Craft fairs don’t come with guarantees. You can never know for sure whether you’ll have a great day selling at craft shows, or whether you’ll practically see tumbleweeds rolling in the aisles between booths. The tricky part is finding the right craft shows for your product.

Questions-To-Ask-To-Pick-The-Right-Craft-ShowHere are questions to ask when choosing a craft show:

Application Process

  • Is there a membership application requirement?
  • Are spaces filled by category?
  • Is there a limit of number of vendors per category?
  • How many of them are crafters? 2D artists?
  • Is this a juried show? First come, first-served show? Invitation only show?
  • If this is a juried show, who views the applications, photos, and slides?
  • Is there a jury fee? How much?
  • Is there an application fee? How much?
  • Is there a minimum jury score requirement/cutoff to be accepted for the show?
  • When are selections made?
  • How many applications were received last year?
  • Who makes up the jury?
  • When will exhibitors be notified of acceptance?
  • Are there any cancellation penalties or rules?
  • How many exhibitors from last year are allowed back?
  • How many new applicants are accepted?
  • Is there a tenure option or an option to return to the show next year?
  • Will you provide a list of exhibitors for reference?

Policies

  • What is your policy for inclement weather if the show is outdoors?
  • What kind of security is there if it is a two or more day show?
  • Are there any insurance requirements?
  • What is your policy about non handcrafted merchandise?
  • Are imports, buy/sell or commercial merchandise allowed?

Booth/Inventory/Crafter Questions

  • What is the price of the booth space?
  • Is electricity available – for a fee?
  • How many vendors are in attendance?
  • What is the size of the booth?
  • Is there a variety of booth sizes?
  • Is there a fee for parking?
  • How accessible is parking?
  • What hotel/accommodations are nearby?
  • Is parking different for during the show, breakdown/set up, overnight?
  • Is carpet rental available? What’s the fee?
  • Is extra space or a double space available?
  • Are demonstrations allowed?
  • Is additional space or discounts provided for demonstrations?
  • What is the recommended price range for art/craft-work in this show?
  • Is the crafter expected to donate a door prize or raffle item?
  • Are there any special costume requirements?
  • Is there a program advertising fee?
  • Are tables and/or chairs available, and is there a fee for them?

Promotion/Customer Base

  • How many people generally attend? (Last year’s attendance)
  • How and where is the show advertised? (The number of customers will be directly related to this!)
  • What are the demographics of the customers?
  • How many years has this show been in existence?
  • How many years has this show been in this location?
  • How frequently and for how long has the show been advertised?
  • How comprehensive is the advertising coverage?
  • How many people do you expect to attend this year?
  • Are promotional tools – invitations, postcards, flyers, etc provided to exhibitors?

General Show Questions

  • What is the style of the show? (country, contemporary, traditional, etc.)
  • What time does the show start and end?
  • How early can we be there to set up?
  • Is there air conditioning?
  • Is the show outdoors – rain or shine?
  • Do you have attendance figures?
  • Is there an admission charged to the public?
  • Is there plenty of customer parking?
  • Is the show held in conjunction with another activity, or is it solely an arts/crafts show?
  • Are there food concessions?
  • Is there entertainment? What kind?

Questions To Ask Those Who Have Done the Show

  • What art/crafts/products are selling?
  • Is attendance up to expectation?
  • How is the set up – is the traffic flow good when crowded?
  • What is the quality of the crafts in the show?

Participating in craft shows is a great way to learn more about your customers and improve your business. Choose wisely and you’re sure to enjoy yourself along the way!

Gary Capps

I live in the one of the most beautiful places in the world on the Sunshine Coast in Australia with my wife and our 2 dogs, Poppy and Mia. Since 2009 I have helped over 15,000 handmade business owners to grow their business with our software and free tools designed for todays entrepreneurial artisan.

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