Sure, making money is a great reason to do a craft show — but they can provide you with much more than that. And I’m not talking about the mushy feeling you get when someone compliments your products. Here’s six reasons — besides the money — that you should be selling at indie craft shows.
You’ll learn about your products and develop your sales pitch. Being face to face with customers allows you to pay attention to what they have to say about your work. At my first few shows, customers kept commenting on the library pocket inside my books. I learned that this little detail was the key to selling my notebooks, online, to shops, or in person. I would have never know to highlight this feature without the direct selling opportunity of a craft fair.
You will learn who your customers are. By seeing the kind of people who are purchasing and reacting positively to your work, you’ll learn about your ideal customer. Learning who your ideal customer is means you can better target them online and off. Knowing who your customers are, can save you a lot of time in chasing opportunities that are not right for your business.
You’re forced to figure out packaging. Preparing your products for a fair is a great beginner exercise in packaging and branding products for retail.
You can make contacts with shops or galleries. Most major shows invite local brick and mortars and galleries to the event to shop for new products.
You could end up with some press mentions. Organizers are in contact with press anywhere from a few months to the week of the show. Many stories will cover the work presented at the event, which means you have a really good opportunity to get some press mentions.
You’ll find that you’re part of a community. Artists are often excited to meet and network with the other artists. Seeing other indie work in person will inspire you to keep creating. By exchanging info, you’ll grow your network of business contacts. Building a network is particularly important for the success of new businesses.