Monday, January 26, 2009

Just the right show....

In more than 10 years of doing art fairs and craft shows, I have picked up some tips along the way...mostly from doing it wrong and looking for an easier way over and over! I will be sharing some of that information over the next few months!

If you can add anything, please do so!!!! If there is a topic that you would like to see...Leave a comment! Every bit of information that we can share helps not only our fellow artists and artisans, but also ourselves.


Today is all about finding the right show...

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a home & garden show trying to sell your handmade fishing lures or at a seaside resort with your knitted winter-wear? How about trying to sell your gallery quality high-end jewelry at a church bazaar? While these are extreme examples of shows that don’t perhaps fit the product, they do illustrate the need to match your product and business up with a show that’s a good fit!

Important things to look for when deciding on a show:

*How long has the show been in business? "First Annual" shows are not usually my 1st pick. Unless they are VERY well advertised, traffic could be iffy
*How and where are they advertising? This is important as you want as much traffic to the show as possible. More customers means more opportunity for sales.
*Do their customer demographics match up with your target market? For example…If you sell jewelry and your primary customers are women between the ages of 20 & 50, will you have a good audience at this show?
*Location, Location, Location. This is always a consideration. Is the show close to home? The higher your travel expenses, the more sales you need to make in order to realize a profit. You need to carefully weigh the potential sales and benefits of the show with the travel expenses you will incur. If a show has an extremely high attendance, especially in your target market, is very well advertised, has the potential for good publicity for your business…then travelling 250 miles or more may make a lot of sense!


There are other things to consider that don’t have such a direct impact…Have you done a show with this promoter before? Are they vendor friendly? Is the booth fee proportionate to the number of shoppers? Does the time of year fit your product? Do they offer helpers to load/unload and tables if needed? Is electricity available?

“Shop” for your shows like you would your supplies. Make sure you apply for quality shows that are a good fit for your business. Remember that shows are rarely the same two years in a row, especially in this ever changing economy.

Good Luck and Good Shows!

7 comments:

Valerie said...

Great points! Thanks for sharing

KimberlyRies said...

Great info Willow. I try to visit a show the first year as an attendee to gauge traffic, competition, etc. Then if I thinks it'sa good fit, I sign up the following year. Another way to do this would be to ask people who have exhibited how they did and if they'll be returning. If you know someone there, I am sure they'd give you an honest answer. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us.

Kim
http://kimberlyries.blogspot.com

Lona said...

Great tips. It's always a bit unsettling when we head to a show and find ourselves near a plastic food storage dealer...

pinkfink said...

Great information and thank you for sharing with us!

Last year was my first year doing shows and I learned the hard way that the 'annual' shows that have been around more than a couple years are the best for me.

ChezChani said...

Thanks for sharing some of the things you've learned from experience, very generous!!

Sarah said...

Good advice. I would just add a recommendation: When "scoping out" a show, look at what people are BUYING, not just at how many people are in attendance. I have found that at many very well attended shows, there are a lot of people walking around with nothing in their hands.

Judi FitzPatrick said...

Thank you for sharing this great info!
Peace, Judi