Questions to Ask When Choosing a Craft Show

by Marie Bernier

March 3, 2016

Whether you’re an experienced vendor or are selling at your first craft show, deciding which craft fairs to attend can be challenging. Finding the right show to display your wares for optimal sales requires research. You may also want to consult with some of your fellow crafters for their insights. But before you run to the Internet or seek out the advice of other crafters, you should ask yourself some questions to be sure you’ve honed in on what’s important to your craft.

  1. Is the show you’d like to attend well-advertised? Is the show promoted in local newspaper ads, online, and in and around town? Typically, you want to find shows with a decent amount of foot traffic. The level of advertising can tell you a lot about potential foot traffic. A well-advertised craft show tells you that the show organizers know how to attract the right customers and you’re more likely to experience a well-attended event.
  2. You’ll want to determine the fees you can realistically afford to pay for a show. You can then find a craft fair that charge fees that fit into your budget. Keep in mind that lower booth fees may mean that there’s typically not as much traffic. However, attending a larger show does not always mean more sales. Weighing the pros and cons of each show’s potential can help you determine whether or not the show is worth attending.
  3. Consider the location of the show. Is the show located in a highly populated area? What types of transportation do craft enthusiasts typically use to get to the craft show? Are there multiple craft shows in the area at one time or during one season? Both population and the number of craft show options for attendees can impact attendance. Also, look to see if there are other big events, besides the craft show, happening on the same date. On the one hand events that draw out-of-towners may mean that people will be looking for things to do during their travels. On the other hand, if large local events are competing for attendees, attendance at an arts and crafts show may suffer.
  4. Can the show organizer give you a history of show attendance? Previous attendance may be a determining factor in potential outcome. Now might be a good time to reach out to your fellow crafters and see what their opinions are of the attendance for the craft show you’re considering. Keep in mind that not all foot traffic will come by your booth or purchase your products, but high attendance may be a good sign of potential. Also, be sure you dig into what type of crafts had the most sales success for a specific show that you’re considering attending.
  5. How many vendors have historically attended the show? What type of crafts appear to be popular for a particular show? Find out if there are returning vendors. If vendors are not returning from the previous year, it could be a sign not to attend the show. There is a reason why vendors are not returning to the show. Attend well established shows that have a good customer following and repeat vendors.
  6. Will your target market be in attendance? What are the demographics of the people that live in the area? Does the craft show attract more city or suburban consumers? Is your product consistent with other vendors’ products at the craft show? You don’t want to end up selling your craft in a city or town in which potential customers would never purchase what you are offering. Check the demographics where the craft show will be held. What are the lifestyles, interests and buying habits of potential attendees?
  7. Would other crafters recommend the craft show? Crafters are usually not afraid to spread the word about their experience, whether it’s good or bad, you’re likely able to find some feedback. Social media forums are a good place to get feedback and opinions too. Just be careful to follow only credible sources.
  8. In addition to the fees for the show, there are other expenses to consider. Are you staying in a hotel or a motel? How far do you have to drive to reach the craft show? Do you have to bring your own table or is one provided for you? How long will it take you to set up your booth, craft, and get yourself situated? What and where are you going to eat? All of your expenses will eventually add up, so it’s important to calculate potential costs before signing up for the show.

With a little up front research hopefully you’ll find craft shows to sell your wares. Remember, research is essential and is key to determining how, when and where to sell your products. Don’t forget to smile, meet new crafters, and enjoy yourself; before you know it, you’ll be on your way to craft shows that are perfect for you and your success.


Sources:

Selling at Craft Shows: How to Choose the Right Fair for You and Your Products

Finding A Craft Show

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