Thursday, April 16, 2009

Spring brings on outdoor Craft Fairs

In recent posts at our Yahoo group , people have been asking about outdoor shows versus indoor shows. Both have their seperate appeal. Indoor shows of course are weather proof and there is no wind or unlevel ground to worry about. No tent needed and spaces are a uniform size. But when the weather gets nice many people prefer to enjoy the outdoor shows. You must be prepared for the ever changing Wisconsin weather. A tent is a must. Most outdoor shows are held in a park area and the ground may be uneven or unshaded.
A good display is also very important. The way you set up your area depends on the items that you make. Table covers and skirts, well marked items and a cheerful manner help with sales. Always have extra business cards and flyers so those who may not shop right then or need to come back for more items can find you. Items in all price ranges are also a good idea. You may be able to attract the customers with a lower price item and they will then take their time and look at the quality of your work and the other items. Some customers still believe that you get what you pay for and that the most expensive must be the best so the higher price items appeal to them. I once had a customer buy a $3.00 doily to put on her small table that she bought from Tracy Porters shop in Princeton for over $200.00. The table was very over priced but the poiunt is the doily was so no one would put a glass on the table . She was leaving the tag on the table so people knew she shopped at Tracy Porters and how mcuh she paid. LOL People are funny.
The price of a show is NOT a way to determine if it is a good show. I have been to a few rather pricey shows were there was little or no advertising and the attendance was so poor vendors were shopping from each other. Word of mouth is a good source, ask other members about the shows they have done. Sometimes taking a show that is out of your normal area is also a good way to get to a wider group of customers. If the show is more costly think of sharing the space with another artist. Many shows allow this.
Just this spring so far I have found cusomers are attracted to the "CUTE" hang tags I made for the baby items in the shop. Nothing fancy I added a graphic and on the back added the washing instructions. They tend to lean toward the newly tagged over the other sets that still have the normal price tags on them.
We will continue chatting about local shows and hopefully share more ideas as we get into the spring season. Let us know what shows you are doing and how they went.


Cain said...

A great WI company to work with for indoor and outdoor table covers is You won't be disappointed. They love to work with artists from all over the country and are very flexible.

Pam Warden Art said...

Patti:Great info, love the hang tag ideas.
Cain: Thanks for sharing the company info.