Friday, September 18, 2009

Craft Show: Recognition Level

In the continuing talk about Craft Show Levels, today’s topic will be the Recognition Level. This level can be described as those shows that have an entry fee ranging between $100 - $500. The shows usually last for 3 days (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) and are heavily marketed in the local area. The attendees for the shows know about the event and plan their schedule around it, every year. In addition, tourist areas usually make use of the event as an activity for incoming tourists.

For the Recognition Level shows, the booths are generally larger (10’ x 10’) and electricity is provided. There are also quite a number of vendors who do this show on a regular basis, even going so far as having the show as one of their traveling stops. The booths around you will be larger and more professional than the Entry Level booths. For the most part, a lot of the vendors will have a niche product to sell. A prime example of these shows is the Holiday (Christmas) fair that begin around the day after Thanksgiving.

At this level, it’s okay to still be working on your setup, but you have to realize that, the less professional your setup looks, the less likely you will make sales. Having a hodge-podge of items to sell will guarantee that a lot of people will look at your stuff, but the likelihood that you will sell a lot of your inventory is minimal. This is especially important if you want to at least break even and get your entry fee back.

In order to attract the most number of people to your booth and guarantee sales, you should have an established presence/look for your booth. Lighting becomes important and helps ensures that your paintings will be seen from a distance. Consistency and professionalism is the term that most people want to see. At this level, when people enter your booth, they should know immediately what you have for sale and how your prices range. For art work, this includes having originals on a vertical display. If you do prints or cards, make sure that they are in a nice print bin with prices clearly marked or on a Spinning card rack.

Most people coming to this show are typically going to be spending around $10 - $200. Having products spanning this price range will guarantee that a lot of people will stop by your booth and, hopefully, purchase something. This is another good time to work on your showmanship and how you interact with customers. Having a mailing list signup is a good idea for letting the customers know when you will be back at this show again, or at another large local show.

This is the level that I am currently selling.

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