I was asked for help in planning a craft open house. I have had so much experience in this and I'm going to give some tips here.
1. Advertise...advertise...advertise ahead of time. Then put posters out a week before. I can't say enough here. Put your name on the posters and the ads in the newspapers. That way former customers will know that it is you having the sale.
2. Pick out crafters who will compliment your craft what ever it is. I picked out crafters who did entirely different things. One sewed, one made dolls, one made wreaths, one made crocheted items, one did jams and jellies etc.
3. Be ready to move your small furniture to another room. I lived in a house where you could walk from living room to dining room to kitchen and out the back door. We set up the money table in the kitchen and people waited in line through the kitchen. While I'm talking about the money...get your cash box ready the day before.
4. Offer some kind of food. We had cider and each crafter made cookies. They could munch on these while they waited in line. They also went out on the big back deck and sat and visited after the sale.
5. Have the crafters bring their crafts ahead of time. Have them leave them there all priced... ahead of time. I wanted to do the displaying myself, so this worked out for me. The day before I spent just resting and doing a final check of the display.
6. I took my things off the walls and hung their things in place of mine.Display is very important. You want to show case your work as best you can. I had matching cloths on all the tables. A mish mash of colors is distracting. A tablecloth in a dark color shows things off better.
7. I had some potpourri in a hot pot warming, so that the house smelled like fall.
8. I asked everyone to take their unsold things home that day, so we could get the house in order that night.
9. I didn't take a percentage of their sold items. You may want to do this.
10. Everyone had to work the sale. No exceptions. They couldn't bring their kids. (sorry)
11. Decorate the front of the house for fall. Duh..did I need to say this?
12. I didn't have any background music, because the talking made it impossible.
I had a lot of fun during those years. We all have tales to tell...stopping on a busy road to pick dried flowers for bouquets is one of them. We put together bunches of dried flowers and they were sold immediately. Pumpkins sold too...a Grandma from Indiana brought the first mini pumpkins that we ever saw and sold them all. I painted on pumpkins those sold too.Don't offer to price things. It only causes hard feelings if you price them lower that the person thinks they should be. Crafters are all wonderful and ready to make the sale a success. The camaraderie among us was the best. These years were the best years of my life. Busy but the best.