Monday, April 18, 2011

Thoughts on Spring Craft Shows

I had my third Spring show on Saturday and I've noticed some similar outcomes and thoughts from each show.
*The weather is a big factor. If the weather is bad, people don't want to get out of the house. By Spring, we're so tired of bad weather, we don't want to endure it any longer. But if the weather is too nice, people want to get things done outside. It may be the first time they're able to work in their yards.
*There is no special reason to buy. Unless they need a graduation gift, Mother's Day gift, etc. they are only buying for themselves. People have a harder time buying for themselves.
*Most of my items are purchased for gifts. I notice this both on Etsy and at local shows. I heard on Saturday..."my sister would love this" or "this would be a great gift for so-and-so's wedding in a few months". Fall tends to be a better time of year for me because of this. Everyone (or mostly everyone) needs holiday gifts.
*Having a website is both a blessing and a curse. People love knowing that they can get ahold of you later when they do need a gift, but it keeps them from buying that day. If they only brought a certain amount of money with them and they know they can buy your item later, they might hold off.
I'm not totally discouraged from doing Spring shows, but I may reconsider how many or which ones I do next year. We have heard that a few shows require you to do the Spring show if you want a spot in to the Fall show. If the fall shows are good enough, I'll stick with the Spring show the next year. Time will tell. And if a lot of the custom orders that people were interested in come through, then it is worth it to be there to get my name out. Most of the time I don't know how successful a show really is until a few months later when orders start coming in.
How have your shows been going this Spring?


  1. Wow, your third show already?! That's amazing.
    I haven't participated in ANY official show whatsoever.
    I love how you displayed your pendants. Classy.
    You make a good point about having an online shop. Never thought of it that way.
    Wishing you continued success!

  2. Wow, three shows in the spring? The reasons you stated above are why I don't really do them. I'm sticking with summer and fall/holidays.

  3. Like Duni, I like how you arranged your pendants.

    The only time I did a spring show it was deplorable. My mom loves going to shows but even I have noticed that she spends more in the summer and fall. I think she is still recovering from everything she bought at Christmas which accounts for her purchasing habits.

    Also, my mom WILL buy for herself. In fact, shows are about her and not really for others:) She is that one that throws everything you think you know out---I always knew she was difficult!

  4. I haven't done a spring show yet. One show I did last year was in the summer and two were in the fall. My summer show was actually the best. It was much bigger than the other two.

    I don't know anyone who's had a lot of luck with spring shows, for many of the reasons that you named. When I get to Milwaukee, I'm planning to go to a lot more shows the first year than I do so I can get an idea what is worth doing.

    I hope that you do get some custom orders from the shows. I've had the same problem with having a web site, and it's hard to know how that will pan out.

  5. I haven't done a spring show for obvious reasons but a friend wants me to do one over Mothers Day weekend at a local mall. It's 4 days so I'm not going to do it. There's no way I'd have enough inventory ready and I'm so tired of sitting I'm not going to sit in a booth at a mall for that long either.

    I do like how you have your pendants displayed too and wish I could see them closer! I think I see a dog and an owl.

  6. I'm doing one on Saturday - it'll be my first one this spring!

  7. I've noticed the same thing weather wise...even for indoor shows. I don't have a "good" season though, Spring can be okay for those looking for a bag for the new season.
    And the online thing - definite double edged sword :P
    I can see the advantage of doing the Spring if only to have a fall spot - it's worth it :)

  8. I haven't been in a show for a long time it seems. Either people are not buying at the art shows, or they are too expensive. Hopefully, in the fall, I will be in a few local shows. You're reasoning sounds "reasonable" {:-D

  9. I haven't done any shows this season. Was going to do one, but didn't get the info in time. Thanks for all the thoughts! They help.


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