Accepting Credit Cards at Craft Shows

Trade shows have long given you a wonderful venue to showcase and market your products while networking with colleagues. Thanks to today’s wireless technologies, they can now deliver an additional bonus. With a minimum of fuss or muss, you can now take your products on the road and accept credit cards right at your display or booth.

If you want to join the modern portable credit card revolution, you should first check to be sure that you have permission to sell your products at the show. If you get the okay from the organizers, it’s time to determine what equipment you will use. Accepting credit card payments can occur in several ways, but all of them will either require a Wi-Fi or cellular connection. You will need to contact your merchant services provider to get signed up with a wireless plan.

Once your wireless merchant plan is in place, you can accept credit cards in different ways. One option is to purchase or lease a wireless credit card terminal from your provider. It functions in the same way that your stationary point-of-sale terminal does in your brick-and-mortar store except that it is not connected to the internet via a USB cord. A second way to accept customers’ plastic at trade shows is via your internet-enabled tablet or smartphone. In conjunction with a credit card swiper or reader and software, this provides a fast, portable and secure payment avenue. Your last option is to bring your laptop or tablet with you to the show and use it as a virtual credit card terminal via special software and a USD card reader. Decide which of these solutions is best for you, get in touch with a merchant provider and you can be up and running in no time.

Before you set up shop at the trade show, there are some steps you can take to maximize your chances of success. Make sure your tablet or smartphone is fully charged, and bring along an extra battery or charger to ensure that you are not left without power in the middle of the event. Train your staff well in advance to avoid rookie jitters and mistakes. Come up with signage that alerts visitors to your display to the fact that you have some or all of the items you are demonstrating available for sale right now. Finally, take steps to make certain that you have enough inventory to go around. Once people realize that the item that has captured their attention at your booth can be in their own hands immediately, the human love for instant gratification will often take hold. You might be surprised at just how much you sell.

Many entrepreneurs look at trade shows as a necessary evil and lament the long hours spent attempting to entice potential visitors to stop by at their display but with little to show for it at the end of the day. With the advances in wireless innovation, you can now accept payments wherever you go. That has the potential to make even the longest day at a trade show go by in an instant.