What is a Craft Show?

What is a craft show? Well, it is a type of fair showcasing the work of serious artisans selling their handcrafted work, featuring quality, uniqueness and originality.

All kinds of shows and fairs are run varying in size from a Sunday afternoon event with a few tables set up in a church hall to a two week or more event with hundreds of booths at a major show. Shows are held indoors and out, at street fairs and in exhibition halls, in school gyms, community centers and shopping malls.

Non-juried shows, including church bazaars and a variety of "arts and crafts" fairs that have become annual celebrations in many communities across the country are usually open to all comers on a first-come-first-serve basis. Such events are often populated by hobby sellers who are exhibiting as much for the fun of it as for the sales they receive; but these small shows are also the starting point for many small craft businesses.

The larger shows are generally "juried", which means hopeful exhibitors have to submit slides or photos of their work to prove it is of a type and quality desired for a particular event. Annual shows, of long-standing, have loyal customers that come year after year because of their reputation for high quality.

Some major shows are open to exhibitors nationwide. Because there are so many shows and so many sellers, competition truly is keen, especially shows known for high quality and buyer following; therefore many of them have more applicants than exhibit booths or spaces available.

Shows restricted to "members only" are not unusual. Many artist/craftsmen/ designer guilds and associations sponsor artisan shows that are open only to members (it may be worthwhile to join an active organization or two in your area).

While these events are different from each other, they all serve the same purpose for you -- they bring customers in contact with your work.

Craft fairs are supported by individuals who appreciate handmade/ handcrafted goods, most of which are produced in limited quantities, if not one-of-a-kind editions. There's a continual upward trend for hand made things as more and more consumers are trying to get away from manufactured mass-produced products and collect original quality made items.

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