To begin everyone should know that I am not a writer so if you see grammatical errors and misuse of punctuations and words don't laugh too hard. I am a craftsman who has done hundreds of craft shows and I thought I would spread some of the things I have learned over the years. You can view my products at http://www.kingswoodworking.store
So your thinking about doing a craft show to make some money or to get your product seen by the masses or both. We'll start this journey with the different types of shows and the pros and cons of both.
First we have what are called Juried Shows. Juried shows are shows that a crafter or artist has to apply for, which usually means you fill out an application and then send in photos of your product, booth set up, and making process. Sometimes you only have to send in photos of your work but there are some where you have to send in all three.
Most juried shows require an application or jury fee which can vary depending on the show. After you pay your fee (which is usually non refundable) and send in your photos a jury will go through the photos and pick out who they think would be a good fit for the show and you will get an invite to participate. They usually limit so many participates per craft medium. For example is you are a woodworker like myself they may have only three spots for wood items. This way you are not competing against a slew of the same products. For example if you make jewelry, you really don't want 15 other vendors selling jewelry. Your sales will probably not be very good, but if they limit this category to say 4 jewelry vendors your odds of making sales goes up.
Juried shows also usually only take handmade vendors, which means there are no direct sales companies, like 31, essential oils, and so on.
The pros: Better exposure, normally higher traffic, well organized, better products all around since they only take the best. No direct sales vendors with massed produced items.
The cons: Normally more up front cost to set up, you may not get an invite, and more work to apply. Non-juried shows: A non-juried shows are the most common. These shows are put on by school pto's, churches, and other smaller events. Non-juried shows do not usually have an application fee and will usually take anyone who applies as long as they have room.
The pros: Easily accessible, low entry fee normally, and abundant. The cons: Usually not much in the way of limiting craft mediums(so you may have a lot of competition in your sales area), usually lower traffic, organization could be bad.
That pretty much sums up the difference in each category of shows. Which shows works best is up to the crafter. In my experience Juried shows to me return more profit than non juried show.
But I am not saying non juried shows are bad. I have done non juried shows many times and still do, I usually do more juried shows for the main fact they limit the craft medium entries. There are pros and cons of both.
My advice is if you are thinking of doing a craft show, first go to a craft show and see what it is like and really think if you would be happy doing a show. And don't be afraid to talk to the crafters.
Most crafters at shows are very nice and will not hesitate on giving you tips and tricks to make them better. I have had many people come into my booth and ask question on doing fairs and festivals, and I am happy to answer any questions they may have.
Also a lot of crafters will tell you what shows are good and which ones were just horrible. But don't go by just their word without asking questions like why the show was bad. Was it not advertised, organization could have been bad, or was traffic really low. Those are the tell tale sign of a bad show.
Someone might tell you the show was bad because they did bad but there were a lot of customers and it was advertised right and organized. So since they didn't sell anything doesn't mean you won't.
So in closing I hope some of this info has helped you. I plan on writing more entries about doing shows so stay tuned. If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask.