There are several factors that go into
producing a good craft show so just because an organizer is lacking an element
below, doesn’t mean that the show won’t be great. However if all areas are
waving a giant, bright red flag, that may give you a good indication as to
whether it will be worth your time and money or not.
1) THEIR RULES AND TERMS HAVE A NEGATIVE VIBE
We can't tell you how many amazing event organizers we've come across through Made Urban and their positive vibe is evident across the board; in their emails, their photos, their Facebook posts, etc. Organizers need to have rules in place to
ensure vendors are committed and they don’t get stiffed at the end of the day, but if their terms have a negative vibe, seem outrageous and completely unaccommodating, it could be
a sign of what’s to come. There is always a nice way to put things and you
don’t want to deal with someone who is snippy or rude (even in written form)
when they’re trying to make a customer out of you; how will they treat you once
they have your money?
2) THEY DON’T HAVE AN ONLINE PRESENCE
In this day and age, you’re missing out if
you don’t have your business online in some way. There are some events that are
in a small enough town or have been around for years and have a huge following, that it makes spreading the word
easy. But if you’re in a big city where a couple posters and word of mouth
won’t cut it, a blog, website, Facebook Page, Twitter, etc. is extremely
helpful. If none of those are in place (or they are but are a ghost town), be
sure to inquire as to how they’re going to market the event.
3) VENDOR LINE UP DOESN’T LOOK PROMISING
If they have a website or social media
page, you should be able to find which vendors are participating. If the show
isn’t juried or you’re seeing a lot of home based businesses, you may end up competing with mass produced products or several other vendors selling items under the same category as you. Juried events mean that the organizers take applications, review them and accept vendors that fit their theme, spacing and
diversity. Without this process, they may be missing the vendor variety needed for an interesting show.
4) THEY DON’T SEEM EXCITED ABOUT YOUR
Organizers need to be passionate about what
they’re selling and you, your products and your brand are a part of that. If
they aren’t enthusiastic about what you do and excited that you’re thinking about applying,
have applied or are accepted to the show, it may be reflected in their
marketing. They should be boasting about the vendors that are going to be
attending and if they’re not excited, how are they going to get shoppers
excited about attending?
5) MULTIPLE VENDORS DON’T HAVE GOOD THINGS TO
There are bound to be vendors who aren’t
happy with a show due to low sales, but that doesn’t mean it’s the organizers
fault. Their products may not have been a fit for the show, their price point
may have been too high for the demographic, their attitude may have been poor,
etc. One or two unhappy vendors don’t define whether a craft show is good or
not. Multiple vendors all having the same complaints is a pretty clear sign
that something was off.
6) THE ORGANIZER ISN’T RESPONSIVE OR ORGANIZED
Craft shows and events take a lot of
planning and organization to be successful, making the organizers busy people.
Don’t expect a response within the hour but if you’re constantly having to
follow up to get an application form, an email answered or they’re oblivious as
to who you are each time you are in contact, put some more thought into whether
this is the right show for you. These are things that are a part of their job
so if they’re not getting those areas right, there may be other areas that are
slipping through the cracks too.
7) THEY'RE UNWILLING TO DISCUSS DETAILS
If you’re chatting with them before making
your decision and they’re unwilling to divulge any details, it may be a sign
they don’t have many for you. As long as you’re not asking for sensitive
information or company secrets, they should be able to tell you basic
information that will help you make a decision. Here’s a good list of questions
to ask an organizer before committing to a craft show. Businesses don't want to give away too much inside information but if you're deciding whether or not you want to spend your money on a booth, they should be able to give you some general info.
8) TIMING AND LOCATION DON'T SEEM OPTIMAL
Planning to hold an event on the same
weekend as another big event can cause a conflict. Sometimes that can work in
the event’s favor by piggybacking off of their crowds or working with the other
organizer to cross promote. But if the event you're thinking of applying to is on the same weekend as a city festival and in the other direction, it may have low
attendance. Location of the event should also be taken into consideration. Look
for plenty of; free parking, foot traffic, visibility and easy directions. Venues that
require a drive out of the city, expensive parking fees or are hard to find may
deter some shoppers from visiting (especially if bad weather compounds on top
9) THEY’RE UNKNOWN AND FEES ARE HIGH
New events can be great but generally when
someone is organizing their first show, they start small and keep fees low since they have a bit of a learning curve ahead of them. If
you don’t know the organizer from the craft scene, you can’t find any previous
events they’ve organized and they’re going big in terms of venue, vendors and
fees; you may want to see how their first event goes before diving in. It could
turn out to be a great event despite these facts but do your
homework on them to be sure they know how to put on a good show, despite never
doing it before.
10) THE EVENT DESCRIPTION CONFLICTS WITH THEIR
If they’re telling you it’s going to be a
unique, modern, edgy craft show but their logo and posters say otherwise, they
may know what they want to deliver but are unsure how to do it. You should get
a good feel for the type of show it will be from their logo alone. If you’re
getting an opposite vibe of what they say they’re delivering, chances are
shoppers will too which is going to affect the type of crowd it attracts.
If you're looking for more hints on what to watch for and the essentials to look for when considering events to join, check out our e-book: MAKE MORE MONEY AT CRAFT FAIRS. It will help you avoid the events that aren't right for your business and ensure you submit a killer application so you're sure you get into the ones you choose (even if your brand isn't a perfect fit).
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