Craft Show Research April 21 2016
Craft Show Research
Lately, I’ve been doing a ton of research on Craft Markets. I mean hours of serious cyber stalking of markets, vendor comments, blogs, Yelp reviews and YouTube clips.
My main objective in doing this much research was to answer 3 questions: 1) How much will it cost to attend? 2) Is it cost effective? 3) How much inventory should I bring?
The first answer regarding cost was relatively easy to find on the craft markets’ site. Also, blogs, will hip you to the other hidden costs you may incur.
The answer to the second question was a little harder to determine. From what I gathered, each city has a different demographic and what works in some just won’t work in others. The amount of attendees also made a big difference. More customers = more sales. Finding how many customers attend the shows isn’t difficult, but can take a bit of time to find (I had success with social media posts and sponsorship info). Some blogs also suggest that you visit the show before applying. This poses a problem for me because the shows are only held twice per year and the crowds are different at each show. Which means, if I wanted to sell in the summer shows, I’d have to post-pone participating for a year for the sake of in-person research (hence the cyber stalking).
As for the answer to the final question, this seems to be some kind of sacred secret. I have looked high and low and the most common answer is “bring everything you have”. Apparently, the amount of goods sold at these events are a huge unknown. This answer only led me to more questions like; what if I bring too much or worse what if “everything I have” is not enough? Even I know there’s nothing more unprofessional than an empty booth. Then, finally, Pinterest came to the rescue!!! I actually found two acceptable answers that have now put me on the right path. The first uses the formula 10 x the market fee = Estimated Sales. The second formula states that your estimated number of sales will be 5% of the estimated number of attendees.
In the end, I think have enough information to make an informed decision. I do think that participating in a, well researched, craft market will be worth it for my business. However, I don’t want to miss out on an entire year of sales and will not be visiting the market before applying (at least not the first one). I’ll use my best judgment in determining which market will be the most successful and hope it all works out. As for the amount of inventory to bring, I plan on using the second formula determine that number. Now, it’s off to the sewing machine.