All of your advertising will soon have vendors rolling in, and it’s best to be prepared with the following:
8. Vendor Application. I had no idea what should and should not be on a vendor application, so I looked at examples posted by the coordinators of other craft fairs and went from there. I’ve posted a sample of mine here: Vendor Application Example PDF. Our show was not specific, nor was it juried, so the application is simple. The first deadline was September 15th, nearly two months before the show, but I extended it time and time again and was taking vendors up until two days before the show. It’s one of those things you’ll have to decide whether or not to be firm on.
9. Guidelines. You can’t just send people off with an application. People are unique individuals and there really truly is no telling what will show up. The guidelines I developed are here: Hometown Craft Show Guidelines. Again, because our show is not juried and because I didn’t want to limit the creativity of anyone, I didn’t care about exclusivity. Because of that, we ended up with five or six different people selling the frilly scarves made from Sashay yarns. But that’s okay. That’s perfectly okay. Prices were competitive, colors varied, I don’t think there was any ill will felt between vendors.
The original idea behind having vendors submit photographs and websites/Facebook pages was not to “judge” their work, it was for advertising on the Facebook page some of the things we would have at the show. I probably dropped the ball on that one a little bit, but at the same time, I might have received pictures from three or four people.
10. Make a Facebook page and create an event. This cannot be mentioned enough. Facebook connects people, people love to invite people to things. Make a Facebook fan page or whatever they’re calling it now. Post pictures. Invite people to invite people to like it. Create an event on that page with more details of the show. Invite everyone you know. Don’t let the page die in the off season, mention other industry related things, like other craft fairs, or special deals vendors are running, or hold a contest to win free booth space, anything like that. Just keep it alive.
Planning a craft fair? Check out Parts One and Two here and stay tuned for the rest of the series this week!