Local Etsy Team Show = BIG SUCCESS!

This last Saturday I was able to participate in my local Inland Northwest Etsy Team’s craft show. It was held at The Service Station, a local coffee shop on the north-end of Spokane. This event was by far the most fun I’ve had at a craft fair in a long time. It was a bit disorganized at first (a lot of vendors showed up at our assigned time at 7 a.m. only to discover that the room wasn’t ready for us and we weren’t sure where to set up!) But we eventually figured it out to the best of our ability and just kind of went with the flow of things. After the initial set-up, my experience with the show greatly improved. The general atmosphere became cheerful as the event started, especially as buyers began flowing through. There are many simple reasons of which may be attributed to this show’s success.

A Small, Cozy Venue
We had only 17 vendors, in a fairly small conference room. This meant no one’s booth got missed. Each person who came up to see the show saw each and every vendor there. (My grandfather tried to come see me at the much bigger show at SCC, but left because he couldn’t find me!)

All Handmade
It’s understandable that some craft fairs let commercial vendors leak through from time to time. After all, handmade Tupperware isn’t an easy thing to create (I’ve tried it once, very messy! *wink, wink*) However, sometimes it goes a little overboard. For example, the self-entitled “craft fair” I attended to at Mead H.S. the second week of November had everything from Avon, to Tupperware, to Cookie Lee jewelry. If commercial vendors are going to be allowed, then perhaps they should only allow those that sell what the crafters are unable to make themselves. I can’t even imagine the storm of complaints that would ensue if a commercial soap seller staked a prominent booth, so why allow it with jewelry? It’s not really a fair competition, and it can be a big turn-off to the customers coming through looking for unique handmade gifts.

Well Advertised

Glass Bead Earrings - $5

Many modes of advertisement were assessed to get the word out. We placed an ad online in the Inlander’s website, added our date and times to local event calendars, and placed a print ad in Whitworth University’s student newspaper. Those of us in the team Facebooked the event like crazy, and we passed out flyers that we made specifically for the event. The flyers were pretty and eye-catching, so that helped.

We were able to receive a small grant from Etsy to help fund the event and the video that we made of it. The grant definitely propped up the advertising budget, and therefore contributed to the overall success of the show.

Positive Energy
I think that a room filled with happy artists and loads of positive energy makes a big difference, sales or no. I’ve become all to familiar with being placed next to some super grumpy sellers who were obviously unhappy to have to sit there all day and complain about lack of customers. I understand griping if your expectations are let down, but please try to remain hopeful until the end of the show. Your attitude will rub off on the customers!

People won’t buy from grumpy sellers because they feel sorry for them. It just DOESN’T HAPPEN. They will, however, tend to look longer at booths where the artisan is friendly and pleasant, because they enjoy being in the midst of that pleasantness. A craft fair outing is supposed to be FUN! At this particular show, the positive energy was infectious. Everyone enjoyed being there and was having a great time, even if their goods weren’t flying off the shelves.

It probably helped that we were selling in a coffee shop and all of the vendors were able to maintain high levels of caffeine! (Oh, caramel macchiatos, how wonderful you are!)

These reasons and more have put this tiny show at the top of my list as a favorite for the season. I am hoping that we will be able to do it again next year, and with a bit of luck, it will be even more successful! As the season draws to a near close, I have but one final Christmas craft fair to attend to this coming Saturday, and then I can breathe a sigh of relief for awhile and focus on my online Etsy shops. Goodness knows they have been suffering from negligence lately!


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6 thoughts on “Local Etsy Team Show = BIG SUCCESS!

  1. Memories for Life Scrapbooks December 6, 2011 at 9:15 am Reply

    Sounds like a fun show! Congrats on a successful day!

  2. artsings1946 December 6, 2011 at 9:50 am Reply

    Great post and wonderful show. Makes me wish I was healthy enough to think about doing a show…but that ok, I’ll deal with it. I so agree about being positive….I work on that each and every day. Helps a bunch.

    Happiness and Abundance to ALL !

  3. nitebyrd December 6, 2011 at 11:43 am Reply

    I’m pleased to hear that this was a good show! YAY! for you and all the lucky vendors!

  4. Paige December 7, 2011 at 7:34 am Reply

    I agree with all of that, especially the venue size. I went to the One Of A Kind Show in Chicago over the weekend, and they had over 600 vendors. It was cool to see so much handmade/indie stuff in one place, but my god was it overwhelming. We were there for 3.5 hours, and I’m pretty sure I missed a few people.

    • MegansBeadedDesigns December 7, 2011 at 8:12 am Reply

      Wow, 3.5 hours is awhile! One would have to clear their schedule before dedicating that much time to a show. Sounds awesome though!

  5. […] them by far. We’ve taken our LOCAL and put it to good use, hosting a crafting party, and a team Christmas show. I’m excited to see what else this team will do together! Share […]

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