As the weather warms up, we’re getting ready to go out and meet our adoring public (read: 3 strangers and a little old lady who always asks why our bull image has to be “anatomically correct-I’m the town historian and I can’t be wandering around with a bag with bull bits on it, you know”) at craft shows.
And, as we do every craft show season, we try to step back and look at our booth design, figure out what’s sold best at shows and what we should drag along with us, and start filling out ye olde show applications. We’ve got some old friends on the list (we’re looking at you, West Stockbridge Zucchini Festival!) and we’re thinking about applying to some new venues.
Admittedly, it’s exciting to consider new shows; new customers, new places, and new opportunities are all good things. On the other hand, it’s a risk. We have to take into consideration our costs (booth fees, travel, accommodation if necessary) and what if (SHUDDER!) it’s a flop? After all, they’ve never seen our Meatbagz, and what if we’re just not their style? Bye, bye profits!
All those considerations are part of the craft show dealio, though. Every show-no matter how tried and true-is a risk. But without the risks, where would we be? Happily selling away on-line, but always missing the face to face interaction with customers, having the opportunity for instant feedback, laughing with people we’d never meet otherwise, getting to travel to a new place, wandering around looking at other amazing artisans and vendors’ wares, and, honestly, having a flat out fun time doing all of it. So yeah, we may be chancing lower profits or flat out losing money by taking the risk of an un-Meatbagz-tried show, but what we’ve learned is that what we get out of it is much, much more valuable than just a happy profit margin: we get happy us.