63 Questions to Choosing the Right Craft Show
By Susan West - 01/15/01
Ever wonder what you should know about a show before applying? Here is a list of questions to ask!
The best way to choose a show is to scope it out before committing to do it. Go to the show and observe and ask lots of questions. Ask the promoters if you can get on their mailing list. Once on the list you can request an application and any rules or guidelines available. If you don't find the answers you are looking for, don't hesitate to make a call to the promoter. Here is a list of questions that you may want the answers to prior to doing a show. Don't feel like you need to know all the answers to all these questions, but the more informed you can be about the show, the better idea you will have about how it will be for you.
When you do decide to do a show site unseen, try to make observations and find answers to these questions as you go. Many of the answers to these questions will also help you evaluate a show that you have done and will help you decide if it is worth doing again next year.
General Show Questions
- What is the style of the show? (country, contemporary, traditional, etc.)
- What time does the show start and end?
- How early can we be there to set up?
- Is there air conditioning?
- Is the show outdoors - rain or shine?
- Is there an admission charged to the public?
- How is the customer parking?
- Are there food concessions? (so you know if you have to bring lunch!)
- Is this in conjunction with another activity or is it solely a handcrafted show?
- How many applications were received last year?
- How many of them are crafters?
- Is this a juried show? First come, first-served show? Invitation only show?
- If this is a juried show, who views the applications, photos, and slides?
- Who makes up the jury?
- Is there a jury fee? How much?
- Is there an application fee? How much?
- Is there a minimum jury score requirement/cutoff to be accepted for the show?
- When are selections made?
- How many exhibitors from last year are allowed back?
- How many new applicants are accepted?
- Is there tenure option or an option to return to the show next year?
- When will exhibitors be notified of acceptance?
- Are there any cancellation penalties or rules?
- Is there a membership requirement?
- Are spaces filled by category?
- Is there a limit of number of vendors per category?
- Will you provide a list of exhibitors for reference?
- How many vendors are in attendance?
- What is the size of the booth?
- Is there a variety of booth sizes?
- What is the price of the booth space?
- Is electricity is available - for a fee?
- Is there a fee for parking?
- How accessible is parking?
- Is parking different for during the show, breakdown/set up, overnight?
- Is carpet rental available? What's the fee?
- Is there a program advertising fee?
- Are tables and/or chairs available, and is there a fee for them?
- Is extra space or a double space available?
- Are demonstrations allowed?
- Is additional space or discounts provided for demonstrations?
- What is the recommended price range for craft-work in this show?
- Is the crafter expected to donate a door prize or raffle item?
- Are there any special uniform booth requirements?
- What hotel/accommodations are nearby?
- What is your policy about non handcrafted merchandise?
- Are imports, buy/well/commercial merchandise allowed?
- What is your policy for inclement weather if the show is outdoors?
- What kind of security is there if it is a two or more day show?
- Are there any insurance requirements?
- How is the show advertised? (The number of customers will be directly related to this!)
- How frequently and for how long has the show been advertised?
- How comprehensive is the advertising coverage?
- How many years has this show been in existence?
- How many years has this show been in this location?
- How many people generally attend? (Last year's attendance)
- How many people do you expect to attend this year?
- Are promotional tools - invitations, postcards, flyers, etc provided to exhibitors?
- What are the demographics of the customers?
Questions To Ask Crafters Who Have Done the Show
- What crafts are selling?
- Is attendance up to expectation?
- How is the set up - is the traffic flow good when crowded?
- What is the quality of the crafts in the show?
© Copyright 2001 Susan West
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