If you enjoy making bags, jewelry, paintings, quilts, or some other arts and crafts, you may want to sell your products for profit in the future. One of the best ways to do that is through a craft event where multiple venders display their creations to sell to the public. Here are some tips to help you find local craft events to sell at so you can start making money from your passion!
Common Venues for Craft Events
Perhaps the easiest way to find local craft shows is to contact the venues that hold them. There are several of these to choose from, depending on the town you live in. Here is a list of popular venues for craft shows, along with some information about getting in touch with them.
If you have some large churches in your area, you may want to contact them about craft shows. You do not have to sell religious products to work at one of these events. You simply have to reserve your spot in advance. You may have to pay a small fee for the booth, but the rest of the proceeds will be yours to keep. If you are a member of a local church, you may also want to contact the secretary or event director to see if there are any opportunities there.
Most cities have large event centers for graduations, town meetings, award ceremonies, and the like. These event centers also host craft shows, assuming that you have them in your town. You could contact a large auditorium in the area to see if they ever hold craft events. If so, they should have a sign up schedule, or at least a time frame when they normally hold the events. All you have to do is get your name in before the booths are filled up.
Flea markets can be considered craft shows, as long as you sell crafts in them. Some cities have outdoor flea markets in the summer, and others have them indoors all year long. You may also look for “swap meets” in the area, which are just like flea markets. You will have to pay for your booth at a flea market or swap meet, but if you play your cards right with marketing and pricing, you will make your money back in product sales.
Schools will sometimes have craft events to benefit the PTA or some organization within the school. If you choose to work at one of these craft shows, you may have to pay a portion of your earnings to the school, depending on how they have the payment process set up. Some will just ask for a flat fee for the booth space, and others will ask for a percentage of your total sales. Contact elementary, middle, and high schools in your area for more information.
The Freemasons are always looking for creative ways to raise money, so many of them will host craft events within their lodges. You should not have trouble finding a masonic lodge in your town, but you will probably have trouble finding contact information for it. Look for the number in the phone book and leave a message with the office. Someone should return your call at the next meeting. You may also want to find out when the meeting times are and see if you can speak with someone before or after one.
Art galleries love showcasing work from the locals. They typically prefer crafters who paint or sculpt, but you may be able to get away with selling your Kool-Aid bags if they look good enough. The openings for art galleries are usually limited, so make sure you reserve a spot early on.
Easy Ways to Find Local Craft Events
In additional to contacting the venues listed above, you may be able to find local craft events by following these simple steps:
- Check online. Some organizations will post ads about their craft events on Craigslist, so you may want to check with your local classifieds for future shows. You can also find websites specifically designed for craft show listings. Search for the posts in your area and respond to them accordingly.
- Contact other crafters. Seasoned crafters may have connections with craft event directors in your home town. You can either contact clubs that have crafters within them, or you could contact stores that sell arts and crafts. They should have the number for someone you can get in touch with.
- Check the newspaper. You may be able to find local events advertised in the newspaper. Check the classifieds section on the weekend, or look for inserts in the Sunday paper.
- Watch the news. Most news stations will cover local craft events, especially if they are benefitting a good cause. Large craft shows may even pay to advertise on new stations. Try to catch the 6 o’clock news when you can, just in case a craft event shows up.
- Register for events newsletters. There may be an organization in your area that sends newsletters out promoting local events. Contact city hall to see how you can register for that.
If you utilize the search tools available to you, you should have no trouble finding a local craft show to sell your products in.
How to Sign up for a Craft Event
Once you find a local craft show, you will need to register for it. This will reserve your spot in the show and guarantee you have a place to sell your products. Most venues will ask you to pay a fee for your spot, but the fee will vary by location. You may have to pay more for a booth in a high-traffic area, like right by the front or back door. Just make sure you know your options before you sign up for a craft event.
You may be required to show a sales permit or federal tax ID when selling at craft fairs. Thus you will need to make sure you have all of your documentation before registering with a show. These permits will not cost much to obtain, and they should last for a long time. In the best case scenario, you will not need any of this documentation to sell at a craft event.
Contact the venue you plan to work with and find out what criteria you need to fulfill to register. They will go over all the requirements so you can be ready on the big day.
How to Start Your Own Craft Event
If you cannot find any local craft events to join, you can always start your own. This may take more work and money than a simple sign up, but it would ensure that you have a spot to sell your crafts. Here is a basic guide to starting a craft show:
Step 1 – Find a Venue
You need to find a large gymnasium or event center that you can host your craft show in. It needs to be large enough for you to set up multiple cubicles, tables, or booths in the same area. If you do not have an event center to work with, see if the elementary school in your neighborhood would let you use the gym for a craft show.
Step 2 – Set a Date
Try to pick a day or weekend that has nice weather and minimal competition. In other words, don’t pick a day during a traditionally heavy-rain week or a weekend right before a major holiday. If your craft show is the only thing going on for a weekend, people will be more likely to show up with their wallets.
To be on the safe side, schedule your event right after the 1st or 15th of the month. That will be a time when most people have money from their paychecks to spend on crafts and other “unnecessaries.”
Step 3 – Find Crafters
Advertise your event with as many crafters as you can find. Contact local clubs, consignment shops, scrapbook clubs, retirement homes, and anything else you can think of to get crafters for the show. You can ask them to pay for a small portion of the rental fee if you have to pay for the event house. They should oblige, as long as the price is low.
Step 4 – Set up the Booths
You may ask the crafters to bring their own tables and booths. In that case, all you need to do is put some tape on the floor to designate where each participant will be. If you want to provide the sales displays, you will need to put them up a day in advance so the crafters can immediately set up shop at the show.
Step 5 – Advertise and Sell!
Promote the craft show in whatever way you can think of, and then start selling your products in it. You can obviously reserve the best location for yourself since you are the host of the event. Get all of your products ready for the big day, and cross your fingers. Hopefully you end up with a great turn out!
Follow the tips above to find local craft events, or just make one of your own. Either way, you will have an opportunity to earn money from the crafts you’re already making.