3 Tips for a Successful Craft Show Application

Craft shows, farmers’ markets, and other vending events are the basis of many makers’ income during the good weather season. Perfecting your application is the first step into getting into your well-attended events time and time again. Here are 3 tips to see those acceptance emails rolling in to your inbox.

1.     Photos, Photos, Photos               

There are several types of photos you want to showcase in your application. The first is your product in a marketing-friendly shot. Many times, this can be considered a lifestyle shot or just a styled photo that catches the eye. Make sure this is of one or a collection of your best sellers. These featured products need to have top reviews on your website.

Tip: These are the perfect shots to use on Instagram too!

The second is your product, or grouping of products, on a white background. This is your line sheet photo. It is perfect for the markets that like clean images for their websites and are maintaining a particular look for their event.

Last is a dynamic photo of your booth setup showing an engaging display, clean linens, and a boutique that is shopper friendly. If your setup has changed since the photo was taken, be sure you tell the show so you aren’t dinged when you arrive with a new display.

If photography isn’t your highest skillset, investing in a professional will pay for itself many times over very quickly. From line sheets, to photos for blog posts, Instagram, to your website – professional photos take one of the main stressors out of applying for craft shows and other events. When many artists and markers are judge on just their photos alone, it just makes pure sense to spend here so your putting your best professional foot forward in your application.

2.     Know the Show’s Market

It’s important craft your application questions and chose the photos you use in the application to the event you are applying. It never pays to cut and paste answers from the last application, but it does to personalize your answers. If the market is a bit off-beat, make sure you craft your responses to follow suit.

Start with your templated response for the application questions. Go to the shows website and see if you can find any key words that they use repeatedly. Try to incorporate those words into your answers. Highlight the products you make that you feel their audience will love because it fits those keywords perfectly. You don’t need to talk about your entire line, but you need to show how your products are going to be a hit with their target attendees.

If there is a word limit for the response be sure to use every word and character allowed – but don’t ramble. Be concise and showcase your products in how they will sell at their event. Demonstrate your unique selling points and why your company deserves that spot on the rooster.

3.     Follow the instructions

It never fails that someone who applies will not follow the instructions. That is an easy way for an event manager to weed through the applications. It is imperative that you follow each requirement unless you want to be quickly placed into the reject pile.

If you aren’t sure what a specific requirement means or how to make it happen, ask someone for help. Reach out to the hosts of the show too. They want you to submit the best application possible and are there to help.

When shows, events, and markets are some of the best resources for growing out email lists, gaining new customers, and learning what our shoppers are looking for us to make, it can be heartbreaking when we are not accepted. Remember that it is not about you or your products. There are a limited number of spots and always more applications than spaces. It is just the luck of the draw sometimes. Apply again next time with these tips in mind, putting your best foot forward, and approval letter will be hitting your inbox in no time.