On the 19th I did a show at Loon Lake Elementary show. I thought it was a little too relaxed from the beginning. When I had called to reserve my space ahead of time, the coordinator wrote my name down, and told me I could pay the fee the day of the show. Wow, I thought, I’ve never done a craft fair where full payment or at least some kind of deposit isn’t required up front. Interesting…
It turned out that this was the coordinators first time putting on the craft fair. Obviously, they didn’t realize that an upfront payment ensures one very important thing: the vendors will show up.
We ended up having a show where literally less than half of the reserved spaces were filled. Many of the other vendors either found other shows to attend, or opted not to travel in the snowy weather. Either way, the gym we were in was pretty sad and sparse looking as a result.
Also, with so few vendors, you get a lot less foot traffic coming through. Most craft shows I have done rely on word-of-mouth advertising as its main source of advertising. I know as a vendor I’ll usually post on Facebook where I’ll be and beg some of my friends and family to come and visit me and the rest of the vendors to help support the show. Well, with so few vendors, that tactic didn’t pan out very well. So between the lack of booths, the snowy weather, and the minimal advertising, this small-town craft fair was a complete flop. I think I just BARELY made back my booth fee, and several other vendors reported a complete lack of any sales whatsoever. I felt bad for them, and I also felt bad for the coordinators, who were young high school kids running it for a volunteer project. I’m sure they were bummed about how the show turned out too.However, one dud is not enough to make me lose faith in all small-town shows. The following weekend (last Saturday) I did a small church show out in Suncrest. It wasn’t super busy, but I did fairly well sales-wise, and promoted my ability to do custom orders like crazy. I honestly think I’ll be hearing back from some people about special projects in the near future. This sale confirmed my belief in the heavy community support for local small-town shows.
I also got to do some trading with the other vendors. A smaller, friendly environment tends to promote such things more. I exchanged one of my beaded barrettes for a couple of adorable wooden heart ring boxes. I think they are super fun! (Amused easily much?) I’m excited to use them as part of my display at my next show at The Service Station.