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My journey with Craft Shows #1: Craft Shows #1

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Blog entry by Dusty2004 posted 06-12-2012 07:59 PM 3326 reads 2 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of My journey with Craft Shows series Part 2: What does it take? »

I know I am kind of late to get into the Craft Shows this year but first I need to decide if doing Craft Shows is the thing for me. Do I want to tie up my weekends with the shows.

But first I guess a little background on me. I love woodworking. Seeing a finished project that someone likes and uses is enjoyable. As I am sure most do I hate sanding and I constantly work at trying to cut down on the sanding. I work full time in IT for a large company. I am leaving at the end of the year.

One of the ways I was looking to provide some income is to do some woodworking. After reading a lot and researching what seems to work and does not work it appears just a website is not going to cut it. So I have to find other avenues to drive business and to drive customers to my website. Thus this journey. Is craft shows one of the ways I can drive business? What seems to sell at Craft Shows and is this something I want to try?

So I have identified 9 Craft Shows withing a reasonable distance from where I live from now to the end of the year. I have decided to look at the larger craft shows (based on numbers the Shows provide) to see just how big they really are. Then I want to attend as many of the shows as I can. I know it will take up a full day for each and will have some costs involved – gas, food, etc.

I understand that these shows are not the cheap shows. I also understand that most (actually I believe all) are Juried so if I find I do want to do shows I will have to do some small shows this year yet to get my pictures and history that I can use with the Juried shows next year. I also understand that I will have to see what the vendors who are selling wood related products are selling and how they seem to be selling and at what price. No sense going into it if I am going to lose money or not sell anything. Dusty



2 comments so far

View jerrells's profile

jerrells

851 posts in 1538 days


#1 posted 06-13-2012 01:35 PM

WELL my answer to your general question is YES and NO. Craft show can bring in lots of money or not any at all. You have got to choose well. I advise a group of about 70 crafters on this subject and know a little about it.

1. One of the basic rules is to visit the show first and talk to other crafters. But that means you wait a year – does not sound like your answer.

2. Placement – if you do not have good placement on the floor it will affect your sales. Nead the food, near the bathroon, at major hallway insection, near or close to the BIG booths are all good.

3. Lenght of days. THree day shows can be a killer for one person to handle. YOu wouold need at least two or three persons to man a booth for a three day show (mu opinion).

4. Type of products being shown. What type of show is it. IF you go to an Arts and Crafts show vs. and Arts show they are different. Know what types of products will be there.

5. Most of us do this for the love of it not really the money in it. Sometimes I think I make about $2.00 per hour. Not worth it in the real world but I love doing my work.

6. Pick shows. You seem to say you have several lined up. I would have said pick two or three to test the water. That seems to be a better idea.

7. Display – Display. Think about how you will display your items. Also, think about the range of items you will take. You have got to have enough to last the whole show. Also, price range. Some say the will litterl their table with lower priced to draw customers and the upsell to higher priced.

8. Market your self. Business Cards, Informational sheets, price flyers, picture books anything to allow multiple customer to look at one time. AND LOTS of take home information to, in your case, drive them to your WEB Site of however you sell.

9. Look at ETSY or other venues. I sell at a craft store near me and I am still thinking about another. Explore thos if you can find them. YES you give up a small part of the sale to the shop owner but get you name out more.

JUst things to think about and I hope it helps.

-- Just learning the craft my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ practiced.

View Dusty2004's profile

Dusty2004

22 posts in 829 days


#2 posted 06-13-2012 04:14 PM

First let me say thanks! I appreciate all the feedback as others who ave traveled this path can help me avoid the pitfalls.

WELL my answer to your general question is YES and NO. Craft show can bring in lots of money or not any at all. You have got to choose well. I advise a group of about 70 crafters on this subject and know a little about it.

That is great! I will gladly take any and all information you will be willing to share.

1. One of the basic rules is to visit the show first and talk to other crafters. But that means you wait a year – does not sound like your answer.

I think that will fit well into my plans. I do not plan on doing many if any shows this year. I have identified 9 that I want to travel to and see the fair. What do they sell? Are the crowds what they say they are going to be? etc.

2. Placement – if you do not have good placement on the floor it will affect your sales. Nead the food, near the bathroon, at major hallway insection, near or close to the BIG booths are all good.

This makes a lot of sense. How does one get into the best placement (or better placement) in a show? First come first served? Been doing the show for years? Getting to know the chairman of the booths?

3. Lenght of days. THree day shows can be a killer for one person to handle. YOu wouold need at least two or three persons to man a booth for a three day show (mu opinion).

Killer because of exhaustion? What makes it hard? Maybe a better question would be what are the parts of the show that I to make sure I prepare for? What should I do and what should I avoid? Maybe these are better left for later when I know more about the shows.

4. Type of products being shown. What type of show is it. IF you go to an Arts and Crafts show vs. and Arts show they are different. Know what types of products will be there.

That is one of the reasons I want to visit the shows this year to get to know what is being offered and what seems to sell.

5. Most of us do this for the love of it not really the money in it. Sometimes I think I make about $2.00 per hour. Not worth it in the real world but I love doing my work.

You love being around the customers? Other vendors? Seeing people enjoy a product you make?

6. Pick shows. You seem to say you have several lined up. I would have said pick two or three to test the water. That seems to be a better idea.

I will think about this one some. Maybe be best to do little this year other than getting to understand the shows – techniques – what sells and then start a little small next year.

7. Display – Display. Think about how you will display your items. Also, think about the range of items you will take. You have got to have enough to last the whole show. Also, price range. Some say the will litterl their table with lower priced to draw customers and the upsell to higher priced.

I actually had a few items in mind but I really am flexible with what I will make and sell.

8. Market your self. Business Cards, Informational sheets, price flyers, picture books anything to allow multiple customer to look at one time. AND LOTS of take home information to, in your case, drive them to your WEB Site of however you sell.

I am just starting to get a web site together so I don’t have much there yet. Do you think there should be multiple of these at one show? Business cards – informational sheets – flyers? Would an I-Pad showing additional products be worthwhile with a flyer showing pictures – info – contacts?

9. Look at ETSY or other venues. I sell at a craft store near me and I am still thinking about another. Explore thos if you can find them. YES you give up a small part of the sale to the shop owner but get you name out more.

I have looked at that site and a few others. I am looking at all options. What type of craft stores do you work with and how did you find them?

JUst things to think about and I hope it helps.

All thoughts and comments are welcome.

Dusty

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