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Which Craft Shows Do I Choose?

Every weekend, nearly 600 craft shows take place around the U.S. - that's around 30,000 a year - offering more than 10,000 full-time craftspeople a place to sell their craft show items. According to a National Endowment for the Arts survey, nearly 70 million people attend craft shows annually.

Now, you've selected the craft you want to produce, you've started production, you've tested prices and set up your business. You're ready to take your craft show items on the road. In order to do that, you need to decide where you will test your wares. Initially, many new crafters begin with local one-day shows that cost under $100 to enter and require no prior jury selection.

This means anyone can enter as space allows. This is where you will get your feet wet, iron out the kinks in your product and learn the ropes of "hiccraft show" business! It's preferable to make mistakes when you're paying a $25 entry fee and no travel expenses than when you're paying several hundred or even several thousand dollars to attend and even more for motels, gas and meals.

Although there are wholesale as well as retail craft shows, we will address retail craft shows only. In a wholesale show you are selling your craft at about half of the retail price to buyers who are looking for products for their stores or galleries. You have to sell larger quantities to make up for the lower price, so you may wish to do this down the road when you are more seasoned.

Wholesale craft shows might be a good option for you if you have a way to make your craft show item efficiently and with a good amount of quality. You can make money with your crafts by selling them to larger vendors, and having them peddle them in other craft shows, or even in their studios or stores.

The retail craft shows come in every shape and size, from church bazaars with 20 booths to the Harvest Festival with hundreds of vendors. The attendance varies as well from several thousand at a one-day local craft show, to several hundred thousand at state fairs. How do you decide where to sell your precious products made with your tender loving care?

Various factors will affect your decision, such as the type of craft show, the types of products at the show, the types of customers the show attracts, how vendors are selected, the type of promoter in charge of the show, where the craft show is located, the costs to enter and probably a few more. This doesn't make your job of selecting shows any easier. It's just one part of your business you will improve on as you learn and grow.


Natalie Goyette shows you how to make your craft show business profitable in her best selling ebook: Craft Show Success Secrets. Visit her site: Craftshow Success

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