Sunday, May 3, 2009

Craft Show Rating: Del City, OK Garland Arts and Crafts Fair

Ok, I participated in a craft show this last weekend. And I must admit, it sucked. A LOT! Why, you ask? Because I sold a total of $9 worth of merchandise. And I think 100 people came through. I just am so angry that I spent the weekend sitting around doing a lot of nothing.

So, I am learning more about craft fairs and how they operate. I am applying my knowledge of marketing and analysis to determine the best places for me to go to make the most use of my time and energy. Sure, I want to sell gangbuster amounts of items. But I also want to have a great environment and possibly learn from others.

This weekend I spent 2 days learning that I should do more research. I was at the Garland Arts & Crafts Show in Del City, OK at the Del City Community Center this weekend. Ah, what a waste of time! I am sure the promoters enjoyed getting my money, and I thought they were knowledgeable about how to have a successful craft fair because apparently the ones they have in Shawnee, OK are supposedly great! But, I attended their show in Shawnee earlier this year, April 09, and it was a bust. Some issue with the parking lot. And then after this weekend, I plan to do no more of their shows.

I have several concerns:

1. I heard/saw no advertising about the show prior to the weekend. This leads me to believe that the promoters, Stan and Patty Wilson, did not contact the TV or radio stations. A show I am participating in this weekend, Deluxe, has had multiple announcements on NPR and many people blogging about it.

2. The promoters do not have a web site presence for either of their shows. This leads me to think that they are resting on their laurels of past success and not concerned with the way the world is changing.

3. I heard several people come in who said, “I knew nothing about it”. See #1 issues. I heard from the others at the show that they handed out flyers on post – Tinker. Wondering what else they did?

In other words, I feel like they took my money and do not care about whether or not I am successful. That’s a mistake, and shame on them for not doing more. Shame on me for not learning more about them before I dove in. Won’t happen again, and I think all craft fair participants should ask up front what the plan is for promoting the show. It’s something we need to know, and if you don’t get a good answer, you should steer clear of the show. I thought about it but thought their reputation spoke for itself. Now it does. LOUD AND CLEAR!

I have thought more about why spring craft shows don’t do as well as the fall shows or the festivals. People are coming to the show that are looking for free entertainment, want something specific, or are just looking for ideas. If they see something they need – like a gift – they will buy. But more likely they are looking. And in the fall, they are buying for the holidays. So, I suppose they will be more successful with sales. And festivals will be more successful because they have people who have come out with disposable income and not specifically for the crafts but are willing and open to looking. And impulse buying. So, this summer I am going to target the festivals, and move back to the craft fairs this fall.

This spring has been good practice, and I would say that I have learned a lot. I am going to do the last show of the spring this weekend, Deluxe, on May 9th at the OK Fairgrounds. I hope you consider coming out, and I hope I have a lot of sales!!


Funkybella said...

Oh, dear!
Thank you for letting us know about this, Mathea!I'm sorry you had a bust of a weekend. This coming weekend will prove much more productive, I'm sure.
It seems there are two types of craft fairs; the old kind and the new wave. The new wave seems much more apt to promote and otherwise be proactive. Yay for Deluxe, its wonderful directors, and all of us fantastic vendors!!!

Mathea said...

Thanks Funkybella! Just couldn't let it go without yelling about it!

Tanielle said...

Oh man! Sorry for a bad show! We had one just like that a couple of weeks ago. No fun! Your stuff is sure cute though!!!:-)

Little Lady Cakes said...

I'm passing an award to you!

Please visit my website to grab it. :)