Last weekend I participated in a one day craft show in Ontario, NY. It’s a little farther away than I normally like to do for shows; my parents haven’t been able to make it to any show or festival that I’ve done, and as it was only 20 minutes from where they live, I signed right up!
I have very mixed feelings looking back on the show. I absolutely loved how the event coordinator let all of the crafters and vendors know all of the information in a timely manner, kept us aware of any changes, and responded to all messages quickly. I went into the show knowing exactly where my table space was, what times everything was, and was left with very little surprises during the day.
I also loved the vendors I was with. There were seven of us set up in our room, and at the end, everyone was saying next year we should request the same room again and do a dish to pass lunch! They were willing to watch my booth for bathroom breaks, and one vendor even ran and grabbed me my lunch because I couldn’t get away from my table. A neighbor vendor was playing soft music, and we had a Young Living essential oil vendor in our room, so shoppers loved coming in to the relaxing sounds and smells and spending time in our room.
However, the sales just weren’t there. I felt like it was mostly window shopping, but I did make enough sales to cover all of the costs for the weekend, so I can’t really complain. My heart also wasn’t fully into the show. My husband just started coaching the varsity swim team at his school, so we’ve hardly seen him and this took away time from him.
Things I will change for the next show:
I need to do more price signs. I thought I had enough, but this set up was a little different so it was a little confusing for shoppers at times. More is better!
Better signage. I would love to do a tablecloth banner with my business name on it to hang over the edge of the main table, but I’m not sure if I’ll have enough time to do that before the next show.
I had a couple people interested in getting me to illustrate books for them.
I had one woman come to my booth all confused; she was asking what the connection was between the books and the jewelry, the prints to the note cards. Once I explained it was all mine, she was surprised that I could do so many different things.
I had a gentleman come visit while I was setting up, and just commenting on how awesome everything was. He came back later with his daughter and granddaughter, and when the daughter commented about the beautiful jewelry, he looked at me and said “I told you so!!!!” He was really sweet!
I had the sweetest elderly lady come to my booth. She fell in love with the Boathouse books, but has no grandchildren or little children in her life. She was so sad that she couldn’t buy them for anyone, and as much as she’d love to buy them for herself, she didn’t want to take a set away from some child who would love to read them and grow up loving them. It broke my heart, but was so encouraging at the same time!
My parents got to come to the show!!!! The best part of the day was it was the first time they had all three of my kids without me or my husband being there. They got to feed my kids a huge breakfast, play outside with them, snuggle for a movie, and take them to my favorite park before coming to see me. My kids had an absolute blast with them, and are anxious to have some more Yaya and Poppa time!
My kids helped set up Friday afternoon, and were awesome about helping bring everything in.
I got to see my seventh grade English teacher briefly! She sells Jamberry so was set up in a different area. She was leaving when we were taking things to my van, and so I got to chat with her for a minute and introduced the kids to her. The kids asked how long ago I had her for my teacher, and when I realized it was 20 years ago, I felt very very old 😉
All in all it wasn’t a horrible show. I probably wouldn’t do it again from a financial standpoint, but I’m glad I did it. Now it’s time to prepare for the last show of the season, which is also my personal favorite: the Gaslight Holiday Celebration on December 3rd in Wyoming, NY!