We had a hole in our show list for this weekend so I grabbed a show because it was available. After I just got done telling you to be sure to do your homework on a show first, I broke my own rule with this show. My justification was that some show was better than no show on this busy craft show weekend. As a result of not doing my homework, here we sit at a very slow show. We are almost 2 hours into this 5 hour show and we have not had a sale. We will be lucky to make back our booth fee and the cover the donation I was required to make.
The problem with this show is the lack of shoppers. This generally means that the coordinator did little or nothing to promote the show. This supports a county 4H program so I would have expected at least 4H members to be aware of the show. The location we are in is a bit off the main roads but well placed signs would have helped with that. We only saw one small sign. The few shoppers here are also lookers not purchasers. Normally by the weekend before Thanksgiving, people are starting to think Christmas gifts. This is not the type of show where our items sell best so I already know this one is a no go for next year.
How a craft show is marketed can make a difference to you and how much you will sell. I love when the show promoter uses social media in order to gain excitement for their show. Some shows are better than others at doing this.
One of the best shows that I know of that promotes is one that we have been a vendor at for a number of years; Mark Twain Craft Bazaar. This show is a big fundraiser for the PTO at Mark Twain Elementary in Westerville, OH. The show promoter has a website http://www.marktwaincraftbazaar.org/ that gives you basics about the show. Over the years I have also seen her create a brand for the show that helps identify it to shoppers. She also uses the website to drive traffic over to the show’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/MarkTwainCraftBazaar where she has over 1100 followers. Starting at least 30 days before the bazaar, she uses the Facebook page to showcase vendors who will be at the show. This gives the shopper a chance to preview items that will be at the show. You can see our post on the right. She also set up a Facebook event for the show. This makes it easy for me to share the event on my own Facebook pages. This promotes not only the show but the fact that we are going to be there.
Don’t trust your show is going to create and event and promote it. A lot of the shows we participate in don’t. In these cases it is up to you to do the promoting. There are a variety of ways to do this that are free. Rely on the social services you already use. Create your own Facebook event, post on Instagram, or Twitter. If you have an Etsy shop promote on the Etsy Local page or on your own web site. Even if the show does promote any of these can be additional free advertising for you.
In addition to these methods, I also post pictures on Facebook of us set up at the show with an exact location of our booth. The bottom line is to market yourself and your products. A little bit of effort can make a big difference.
Hello! I am Linda Holton from Holton Handicrafts. I am partner to my hubby The Lathe Junkie, mother to two grown children, two fur babies, and four grandchildren. I love to craft and write and have a large variety of interests. On my blog I share with you my experiences and fun ideas for You, Your Pet, and Your Home with lots of other fun thrown in.
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