When you have an IndieMade store, you’ve opened your doors to the world. So why would you want to spend the time and effort to sell your wares at a small, local craft fair? There are a number of reasons starting with; it’s good to get out.
I know, that makes me sound like a nagging mom (Turn off that TV and go outside and play!), but it’s true. As creatives, we have a tendency to huddle in our workrooms with Facebook as our only link to what’s happening in the world. That’s good for productivity but not good for you as a person, or a business owner.
If your own mental health isn't a good enough reason, how about this? When you exhibit at a craft fair you get feedback from the public, you make contact with new customers and people who can help you grow your business. You also get a chance to see what other people are doing in your medium and in others. That can be very inspiring.
Exhibiting at a craft fair or art show takes commitment. Setting up, tearing down, lugging all those boxes and display pieces to and from the car. . . but for those few hours in between, it’s golden. So make a commitment to show your work at at least one show in 2016. The application process starts now.
Good Places to Start
ZAPP is the tool many art shows use to review artist applications. You upload your information once, then use that same information to apply to as many shows as you can. A ZAPP account is a huge time saver and a requirement for many of the top shows such as the 4 Bridges Art Festival in Chattanooga, the Alexandria Festival of the Arts and the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival in Florida.
This site has more than 26,000 craft shows, art shows and fairs cross referenced by type and location. Use it to see what's happening in your area and around the US. No one said you have to stay close to home.
Tip: Check the Call for Artists page for a list of shows that are still accepting exhibiters for this year.
Search the word Craft Fair on Pinterest and you’ll find inspiration galore. You’ll learn how to turn cast-offs from the Goodwill into incredible booth display fixtures, create clever business cards along with tips for delivering the best booth experience ever.
We have a long and on-going list of craft fair and art show resources right here on our own blog. I’ll link you to a few of the best, but you can also use the search box in the footer to find exactly what you need.
Don't Write Off 2015
It may be too late to get into a large show this year, but that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. Set up shop at a local community fair or pull together your own event in support of your church, non-profit or school.
If you can’t be an exhibitor, be a customer. Check out the craft fairs and art shows in your area. Better yet, travel to a show you’ve never been to before. You’ll be surprised by what you’ll gain from a fresh experience.