Monday, July 13, 2009

Craft Show Etiquette?

I had the opportunity to visit a friend who was particpating in a new craft show. As I understand it, the promoter has only put on one or two other shows before this one. I had heard about this show, had even been contacted about participating myself, but I wanted to check it out first.

My husband and I took off on Saturday and drove about 3/4 hour to attend this show. It was located at a sports and fun center in Wake Forest, NC called the "Factory". The venue definately has great potential for foot traffic, if the show is presented at the right time. Saturday was not the right time, some of the business were closed for holiday (no idea why), so there was not a great amount of foot traffic.

What bothered me about the show was not the traffic or the advertising (not great), it was some of the vendors themselves. My husband and I arrived in the last two hours of the show, and we got to view the wrath of several unhappy vendors. They were fussing the promoter out in public view over the lack of traffic and advertising. That really rubbed me the wrong way.

As crafter and a vendor, I always try to get to know a show before I participate. If I jump into a show without confirming advertising, show potential, cost/benefit, ect; then whose fault is it if I do not make the type of cash I want (notice I did not say expect)? Even if I needed to speak to the promoter about an issue, I think it is very unprofessional to do so in a public space with raised voices so everyone can hear.

Not all of our shows are going to be winners. Sometimes it is the venue, sometimes advertising, sometimes it is other factors. As vendors, we are responsible to determine if a show will fit our crafts, not the promoter. If we did not research the show, its following and the proceeding advertsising, the promoter is not responisble for that either. I am not saying the promotor is always blameless, however what I saw Saturday appeared to be more of a case that the vendors did not do their homework and took it out on the promoter.

When you are participating in a craft show, be considerate of your fellow vendors and your customers, take your issues to a private venue, do not yell them to the world.


  1. I totally agree! It's a bad reflection on the vendor to be griping like that!

  2. I so agree. Same thing happened with me, saw an ad for a monthly craft show, checked out the first one before I signed up, and decided to never return. It takes research to succeed in this business.

  3. I completly agree with you. I have been doing shows for about 15 years now, and not all shows are winners, and just because it was not a winner for me does not mean that it was not for someone else. We can never predict what will happen at a show,but I have found that there will ALWAYS be someone complaining LOL

  4. I've participated in a number of craft shows over the last few years and have even put on a few of my own. I've learned from being on both sides of the aisle that it's really important to be respectful of other vendors, promoters, and customers, no matter how good or bad a show is going. We're all trying to promote the handmade movement together and sometimes some shows just don't work out. It's also important to remember that there are only so many crafting entrepreneurs in any one geographic area and you are bound to come face-to-face with these people over and over again.

  5. Oh now I am curious as to the promoter being I live in Winston, NC. I have traveled for many shows before and would like to avoid any issues. However, I do agree that you do not fuss out the promoter in front of people. Most give you a form to fill out as to how they did. I would let them know at that time or take them aside. They have to learn as well.


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