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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Doing Arts and Craft shows

Today I read a great post on Lenox Knits blog, all about doing craft shows. She is really organized, as she is already planning for Fall shows that she will be attending! So her post got me to thinking about some of the shows that I do as well as some that I would like to do. Most of the shows that I am involved in are in the Fall, usually between November and early December which are designed to attract the Christmas shoppers. I do a couple of the local shows in the area that I live in, which is west of the city of Calgary, a city with over a million people. The shows can attract a good amount of city folk who will travel the 30 minutes west out here to the country to attend these Christmas craft shows. These shows are usually fairly well attended, unless there is some freak snowstorm, and then attendance can be way down. The only beef I have with these shows are that they are billed as Arts and Crafts shows, however there are also a number of vendors that are just selling the mass produced "made in China" stuff, everything from purses to jewelry to ornaments etc! You know we artists cannot compete with those cheap prices, and quite often the cheap prices win out!

The other really good Christmas art and craft shows, some of which are juried, can be incredibly expensive to rent a booth at. There are some fantastic shows in Calgary, but it can cost up to $1500.00 and more to rent a spot for 2 or 3 days. I have no idea how anyone could afford that kind of pricing...certainly not me! However, artisans do attend so they must do well. I think some shows must keep many artists and crafters from renting a booth due to the high costs, which is too bad. I think that buying local and supporting local artists is definitely important, especially these days.

On outdoor shows...I attended my first as a vendor this past weekend. Luckily the weather was great, however there can be wind issues, so the whole table display needs to be rethought. Then there is the tent factor! Oh yeah, that can add a hefty cost, renting one of those babies...but you gotta have one to protect you and your merchandise from the elements. Also on Lenox Knits' blog she mentions the disadvantages of being next to a food vendor, and the cooking odors left behind on her scarves! Mmmm...never thought of that, but certainly a good point!
Please check out
Lenox Knits blog for all of her tips, and if you have any more interesting comments on your experiences from doing craft shows, I would love to hear them! Pin It

1 comment:

Lenox Knits said...

Glad you enjoyed my post. I've heard of high end shows around here costing over $1000 to enter but there are fortunately lots of other alternatives for us that can't afford that. I can't even imagine how much I would have to knit to make those worth it. When I've attended art shows in the past they were usually out of my price range as a shopper to so I guess that says something.

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