Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Festivals & Shows 101

What do you need to know before you decide to do a show? This is a frequent question I am asked by those new to doing shows.   I have been doing shows as a vendor for about 15 years.  I have also helped to put on a few events.  I can break down the answer for you into 5 main questions.
  1. What is there that brings people to the show?  Also need to know who the target of the show is.  If it is a family event and you have very fragile $100 - 400 items it would not be a good fit for you.  the draw - such as entertainment and food.
  2. What size crowd does the show normally have?  This is another way to determine if the show has been around a while.  First annual events tend to draw a small crowd and not be great for the vendors.  Ask yourself if you have enough inventory for that size crowd.
  3. How many vendors are planned & what is the mix of types of media at the show?  Examples of several media:  floral, pottery, paintings, glass, sculpture, wood, photography, textiles, leather, jewelry, metal etc. 
  4. Is it there a jury for acceptance?  If not then the show would allow party plan merchandise and hand made items would not do well there.
  5. Have you been to the show?  I always walk a show before I do it.  I can talk to the vendors and see if they are happy and have been with the show for a few years.  This is a great way to see how it is being run and if the crowd is happy.  
There are several types of show.  Retail, wholesale, fundraiser, are a few of the main types of shows.  The criteria about works well for retail and fundraiser evaluation.  Wholesale is another topic entirely.  These are the basics by which I evaluate shows and decide if  the show is one I will do.  Please feel free to ask questions and I will do my best to answer them for you. 

Future Topics:  Next week, I will post an update on the Women Build project for Flower City Habitat for Humanity.  Another related topic, show booth layout or design.  I would appreciate your topic suggestions. 

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