The cost of a booth/table is often the most important factor for crafters when choosing the right craft show. You should also consider whether the show will be held indoors or outdoors, whether you want to see your work first (juried), and the attendance record of the show. Also, make sure that the attendees are interested in what you have to offer. Let’s look at some of these concerns.
Cost of the Craft Booth
Although your main motivation for crafting is to express yourself creatively, it’s nice to make some extra money. Others feel the need to justify the price of craft supplies and make enough money to support their hobbies or addictions. Others view their craft or art as a business.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a new vendor or an established one, knowing your break-even point is the most important tip for craft marketing. This will allow you to determine the amount you can spend on a booth. You make $5 headbands. Assume that only 2% people who attend craft shows will purchase what you have. If you sell to those 2%, the booth fee of $600 must be paid by more than 6000 people. Are you able to afford the $600 booth cost ($5 x 120 headsbands = $600) if you have 120 headbands (6000 buyers x 2% buyers =120) in your stock?
Remember that your booth costs are only a fraction of the preparation and money spent on the craft show. You will also need to purchase the fabric (or material) for the headbands and food at the craft show. These expenses are divided by the $5 you sell and you will get the number of items that you need to break even.
Indoor or Outdoor Craft Venues
Extreme weather or bad weather can affect the attendance, which could impact your sales. Outdoor displays are often affected by wind. Anchoring your booth with water jugs or heavy sandbags is a must. Many outdoor locations and parks won’t permit you to put stakes in the ground. Indoor shows may require you to bring an antifatigue mat. Concrete floors are more difficult on the back than dirt or grass.
Juried vs. Non-Juried Craft Shows
It is often a benefit for all to allow the organizer of the show to decide which artisans are allowed to attend. Juried shows allow you to submit a sample, often as a photograph, of your work in order to check if it meets the organization’s standards. Juried shows are a way to prevent too many people doing similar work from crowding a show. It would be a disaster if every booth sold headbands, like the one in this example.
People who sell multiple-level marketing products (Tupperware and Avon, for example). They may not be handcrafters, but they might be business owners. These vendors are often not allowed to be separated from crafters at juried shows. What does this mean for scrapbookers, who not only sell paper but also offer creative paper usage options (greeting cards and origami)? Many crafters take pride in their handmade products and will send photos to jurors for their protection. Organizers want their vendors to be happy.
Histories of Craft Show Attendance
Participation in a festival or show for the first time (first year), should be taken with caution. This is especially true for organizers who are new to the job. They don’t always know how to market their show. They often accept vendors one week before the show.
First time shows offer a chance to meet new members of the crafting community. This is also a chance for novice crafters, who can visit the show as buyers and get a feel of its potential. Crafters should never waste their time attending a show. Analyzing displays will help you discover what works and what doesn’t.
A large attendance does not necessarily mean that the event will be a success. What is the main focus of the event? The craft show or another thing? While having multiple things happening simultaneously at a show can bring in more visitors, it could also distract potential buyers.
Are Craft Show Attendees Compatible with Your Products?
Ask vendors what the show is doing for them if there is a lull. Pay close attention to others who sell similar items to yours. Do they do well? Are they doing well?
Many shows prefer one vendor per booth. Two people can help with inventory shortage, sales and restroom breaks. If attendance is low, it can also help to pass the time. You can also visit other booths during slower periods to view displays and talk with vendors.
You can offer a variety of products, colors, and prices. This will help you attract more customers. It is your job as a craftsperson to offer unique products that are not available in stores. Do you find it appealing to see 100 hats in a booth?
It is more than buying a booth at a craft show. It’s about deciding if the investment is worth it. Are you able to welcome visitors? Are the prices clearly displayed? It is best to first go to a show as a buyer, then to talk with the vendors. Find out who is responsible for the next show if they are happy selling.