Craft shows and trade shows are completely different, but they both have the end with you in mind. Read more to see which one is best for you.
Artisan-made products have become increasingly popular over the past couple years. Craft shows are designed to bring you retail customers. Craft shows are also referred to as:
Most of them are reasonably priced around $50 or less, which is good because you don't have to sell much to make your money back. Mind you, I've never paid $200 for a craft show booth. One time, when I was just starting out, I paid $150 for a vendor fair at a "fashion show". I made $2. As in, 1+1. It was horrible, and after that I vowed to not spend more than $60 on a show I'd never attended.
Some craft shows are more organized than others, having juries, where you have to essentially apply to become a vendor.
In my opinion, craft shows are a great way to get your product in front of local customers. I never attended a craft show that I had to travel more than 20 miles one-way for. It's just not worth it. You'll have a booth, which may consist of just an 8 foot table, or a tent with a table or two. You'll need a few staple items, all of which can fit in the trunk of your car. Take enough product to sell at that show, and enough to keep your table/setup looking full as you sell products.
Craft shows are really your best bet to test the market with your new product. If you start selling at craft shows regularly, try not to book them closer than 2 weeks apart. It'll give you time to learn from your previous show, improve your display, and replenish your products.
DFWcraftshows is an excellent source for those looking for craft shows in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.
Check out my post on how to find a craft show to avoid wasting your time and money.
Trade shows are much more formal, and are required to be booked months, maybe even a year in advance. They are designed to put you in front of wholesale customers and manufacturers. Trades shows are often referred to as:
Trade Shows are excellent when you're ready to move to the next level and get your product out there. But I wouldn't recommend jumping right into trade shows. I know some actually require you to have grossed a minimum of $10,000 in sales.
Once you have consistent, profitable sales, you should consider investing in a trade show. This is where many small businesses get the chance to find vendors to carry their products. It's very lucrative, but it's not pocket change.
Follow me on Pinterest to get ideas on how to set up your booth space.