If you have a product you know will sell well at craft shows, it’s time to start applying to the best ones. But you want to take the necessary steps on your application form to ensure it doesn’t get tossed.
Craft Show organizers are friendly people and would probably never physically or electronically trash your craft show application, they’re more likely to recycle or soft delete it. But they do have red flags they watch for, as well as some common mistakes that annoy them.
Below are 5 big no-no’s when it comes to submitting your craft show application.
CRAFT SHOW APPLICATION MISTAKE #1: Not reading the fine print
If the 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.
CRAFT SHOW APPLICATION MISTAKE #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.
CRAFT SHOW APPLICATION MISTAKE #3: Being out of date online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.
CRAFT SHOW APPLICATION MISTAKE #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).
CRAFT SHOW APPLICATION MISTAKE #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 ebook 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 ebook and download the free chapter here.
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Hey, I’m Erin 🙂 I write about small business and craft show techniques I’ve learned from being a small business owner for almost 2 decades, selling at dozens of craft shows, and earning a diploma in Visual Communication Design. I hope you find my advice helpful!