glass container. This will create "waves" in the wax. This is a project any age child or adult can enjoy. This is a great project for cub scouts, girl scouts and camping trips. The candles can even be used as wedding favors.

The true advantage to wax art crystals is that they may also be melted and poured to make votives, pillars and even small containers. The wax art crystals are easy-to-handle and can be melted in any type of double boiler. The colors are slightly more concentrated, so white wax art crystals should be added to any color to lessen the intensity. What is nice is you can mix, match and melt the crystals to get any color shade you desire. The wax art crystals should be considered by any candle company that is interested in trying to learn how to pour and make candles.

Easy Soap Bars

The last project is to take a soap base, color and/or scent it, and pour into a larger cookie sheet maybe 1/4" thick. When it’s set up, cut the sheet into any smaller size that is easier to handle. Then get some cookie cutters and allow the kids to cut several pieces of the soap base. Then put a small amount of water between each layer, and when it dries the child has a finished soap bar.  

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