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With the changing of seasons from Winter to Spring, you’ll likely see more craft shows and fairs popping up. While I’ve shared a lot of information related to fairs and markets before, I realized I haven’t given you any advice on how to choose craft shows that might work best for your business.
The best way to determine if a craft show is right for your business is to ask the organizer some questions. Here’s a list of those questions:
8 Questions to Ask a Craft Show Organizer Before Signing Up
- How many shows have you hosted in the past? It’s no secret: First year events (and not just craft shows and fairs) rarely do off without issues. If the organizer hasn’t had experience hosting other large events in the past, you may want to skip it.
- How many vendor spaces are available and how many spaces remain? This is a good question to ask because you can see if the show will be full or not. If it is two weeks to the event and there are 100 out of 150 vendor spaces remaining, it might be a red flag to not attend the show.
- How many vendors are returning from last year? If the event was held last year, the organizer should be able to give you an estimate of how many returning vendors will be present. If very few vendors from last year are returning this year, it’s probably a sign that last year’s show didn’t perform well.
- Is this a juried event? A juried event means that vendors must submit samples before being accepted into the show. This helps organizers know how many of each type of vendor will be at each show. (Read more about this here.) I’ve seen shows where there have been 50 spaces and 35 of them have been jewelry. If you sell jewelry, it might not be the show for you.
- How many people are expected to attend? A good organizer will have an estimate of the number of people that will attend the show and should be able to give you the demographic of those being advertised to. Knowing how many potential customers (and information about them) will be available can help you make a decision about whether or not the booth fee is worth it – and it can help you determine how much inventory to bring. (Here are my tips on how much to take with you.)
- Is there a fee to attend the show? Put simply, if shoppers have to pay to get through the door to shop – you will have more serious shoppers. Keep this in mind as you choose craft shows.
- Besides the booth fee, what other costs are there? At many shows, it is expected that all vendors donate a giveaway product for a raffle or donate loot to giveaway bags. Be sure you are clear on the expectations before you sign up for the show.
- The show specifics. Be sure to ask the event organizer all the logistics questions: How large is the booth space? Is it inside or outside? Is electricity available? For outside shows, what happens if it rains/snows? What time is setup? What time is tear down? Are there cancellation fees? While most show organizers will have a sheet with all of this information covered, be sure to go over the information carefully. If anything you need to know is missing, don’t be afraid to ask.
Craft shows and fairs can be hit or miss. If you attend a show and don’t do as well as you expected – don’t put the blame entirely on yourself. A lot of the success of vendors falls onto the shoulders of the organizers.
Ready to read my craft show tips? Head over here.
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Since 2015, Christine Schinagl has been helping crafters start and run craft businesses through her blog, Cutting for Business. As a Silhouette and Cricut crafter herself, she has a unique take on what works and what doesn’t work in the craft business world. She also teaches a course on creating digital SVG designs, available at How to Design SVGs.