by Lisa McGrimmon
Plenty of craft show ideas and tips to help you make the most of your craft fair sales opportunities.
If you're taking the plunge to sell your crafts at a few shows, a bit of research, planning and preparation will help you make the most of these events. Read on for tips on finding good shows in your area, applying to juried art shows, taking great photos for your applications, creating a fabulous display, and getting organized to make the most of your day.
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An easy and reliable way to find craft shows in your area is to check out listings in your area craft show directory. Here's how to find a craft show directory for your location, what to look for in the listings, and what to be wary of.
Once you do a few shows, you will quickly discover not all shows are created equal. Some will present fabulous opportunities, and at others, you'll struggle to make your booth fee. Some shows are great for one type of vendor, and not so great for others. Here are a few factors to consider when you're looking at committing time and money to participate in a craft show to help you choose the best shows for you.
There are a few pros and cons to consider before you commit to doing smaller, local craft shows. Some are fabulously organized and well attended, others...not so much. Small craft shows can be a lower risk way to get started with shows. Are they right for you? Read on to decide.
The best craft shows that present the best opportunity for sales are usually juried shows. And the best juried shows are the most competitive to get into. If you want to sell your crafts at the very best shows you first need to know how to show your work at its very best.
You absolutely must have great photos of your products to submit to juried art shows. That means, either hiring a pro, or becoming skilled with your camera and photo editing software.
Remember, your photos are typically all the jury has on hand to assess your work, so if you want to get into better shows, and particularly if you work in a competitive category like jewelry, you can't compromise on the quality of your photos.
If you want to learn how to take your own product shots for craft show applications (also a useful and necessary skill if you plan to sell crafts online) here are my favorite resources on product photography.
It is absolutely essential to submit excellent product photos in your juried craft show applications. This is not a place to cut corners. Should you take your own photos or hire a pro to do the job? Read on to help make the right decision for your business.
When I started to sell crafts online and at juried shows, getting great photos was a big struggle. The Craft's Guide to Taking Great Photos is the product photography book I wish was around when I started. This book will show you how to take the type of styled photos you see on great blogs.
Photographing Art, Crafts, and Collectibles is an excellent, thorough guide to taking photos with white or black background traditionally required by juries. If you need to learn how to take your own excellent product shots for juried art show applications, this is the book you need.
Your photo shoot is not the end of the process of creating great photos for juried craft show applications. You'll need to edit them as well. You may need to do some small touch ups, and there's a good chance you'll need to resize your photos to meet show organizers' requirements.
Luckily, the Pixlr photo editor can help you do all of that. It's a great tool for craft professionals, and it's free! Learn how Pixlr can help you edit your photos painlessly.
There are some additional tools and resources that you wouldn't use for photos of juried art shows, and are very useful for online craft product shots and creating social media images. The link above will take you to more photography and photo editing resources for promoting your business online.
There's so much that goes into creating a great booth - display furniture, lighting, color, flooring, booth layout...
You can really have fun creating your booth. I've written an entire section on the topic with links to multiple articles and hundreds of craft booth photos. You'll find all of it here.
There's also a lot to consider when buying a craft tent, and it can represent a fairly large financial commitment, so you want to make a smart choice. Click the link above to explore a comprehensive guide to choosing the right craft tent for your needs.
Attending a craft show can be a big commitment. You'll need to pay a booth fee, create a great display, and create enough inventory for the show. With all of that invested in a show, you want it to be a big success. Here are 6 craft shows tips to help you prepare and make the most of your next show.
Be prepared, and don't forget anything when you go to your next show. Use this check list of items to bring to a show so you don't forget anything important at home!