So you want to go pro #9: The Arts and Crafts Show

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Blog entry by odie posted 01-12-2008 06:12 PM 1985 reads 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 8: I Are A Salesman Part 9 of So you want to go pro series Part 10: The Promoter »

Ah, the arts and crafts (fair, show, exhibit, event) show. See we are already having a quandary. Some promoters are very choosy as to what you call their events. For this occasion we will call them shows. There are many things that determine which shows one participates in. New shows to you, it must be location and your calendar of events. You have heard the term, “location, location, location”, haven’t you? Believe it … live it.

Ask your self, “if I were well off, where would I live” ? That might be a good place to be in an arts and crafts show. One would think Beverly Hills would be a great place. From what I have read, it’s very average. That’s probably because we don’t have known fancy labels on our products. Lake Tahoe is too small an area, right? Wrong, wrong, wrong, you with the reading skills. The one better, best, greatest group of people is the tourist. I know this (I are one sometimes) because 75% of my sales are to them. They always ask, “Why don’t you do a show in San Francisco”? My answer is always, “ because you are already here”.

I don’t know about you, but when we are on vacation we spend money more freely. It’s just human nature I guess. I know when we do shows on the eastern side of the Sierra and near the flat lands, we bomb. Towns such as Reno and Bishop are what I am referring to. The tourists are there, but too spread out. And the locals all work for a living. We have done them both, and if you sell snow cones or s—- on a stick you will make thousands a day. If you sell art, the best way to put is, you won’t.

But there are exceptions to this. Your promoter has the ability to break these rules. If your promoter has as much pride in what they do, as you do, stick to them like glue. They will have the ability to gather the right collection of talent to pull the right clientele to you from many miles around. There are also a few publications out there with very good reviews that are written by artists. In the west, one of these is “The Crafts Fair Guide”. It is a pretty good source of what other artists are doing at other shows.

We seem to have the best of both worlds at Lake Tahoe and Truckee. We have location and we have very good promoters. That’s why we are hesitant to travel and incur all of that added cost. After all, the bottom line is one of many reasons we do this. It’s not the first though … the love of it is.

Let’s hear it for the shameless promotion :

-- Odie, Confucius say, "He who laughs at one's self is BUTT of joke". (my funny blog)

6 comments so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 5486 days

#1 posted 01-12-2008 06:16 PM

I am thinking about going to a trade show. 30 miles from me is Monday trade days show which has about
1/4 million people there every month.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Paul's profile


660 posts in 5590 days

#2 posted 01-12-2008 06:33 PM

Gary -


What would you try to sell there? Lots of volume but my sense is that 95% of the folks (like me) are looking for a bargain or a “project” to work on don’t you think? Or is there a section for your quality of work that I haven’t run across? I do stick to the outside vendors and rarely darken the door of a pavillion.

-- Paul, Kentucky

View Karson's profile


35301 posts in 5898 days

#3 posted 01-12-2008 06:50 PM

Great guide Odie.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 5437 days

#4 posted 01-12-2008 07:15 PM

This is a great series. Lots of valuable information. Thanks for taking the time to write it.

-- Working at Woodworking

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 5486 days

#5 posted 01-12-2008 07:19 PM

Paul – Yes Canton. I was thinking some things just for the show, not my usual stuff.

Actually, I have never been. been meaning too for a couple of years now.

I have a couple of childrens toys that I think will do very well there.


-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5658 days

#6 posted 01-14-2008 03:07 PM

keep this going. Great series

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

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