This week’s email question asks, “Is going to arts and crafts shows worth the time and effort and how can I make it pay?”
This question deserves two answers simply because it is two questions and I will answer the question as best I can.
The answer is yes and no. It is not worth your time and effort if you have not figured out all the following things first. Those things are: the cost of the show fee, the gas to get there and back, the initial cost of all the things you need to invest in such as a canopy, tables, table covers, hanging racks, signage, and most of all the ability to interact with the people who stop by your booth. That ability includes making a good presentation, inviting them in, asking the potential customer questions, talking to them, overcoming their objections such as “I have just gotten here and I am looking around”, finding out exactly what interests them.
Finding out exactly what is the cost of doing business is what most unsuccessful business people fail to do and especially artists.
Once you have done that and are satisfied with your answer them go ahead with your show plan and make sure you have some “lost leader” art or crafts that will help you get back what your initial show investment is and that is usually the gas and fee to set up. The cost of all the other stuff previously mentioned might be returned to you over several years, but rarely the first time out of the gate. An artist or crafter rarely gets paid for their time whether it be a show or in their creation unless they are big time, famous or dead!
For most art & craft show customers the day is simply a day of looking, a break from their normal hum drum lives and they are rarely looking for a specific thing and for the average customer to spend more than $20.00 is rare so you have to consider that.
However, it is a big chance for exposure, so at Avalon Stained Glass School we have business cards, flyers, coupons for future sales, we ask them if they want to receive our free email newsletter about what we do and give free demonstrations of what we do. When done correctly the potential customer will save what you gave them, remember you, perhaps tell someone else about you and even eventually become a customer.
May the Creative Force be with you,
Come for a free tour and demonstration at Avalon Stained Glass School & Creativity Center during business hours.