Yes, I did another craft show today! This one was in Brockport, NY. (Brockport Kiwanis) It was about a little over an hour from home. This is so far the longest we’ve driven to go to a craft show. I was extremely excited about this show because it was supposed to be *HUGE*. There were 74 vendors, which is twice the vendors from the show we did last week, where we did very well. This was also juried, which means you had to submit pictures of your work, and then they let you know if they want you for their show. Juried shows are nice because you don’t have much duplication in the products being sold, and they are usually higher quality items.
I worked my butt off for this show. Very late nights every night just getting ready for this show, and spent all day Thursday & Friday getting ready for it as well. Chris helped me with making stuff yesterday too. Last night, we went to bed at 1am and got up at 5am this morning as we had to be there by 7am to start setting up. Running on 4 hours of sleep!
We had been told it would be a 10×7 space. 10′ would be our “storefront” and it would be 7′ deep. In all the other shows we’ve done, your spot does not include room for buyers to walk down each side of your booth.
To our surprise, our 10′ spot was it. We were right up against the tables of the booths on both sides of us. There was absolutely NO room for anyone to walk around. So we had to set up our booth completely different than we usually do.
Which was disappointing, because I had bought new displays this week and knew exactly how I wanted it set up. But, because of the space limitations, we were forced to set up differently. Instead of having people be able to walk down both sides of our booth, we had to set it up so they had to walk INTO the booth.
This gave us NO room to sit, NO room to stand without being in the main aisle or blocking our own merchandise, and we quickly found out that people did NOT like to walk into a booth. So we had mainly passer-by’s who didn’t even glance in our direction.
The booth on one side of us just had 2 small tables, and on the other side of them, the person did not show up for the show. So they had a 10′ empty spot right next to them. We asked them if they’d be willing to move over, and they moved over about 2 inches and wouldn’t move over any more, because they were already set up and apparently thought sliding their two little tables was too much effort 🙁
This bothered us because we are the type of people who will always do whatever we can to help out our neighbors. And it wouldn’t have hurt them at all to just move down a couple feet, since they had 10′ of open space next to them.
Due to the setup with them being right up against us, we felt “hidden”. Another vendor we knew who was there today said he was looking for us, and when Chris met him in the parking lot after the show was over, he told Chris that he had been looking for us but couldn’t find us.
This show cost us $60 for the booth, and we made just enough to pay for the booth and gas money to get there and home.
We spoke to several other vendors at the show, and many of them told us that they felt the Brockport Kiwanis just cared about filling this huge gym with vendors at $60 a booth, and not at all about the vendors themselves. First thing this morning, we were told that someone would be coming around at lunchtime to take our food orders and would even bring the food back to us, but no one ever came to our booth.
To say we were greatly disappointed in this craft show would be an understatement. We will not be doing this show again. Live and learn!
Anyways, here are some pics of our booth for this show.
I bought these 4-cube sets at Dollar General, and I loved the way they displayed my un-paper towels!
The vendor on the other side (a very lovely lady!) had her items lit up with lights, and they lit up our cubes very nicely at the same time. We actually wanted lights in our cubes but ran out of time, so this worked out perfectly!
On the bright side, we met so many nice vendors! And even though it was an exhausting, tiring day that made practically no money, we walked away with several lessons learned. I believe every show is a learning experience, no matter how many times you’ve done a show. And we are doing a show at Vienna Gardens in Phelps next weekend, so on another positive note, I don’t have to kill myself making stuff for that show, since I sold almost nothing today! 🙂
So Agree! Met some great vendors, got some good booth ideas and leads for other shows. We did the same as you did for sales :(. So much potential there yesterday, but not enough promotion, signage, resulted in unhappy vendors. Will not do again either.
Hi Katie! Yeah, I was so disappointed in yesterday’s show. But, live and learn! I just got confirmation about my show on Dec. 7th in Henrietta. I think they are still accepting vendors. I got a 14×6 sized booth for just $38!! They seem to be running it a lot like the one I did last weekend at Holy Childhood in Henrietta (and we did great there!) Here’s the link to more info if you’re interested in doing that one. http://thevendornetwork.com/?p=81
So sorry to hear that the show was not as successful as it should have been for you and the other vendors. I tried that show for two or three years, but I felt that the organizers didn’t do enough to get paying customers in to actually purchase our handmade items. (I’m sure that all the vendors did their part via social media and mailings, but really, some of the booth fee needs to go into real productive advertising!) Sad to hear that not much has changed. 🙁
Thanks for the comment. It was a “live and learn” experience, and we will never do that show again. For $60 per booth fee, you are right – a portion of that definitely should have gone into advertising expenses, but it clearly did not.