Okay…that title may be a little harsh.
Craft Show organizers are friendly people and probably never physically or
electronically trash your application, they’re more likely to recycle or soft
delete it, but they are people just like us and have their peeves. Below are 5
big no-no’s when it comes to applying to shows.
1) Not reading the fine print
application asks you to attach photos, don’t link to Facebook and tell them to
search your photo albums there. If they ask for a Facebook link, don’t give
them your page name (i.e. “Search ‘Jane’s Handmade Stuff’ on Facebook”) send
the actual clickable link. If they ask you to send photos in jpg format, don’t
send png's...you get the idea.
Each craft show is different so be sure you don’t
assume because the last 5 you’ve applied to ask for links to photos that the
next one wants the same. Read over the application carefully to be sure you're following all directions and deadlines.
2) Not being online
Organizers want to come across as professionals and in turn need you to come off as a professional as well. They want to see
that you’re putting effort into your business not running a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants operation. If you don’t have a website,
blog or Facebook account set up, they’ll wonder how legit you are and if you’re
capable of bringing anything to the table.
Event planners want vendors who
participate, not just show up. Being able to show them an active social media
account communicates that you have a fan base to invite to the craft show.
3) Being out of date online
If you have an
online presence but you never use it, make some updates before you submit your
application. Update your cover photo, add a few new posts, make sure your
website or online store reflects your newest product line and don’t use the
personal Hotmail account you set up in Jr. High for the email field.
Organizers want to see that you're going to put effort into their event. If you don't put effort into your website, social media pages or the little details like your email address, they may wonder what you're going to bring to their craft fair table.
4) Bad photos
Seems obvious but photos are
an area that many handmade vendors neglect even though they can have such a huge impact with
just a few small changes. Don’t place your beautifully crafted products on
the nearest flat surface; unless you’re selling products that are used on the
floor, kitchen counter or bed, those backgrounds are not a fit for your
items and they’ll look out of place there. A piece of white poster board and
natural lighting is all you need to give your products a professional look. Check
out the difference made to a photo with just a few small changes (you can click on the photo or here to read more about the elements changed to get the end result).
5) Same old, same old
Try to avoid submitting
photos of products that the organizer will likely be seeing from multiple vendors. Of
course you can’t know what other vendors are submitting but if there’s a major
trend in your category (i.e. Minions or Frozen themes under Kid's categories), you can
bet that most people have already jumped on it.
You may want to use one photo to
show that you’re up to date on those trends but you also want to communicate that you can bring something different and
original to the craft show table. If you had to look through pictures of products
under your category all day, what would stand out? It’s all about playing up
your strengths to set yourself apart; if you’re great at photography but are
selling a basic product, make those photos out of this world.
On that same note; if you’re applying to
the same craft show year after year, keep it fresh! Whether you’ve been
accepted to past shows or not, be sure you’re updating your descriptions and
photos to fit with the times, your new products/branding and any new directions
the show has taken.
For more tips on majorly increasing your chances of being accepted to the craft fairs you really want to sell at, check out my e-book MAKE MORE MONEY AT CRAFT FAIRS.
I would also encourage you to download the free chapter MAKING PRODUCTS THAT PROFIT. Not only to see for yourself the valuable content that's found in the book but also to ensure you're making and selling the best products you can be to get you the best profits.
You can check out all the areas I cover in the e-book and download the free chapter here.
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Feel free to add your tips or peeves in the comments!