When attending craft shows, there are some simple things to keep in mind that will make you a better neighbor.. Remember that there are others at the event who, like you, are there to make money. To make the best of things you should try to acknowledge the needs and rights of you fellow crafters. Remember they may well provide you with information regarding other shows that maybe of interest to you.
Stay within your allotted space.
If your display needs that extra “couple of inches”, buy it from the promoters before the event. Often you will need to purchase a “double” booth or at least an additional half space. Check with the show promoter to see what options you have regarding measurements. If you do not want to incur that added expense, you may need to redesign your display so that it will fir in the space you purchase. Whatever you do, do not extend your display into your neighbor’s space! The quickest way to make an enemy at a show is to steal space from a fellow exhibitor.
And it is stealing. When you put your display into another crafter’s booth, you are taking space that someone else has paid for, which is theft, not to mention, rude.
Design your booth in a way that makes it accessible without infringing on your neighbor.
While this relates to the guideline above, It is actually a little different. Sometimes, a display layout may need to be accessible from two sides. In most cases this would require a corner or end spot (yeah they cost more too, check with the folks in charge of your event). If you are side by side with two other exhibitors, your booth will only be accessible from the front. Don’t expect your neighbor to redesign their booth so customers can get to an extra side of yours.
Be friendly to fellow exhibitors, but don’t be a pest.
It is fine to visit with other exhibitors at a show; in fact I love meeting new crafters! But don’t stand around talking if a customer walks in. Remember, craftspeople are there to make money. They can’t do that if someone is continually visiting or blocking customers from viewing their wares.
Give yourself enough time to set up before the show begins.
Setting up a booth at a craft fair takes time. It takes more time for some than others. Whether it takes you a few minutes or several hours, be sure you allot enough time to finish before customers arrive. Boxes blocking aisles keep customers from visiting other booths. Even if you are not in the aisles, setting up a display in your space while the show is open distracts customers. This can hurt sales for yourself and your colleagues.
To sum it up, be aware that there are others attending craft events beside yourself. Be courteous to fellow craftspeople and keep in mind that what may work for you may infringe upon other exhibitors. Too many negative happenings can make enemies of your fellow craftspeople, or even get you banned from a show. By getting along with others, you can sometimes make important contacts and better yet, friends for life!
BURNOUT IN THE CANDLE INDUSTRY?
This is an interesting article regarding candle sales.
While sales of candles declined by more than 7% this year, candle-consumption continues to boom. According to a report from MaxTel, sales of candles are flowing from higher-end specialty candle-makers like Yankee Candle Company toward less expensive alternatives. So more people are spending less money to buy more and varied scented candles. Take a look at the price differences. I recently purchased a 9 oz. jar candle for $ 8.00, and was offered 3 (mix or match) for $ 20.00. A 22 oz. candle from Yankee Candle would have cost me $ 22.99.
The Yankee candles are nice, but I have found that the jar candles by craft makers far exceed the quality by any machine made candles on the market.
My feeling is, that when I purchase a candle from a crafter, I actually have helped a small businessperson.
There is a new “fad”, electric oil burners. These are generally manufactured in China and are of less than US standards in quality. Many are fraught with electrical problems, bulbs with very short life span and shoddy workmanship. I’m told that replacement bulbs are
$ 3.00 to $ 6.00 each, and hard to find.
Companies like Wal-Mart, Target and other big box stores sell candles at far below market prices. The buyers of these candles are generally disappointed with the results of the candles. They have less fragrance and don’t burn as long. These candles are not considered quality products.
One message that I want to convey is, “ for truly quality candles, purchase from a craft candle-maker”. There is a misnomer, that all candles are the same, wrong!
Brian White, writer for MaxTel, 2007.