Thursday, August 13, 2015

Craft Shows 101: Where to Find a Craft Show

Want to start selling your handmade items but not sure how to find a craft show near you? (Click to Tweet!)

When looking for a craft show, you will want to find the right show for you. For example, if you’re selling high-end, higher-priced pieces, you may not do very good at your local high school bazaar. (But if you do, props to you!) You will also want to do some research after finding a show before signing up for it. Let’s start with finding a show though.

There are many options out there for organizers to advertise their upcoming shows. You could start by looking in your local newspaper or watch for signs advertising a show. If you attend a show, you could also ask for the event organizer to send you the information for future shows they have planned.

Local newspaper, signs around town, Facebook, Google, Craigslist, attending a show as a guest, talking to other vendors at a show you’re at – these are so many different ways to find a show.

Local Newspaper – Some organizers will put the information in the newspaper, so it’s worth a quick glance. Also, check in your area for free prints that are distributed. There is a little advertising print called “Kelly’s Catalog” that is distributed all over my area. It is a very minimal cost for you to post your ad in it, so there are a lot of different ads each time it is printed. You can check out coffee shops for prints called “coffee news” or something similar. These type of prints are free for the taking, so it doesn’t hurt to pick one up and check it out.

Signs Around Town – An example is when a craft show is being held at a church or school. Generally, they will have signs out a couple of weeks beforehand. If you are interested in more information, call the school or church and ask for the contact information of the show organizer.

Facebook – If you are on Facebook, click the Facebook search bar and type in “craft shows”. Look for groups that say something like “Craft Shows and Vendor Events in Mid-Michigan”. (Obviously you would replace Mid-Michigan with your location, but that was just to give you an idea.) This is actually how I found a lot of my shows when fist starting out. Some groups are  nicely organized and have a picture for each month. Under each picture, the organizers will post the information for their show and the contact information.

Google – You can also do a quick search on for “craft shows in ______.” Some websites that you will find have craft show information that you’ll need to pay a subscription fee to see all of the details. I have found plenty of shows without paying though, so it is still worth it to see what results you come up with. There are some websites that have the information free for everyone to see.

Craigslist – Another website you can find events on. Just head over to, find your location, and click on events.

Attending A Show As A Guest – This is actually a great way to do some research as well. If you know of a show going on, that you may be interested in attending in the future, stop in there now. Talk to some of the vendors and see how sales have been, gauge the flow of traffic, and scout out vendors to see if anyone is already offering what you do. (Some crafters will attend the same show year after year.) If it still seems like a show you would like to attend, ask for the event organizer and give them your contact information. By doing this, you will be on their list when they first send out the applications for the next show.

Talking to Other Vendors – If you’ve already found a show, while you are there, talk to people seated around you. Ask them what shows they have done had success with or have been unsuccessful with  and see if they know of any upcoming shows that might still have spots available that have shown great success. A lot of vendors are happy to share and can be quite insightful.
Another way you can find out about other crafts shows is by actually being at a show. I’ve been at a show talking to a customer and they mention they are an organizer for a show and would love for me to attend with my products. I happily gave them my contact information to send me more information. This actually has happened with a vendor at the same show as me, and she organized an event as well. Again, I gave her my information so she could send me an application.
If you are attending a show that is organized by someone who also organizes several events, they may even have the applications for future shows right at your table for you.

So there are some ways to find some shows. Now, let’s talk about the different types of shows. 

I hope some of these suggestions help you find some shows in your area to attend. 

Do you find shows using any other source? 
Leave a comment letting everyone know! 

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