How to Get Art and Craft
Vendors to My Show
There are several ways to advertise your art and craft event to vendors. Find the most effective ways and stick with them. Test and record results of your advertising to know what was most effective.
The best advertising reaches your target audience. Your target audience is artists and crafters who sell handmade crafts at art and craft shows, advertise where they are most likely to see it.
Places artists and crafters look for craft show listings include (but are not limited to) Art and Craft Show Publications, local Chambers of Commerce, visitors centers, fairgrounds and events centers, bulletin boards, the internet, newspapers, radio, and TV. Have a successful art show already? Maintain a mailing list. Art and craft vendors ask other artists and crafters at events they are attending if they know of other great shows.
Art and Craft Publications
Art and craft publications are known as craft fair guides, art and craft show listings, and event calendars. Search the internet using the right keywords and you will find many. Craft publications contain many listings of art and craft shows. They usually contain advertising for event insurance, outdoor canopies for shows, displays, and art and craft supplies. They might cover a specified area such as one state, several states, a region, or the nation. Some will contain hints and tips, checklists, book and product reviews, craft show booth display ideas, etc.
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Places Artists and Crafters Look for Art Events
Local places artists and crafters look for events include the Chamber of Commerce, visitors centers, civic centers, fairgrounds and events centers, any where art and craft shows are held. Ask when booking your event if they will include your event on a calendar of upcoming events. Be sure they inform their employees of your upcoming event so they will be ready to refer artists and crafters your way.
Artists and crafters check bulletin boards in grocery stores, gas stations, art and craft stores, on college campuses, in salons, at local restaurants, and many other businesses.
Hang posters, postcards, or business cards on bulletin boards everywhere you go. Be sure advertising has a headline guaranteed to get the attention of artists and crafters who want to sell their merchandise. Don’t forget the basics-date and time for your show and a way to contact you including (at least) your name and phone number.
The internet is a great resource and you don’t have to spend a fortune on a webpage or web designer anymore. You can buy a website and everything you need to run it for under $100/year. Get one that has a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get editor) so you can design and run it yourself or hire someone to run it for you. A website is a great place to tell artists, crafters, and customers about your upcoming shows, and to upload your applications. Need simple instructions for building a webpage visit Build a Website.
The problem with advertising anything in newspapers is reaching your target audience. Reaching thousands of people who don’t sell their art and crafts at shows probably won’t help your business as much as reaching 100 people who do.
Newspapers have resources other than paid ads. Call the paper and ask about their policy for press releases, people in business, guest written articles, and calls to artists and crafters. Ask who you send them to and the correct address. Send a press release and call to artists to many local newspapers. The free resources will probably benefit your business more than paid advertising at this time, but if they won’t run your articles ask if they offer a deal on paid advertising with submissions.
Ask if they have a (printed/online) calendar of events and how soon your event will begin appearing on it. Don’t forget your contact information.
Press releases are informational articles sent to the newspaper. They inform the public of events (art festivals, craft shows, bazaars, musuem openings, and so much more) happening in the area. They are free and printed in publications as space allows (so send yours early and often). Learn more about press releases at Press Releases for Art Festivals and Craft Shows.
Radio and TV
Radio stations often offer a discount on large numbers of ads. Ask them if they can offer you a deal if you order ads now to advertise to artists and crafters and again later to advertise to customers. They also offer package deals for onsite advertising. Ask the radio station if they will sponsor your event and have their logo included on all your advertising.
I have never used TV advertising but I hear cable ads aren’t expensive and can be targetted to reach people in the area of your show. Ask a TV station if they might like to sponsor your event. Feature a happy artist or crafter in your ads looking for vendors.
Don’t ask more than one radio station, TV station, or newspaper to sponsor your event and ask them if they only work with specific people i.e. ABC Radio only works with XYZ News.
Tell crafters which publications they can find your listings in. Contact art and craft exhibitors who have attended your show in the past. Keep them happy and they are likely to return. Keep your list updated so you don’t waste money mailing to bad addresses.
Email autoresponders make it easy to stay in contact with vendors. I highly recommend you check out these companies if you don’t already have some kind of automated follow up/email system in place.
Streamsend Email Marketing
Word of Mouth
Many artisians still only hear about shows through word of mouth. Keep your vendors happy and they are likely to tell others only good things about your show.
List your show with The Extravaganza Craft News now!
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