It's Craft Show Season! (Do you know where to find shows to vend at?)

This is my stand from Saturday. Uh, I don't know what is up with the tablecloths except that it was 6 am and my first show of the year. I didn't notice them at the time.

Craft Show Season!

Craft show season has officially begun for me! If you remember, last year I did a show every weekend of the summer (sometimes I did more than 1 show per weekend), with only a couple of weekends off. This year, I am not doing that. Originally, my plan was to not do any shows because of my booth at Building Character. But then I started getting invitations again and remembering how much fun it was and decided to go ahead with a few.

You may have noticed my zine in my Etsy Shop "Craft Show Tips." It is packed with tons of information (27 pages worth!) and lots of tips for only $5.
(A tip I should add is to make sure your tablecloths are even.)

Today I am going to share a tiny portion of it: How to Find Craft Shows.

My Main 2 Ways:

1. There are two (2) major ways I have found each craft show and market I have done up to this point. The first one was that I got on the email list for the Creative House of Lancaster (www.thechl.org). You may have a similar “art club” in your town. I am not really a member of this group, but I am on their mailing list. Whenever they have an event they send out a mass email informing everyone. Other people having events email this group and they in turn send out other events as well. I was busy for several weeks based only upon these emails. (Once you are on a mailing list, you will receive more notifications for events than you could ever do.)

Think about your target audience and where they will be. If you sell children’s wares, perhaps you want to get involved with a children’s group and find out different children’s events that need vendors. Really take some time to consider who you think will buy your products and find a way to put your items in their path.

2. Each year I buy Art and Craft Show Directory. The one I buy is put out by the Market House Craft Center P.O. Box 204, East Petersburg, PA 17520, and is for Lancaster (where I live) and the surrounding area. I buy it at A.C. Moore at the beginning of the year. Check out local craft supply stores for something similar.

The book lists each show, the person in charge of the event along with their contact information and usually the date the application is due and the fee. Additionally, it lists attendance of each show and how much people pay to get in, as well as other information. Contact the people far enough in advance to meet the deadline. Usually I go through the book at the beginning of the year and make preliminary calls and emails to get more information on each potential show.

Other Ways to Find Shows

1. There are online services that list art and craft shows. You have to pay for some, but you can still figure out enough information without paying for the service. I don’t think I would pay, but it may be worth it for you, especially if you don’t know of any groups to get involved with or there isn’t a book for you to purchase. Some areas do not have as many shows as others, so you will want to make sure you don’t miss the big one! Just do a search and you will find many websites that offer this service.

Here are a few:

2. It is really easy to find more shows when you begin vending at shows. Just ask your neighbors at the show and they will give you suggestions. Be careful to keep your own target audience in mind when deciding on shows, even when getting tips from others. For example, I was telling a craft show acquaintance about a great experience I had at a show and basically trying to convince her that it would be a great place for her to try. However she knew her audience and nicely explained to me why it might not be quite as great a place for herself.

3. People who are organizing events, or people who are looking to start handmade, crafty or artist ventures attend these events. For example, I got space at a gallery this way, a consignment gig, and I have found out about other art and craft shows and the weekly market I vend.

These are a few of the ways I find shows. If you are near Lancaster, PA, there is the option of Second Saturday at Eastern Market and Crafty by Nature on First Sunday at Shupp's Grove.


alex said...

great article! can't wait to see your booth at Crafty By Nature!! I'll post this on my blogs (www.craftybynature.wordpress.com and www.allmimsy.squarespace.com)for any CBN attendees that want to get more involved in the "scene."

B.B. Bellezza said...

Thank you!