Organize a craft show
Posted By: Ann B
September 14, 2000 at 20:13:02:

Does anyone here organize craft shows? I'm curious as to the planning involved.
Thanks! Ann B

Posted by Sheri
on September 14, 2000 at 20:49:13:

In Reply to: Running a craft show posted by Ann B on September 14, 2000 at 20:13:02: It's horrible if you are unorganized LOL but once you get things in order its not too bad. My sister and I rent an old church hall in the rural community where she lives and ask friends and friends of friends who make crafts to go in the show. We measure up the whole room and divide it up to count the number the booths we will be able to have. By adding up the cost of the hall & advertising we divide that up between the # of crafters displaying for the amount of the booth costs.

We actually calculate it out excluding us so we don't pay for our booth as we do all the legwork getting it going. We also hand deliver flyers all down the concessions about 3 or 4 days before. Make sure your crafters pay you up front this way they are more apt to show up for the event and if they don't oh well you have the deposit and just shuffle the tables to cover the fact you are one booth less. To get crafters is very easy you just go to local shows in your area and deliver flyers of the upcoming show and the fact you are looking for vendors.
Good luck,

Posted by Ann-CCCC
on September 17, 2000 at 20:46:16:
In Reply to: Re: Running a craft show posted by Sheri on September 14, 2000 at 20:49:13:

She deserves to get her booth free of charge if she is organizing. It is a huge amount of work. Here in Ontario we have to worry about overall liability insurance. The Church of hall liability doesn't always cover a hired event - when you are hiring the use of the hall. Another point - I have been at several shows where they have not advertised well enough and only friends of the participants showed up as they were the only ones who knew about it. Also competing at the same time as another major event in town guarantees poor attendance!

Posted by Ann-CCCC
on September 18, 2000 at 09:56:28:
In Reply to:
Running a craft show posted by Ann B on September 17, 2000 at 20:58:24:

Contact your regular insurance broker than handles your business insurance - mine just added a rider to my business insurance that allowed additional liability coverage (in case some lovely elderly lady takes a tumble) and occasional change of location coverage, additional inventory coverage (damage as the amount at the show is much higher than you usually have. Finally, it wasn't the most popular decision I ever made but at my broker's suggestion I limited the participants to those who could produce documents showing they had a small business license, a vendor or resale permit to collect the prov tax or at least say tax included in merchandise sale, and lastly business insurance of their own to cover their merchandise themselves.

Remember when booking the hall to add the advertising costs - even if you clear it with a local mall and hire students to leave leaflets on windshield wipers it cost for them and also to have those printed - cheapest by far for me was to work out my idea on computer and print it out and then pay local business office supply company 4 cents a page to mass photocopy. I am serious about timing - coinciding an event at 1-4 when the local Xmas parade is at 1-4 can be the kiss off death! however having the event from 10-6 gives people time to look before & after. Just some ideas.

Posted by Ann-CCCC on September 18, 2000 at 10:08:56:
In Reply to:
Running a craft show posted by Ann-CCCC on September 18, 2000 at 09:56:28:

Me again:
Oh the suggestion to collect in advance is excellent. I would never do an event in which I didn't! You will have to give a deposit. I am always being told and rarely adhere but a successful method of doing business is to never actually use your own funds. Now if I could only learn that! Learn to delegate to reliable people but have meetings and make sure they have done what they are supposed to.

Also if you personally are in the show have someone take care of your set up details and an initial period as you as co-ordinator or someone who can be relied upon to handle this duty will be required for last min emergencies - their display is blocking the view of mine, they are encroaching on my space behind the table, tables are so close we can't fit between, I don't have the hydro hookup I needed, my power bar isn't working does the hall have extra? Access will be needed to the hall in advance - draw up a floor plan - who will fit where - you can charge higher booth rentals for those near the concession, the washroom and the entrance/exits & corners as these are higher traffic areas.

Access is needed prior - usually evening before for setup - find out if there is an additional charge for this. Sometimes there is an additional charge to have the hall & washrooms cleaned after your event. Setting up as an outside circumferance with slightly higher rentals here and then an interior of a series of four squares often works well. Sometimes people will only do the outer circumference. You could offer slightly lower rentals to the interiors where the squares face each other. CCCC-TheGlassLady

back to   craft business tips and how to's