If you’ve never participated in a craft show before, you may have a hard time deciding which ones are for you.
Use this article as a guide to help you sift through the craft fairs 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.
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 this event?
- What type of turnout do you typically get?
- How many vendors do you have?
- What types of vendors do you have?
- How will you be advertising the event?
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 questions 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 products months in advance, and 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 of 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.
For more craft show information, join my free email challenge: 5 DAYS TO A STANDOUT CRAFT SHOW DISPLAY
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!