Defining the Differences
The differences between the types of events you choose to market your products can mean the difference in success and failure. Just because a promoters ad says that the event is packed with buying customers does not mean the show will be worthwhile. Below you will find guidelines to help you determine which types of events are best suited for selling you products.
Many creators of handmade arts and crafts will do well to stay away from flea markets. These events allow a very wide range of exhibits, ranging from imported mass-produced products to yard sale items. However, if you have a product that is priced in the lower-end for its category, you may do well at some flea markets. Keep in mind that the majority of handmade products cannot be sold at a price that will be attractive to the average flea market shopper.
A festival has the type atmosphere that makes many crafters cringe! Arts and crafts are not usually the “main event” at a festival. When people are walking around in the sunlight munching on a corn dog, watching parades and live music, they do not think about buying quality merchandise. That same shopper might very well be a great customer at another event. Though many feature crafts, festivals are not where big profits are made.
Now we come to the catchall of events, the craft show. A typical craft show should
consist of handmade products alone. No mass produced items should be sold at craft shows. Some event management will weed out vendors by using a “jury process” in order to ensure that only certain guidelines are met.
But too many events bill themselves as “craft shows” and “craft fairs” where the promoter will actually allow anything from bake-sale items to mass-produced imports. In other words anyone with a booth fee may exhibit. And booth fees at shows can range in price from 4 5.00 to thousands. Higher fees do not definitely mean higher profits, so be cautious when choosing which events you will attend.
So how do you determine what shows are worthwhile? Your best tool is using knowledge gained from other’s experience. Visit online craft business forums to pose questions to others in the industry. Printed publications such as Sunshine Arts, Where the Shows Are, Craft Lister and others offer a wealth of information in finding good events in which to market you products. ( Lasley Newsletters 2006)