I am currently doing the Woodworking Shows until the end of March, but I wanted to post some final thoughts about the NYC Grand Central Holiday Show. I’ll be posting them in small chunks on the blog over the next few weeks. I’m hoping you can learn a little from my adventure to help you do better at your own craft shows!
This was truly a mega craft show. It lasted for about 5 weeks, 12 hours per day, 7 days a week, including set-up and takedown. A shopping center of tiny stores was built in one of the largest train stations in the world! In promoting the show, it was told to the prospective vendors that the attendance passing through Grand Central terminal was a million people a day. Obviously a million people did not pass the booth on a daily basis. However, the crowds coming through on a daily basis were intense! Some days it was so crowded that people could not stop and look because they came through like they were in a cattle chute. In spite of that, we did very well selling a total of over 765 pens! I started making the pens as soon as I got accepted into the show, so I had about 4-5 months to prepare. Based on our final results, I could’ve used more pens! You can never really tell what will sell, and if I did the same identical show again, I would probably not see the same results as far as what sold, and if customer’s style and taste has changed. It’s really hard to guess what will be popular.
The demographics of each show may be entirely different based on location and venue type. A buyer at Grand Central Station in NYC will be entirely different than a local craft show in a small town. The organizers of any show should be able to provide you with some statistics about their demographics, especially if it is not their first show. Also your sales techniques may vary based on the customers that you encounter, but that may be a whole post by itself!