Sunday, October 17, 2010

CVU High School Craft Fair

Several months ago, I decided that I had enough inventory to start doing craft shows again, but wanted to try out something small and local to test out my new display and lighting system. I had heard good reviews from past exhibitors about the CVU Craft Fair (Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, Vermont). The fee was minimal ($100) and it was a n0n-juried craft show.

So, doing this craft show, I didn't have high hopes of making a lot of painting sales. The show was only running for one day (9 - 5) and it is in the high school gym, which is a bit away from the usual tourist areas in Vermont. I just wanted to check out people's reactions and, at least, make back my booth fee. More of a learning/marketing experience.

I was extremely surprised at the level of organization. Several weeks before the show, the vendors were sent various emails about the loading procedure, etc. I also saw signs around my town about the show and listings in the local newspapers. When I arrived that night (night before the show), they had a number of dolly's and pull-carts available for the crafters to use to transport their materials inside the building. Students (who were hired) were helping direct people to their booth areas and helped people bring in their supplies. The students even assisted in setting up the crafter displays. Setup went extremely well.

For the craft show, the next day, the amount of traffic was nominal. In addition to the craft show at the high school, it was also Spirit day and a boy's football game and girl soccer game was scheduled (The soccer game was canceled due to rain). Between 9:00 - 10:30, I saw very few patrons with bags. If they did purchase something, it was pretty small. However, from 10:30 - 12:30, the place was packed. I was selling a number of prints during that time. At any given time, there was usually 3 - 8 people in my booth. Not everybody buying, but a lot of people were interested in my paintings. Between 12:30 - 5:00, there were a lot of lookers. Some sales during that time, but not a lot. Most of the people had gone out to the football game.

Also, during the show, a number of students were walking around taking cafeteria orders for people. This was extremely helpful. Would have been nice if they had offered to watch the booth for bathroom breaks.

Breakdown was just as good as setup. At 5:00, we all started breaking down the displays. The hired students then came around helping people load their cars and break down the display. There were a number of exits from the school parking lot, so that there wasn't a massive traffic jam.

Overall, for a small show, it is extremely well run. I would highly recommend this type of show for a lot of new crafters in the Burlington, Vermont area.

Later, I will post about people's reactions to my paintings and what I learned.

No comments:

Post a Comment