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Does size really matter?


Georgia
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I'm talking about craft shows! :P

I did a show today that had 113 spots, 98 crafters. I didn't even make my booth fee. :( I was probably booth number 8 inside the door. With 90 crafters after me, people were stopping to sniff but not spend. A lot said they would be back. One lady actually did come back. I think after walking around a huge craft fair for a couple of hours they don't really want to go around twice. I was telling them to mark spot 34 on their maps. It didn't help.

I have noticed that I do much better in small shows - like 5 hours in the church basement kind of shows. I think the big shows are just too big. Anybody else feel this way?

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Mmmmm yes and no. I'd say longetivity might be better. Rockin is at a show today with maybe 40 crafters, but an abundant amount of people and we're on the verge of breaking last weekend's record.

And last weekend, well there were 200 some crafters there.

Both of these shows are/were in their 50th year.

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I don't know if size really matters, I really think it all comes down to advertising. I see so many people that want to put on a show advertise to get crafters to do their shows but don't advertise when the show is or put out large directional signs to promote the show. How are people supposed to know if a show is going on unless there is a sign. I have done it all and some smaller shows have been my best.

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I also think some of it has to do with how many times you've done that particular show. Sometimes it takes a few years to get customers to know what shows you will be doing and where your booth is. We do shows that our customers have come to expect us to be at and each year we do that show, our numbers improve.

I also do think too that a vendor/crafter can get lost in the shuffle of those really large shows and can be easily forgotten by those that have come by your booth.

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:lipsrseal LOL

We perfer to do the larger shows.. I have been doing them for so many years now and typically do the same shows every year, in the same location, I have what I call my "candle groupies" that follow us from show to show.. Our worst one ever was our first year we only made 150.00 it was a horrible, horrible show and placement - at a grade school way down the end of a hall.. people were packing up left and right, but I always stay to the end no matter what.. we still did okay at that one none the less.. 3 times booth fee.. but typically we quite a bit higher than that. We are trying a new one Thanksgiving weekend.. suppose to be big and a good one.. we will see. I also send out newsletters letting people know where we are and have a calendar added on my website as well.

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This show was in its 10th year. It is heavily advertised. True, it was my first year there, but I was really bummed. (Yes, Scented, I had those pillars right up front!) I do have people looking for me at other shows that I do, so I know it can take a couple of years, but not making booth at this stage really has me wondering. I just felt very lost in the shuffle.

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LOL! You remembered that comment eh?

Well then let's look at finding something that will have them magnetized to come right back. Oh hey, magnets as business cards maybe? I know we're getting ready to do the sample thing with the soap end. There's got to be something to do for them to say, "hey let's go back ..." You know, adding potpourri has helped us, but we stick wherever we are. It has brought in a whole different crowd.

A 10-year show that's heavily advertised and heavily vendored sounds like we need a reason for them to comeback or not leave before they buy, and I don't think you want to invest in handcuffs.

There's the thought of a drawing for a basket or four votives or something etc. These are just thoughts. Maybe you do it at a certain time and people need to be present to win. Don't know if the show organizer would allow it, but hey ... it's worth a shot!

Trying to think of other things. I still feel we need to place an ad in the local paper of some of the shows we go to if we even just list our show specials. Doesn't have to be a big ad, but like those shows where there are up to 10 of the same craft, you wanna stick out.

You could do what that Mia company does. They staple like a 1/4 tsp of scented wax flakes on the back of their card ... give people something to carry around and sniff as well as something to take home and melt in a burner.

OR matchbooks with your company info. I gotta stop brainstorming because I'm supposed to be replenishing stock.

OK one more thought ... get a damn cow bell or something loud and let those who purchase something ring it. (I so want to do this, but Rockin just laughs at me.) If you read this book by Ken Blanchard about a fish market (think it's in Washington or Oregon) they do stuff to draw crowds of people and their business is famous. They toss fish. I was thinking we could ring bells. Rockin still rolls his eyes.

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