If you’ve never done a craft show before, you may have a
hard time deciding which ones are for you. Nothing beats the face to face time
you will get with your customers no matter how many sales you make online. Use
this article as a guide to help you sift through the sales in your area and
make profitable choices.
1) Check out craft
sales as a shopper. Take your time to go to a few craft shows to get a good idea
of what they’re all about and the types of products people are selling. You can
find a list of craft shows, farmers’ markets and festivals on our Event page.
This will also be a great opportunity to talk to other vendors and find out
which shows they recommend. I’ve always found crafters eager to share
information to help a fellow crafter out.
2) Talk to the
organizer. If it’s an annual or bi-annual show, find out as much
information as you can from them. Some questions to ask may be;
- How many times have you held
- What type of turnout do you
- How many vendors do you have?
- What types of vendors do you
- How will you be advertising the
- What is the cost of a table and
what is included?
Make sure that you will fit in with the craft show and the
type of people it will attract, but not get lost. If you're short on cash or inventory, see if they offer half tables that you could share with another vendor. (For a complete list of question to ask the organizer, check out 10 Questions to Ask Before Committing to a Craft Show)
3) Think about your
workload. Based on the event organizer’s answers and the feedback you
receive from other vendors, figure out whether you will have time to prepare
for this event. Consider the pieces you want to showcase, how many items you'll need and the time it takes to price and tag everything. Depending on
the size of the sale, I’ve started making product months in advance, and I was
still up the night before making those last pieces, tagging, ironing, etc.
4) Take a look at
your schedule. If you’re planning out markets to attend for your summer or
holiday season, be sure you aren’t scheduling them too close together. You want
to be sure you have enough time to build up stock if you happen to sell the majority
or all of your pieces. Take into account any personal obligations you have on
your calendar that may keep you busy, custom orders you may have to fill after
a sale and any retailers you need stock for. Everything can add up so be sure
you’re not being overzealous and creating a recipe for burnout.
5) Figure out your
costs. If you’ve decided on a particular sale you’d like to attend,
make sure you will even out before you commit to it. Take into consideration
all of your costs such as; table price, materials for your products, cost of
gas to get there and back and if it’s your first sale, the necessities like;
table cloth, table and chairs if not included, display props. Paying hundreds
of dollars to participate in a craft sale may not be worth it if your products
have a low price point.