I'm still researching which craft shows will be best for me to participate in during the rest of the year. There are soooo many shows out there to choose from, and I really want to match my products to the attendees' taste as much as possible. I promise that I'll have a completed schedule soon.
To help with selection, I've subscribed to two industry magazines, Sunshine Artist, which reviews shows as well as featuring articles with helpful tips and tricks of the trade, and The Crafts Report, which is more focused on reviewing trends and helpful advice for us small craft business people. I also am expecting in the mail a huge Art & Craft Show Yellow Pages, which is a listing of craft shows around the country, with ratings and info about each.
Quite a bit of it will boil down to trial-and-error, I'm sure. After all, it is the attendees who make or break a show. You sent up your displays and your products, and hope that those who attend will be looking for that shawl that you just finished, or the adorable kitty cat towel and trivet set, or a gift for a new baby (enter cross-stitched bibs or a floor blankie).
The good thing about craft shows is that even the trial-and-error is fun. Short breaks from your booth are acceptable, especially when you have someone there with you to watch it while you take a short walk. The show I was at this past weekend at the Aetna Hook and Ladder Co in Newark, DE was not very well attended. But.... what I lacked in customers, I made up for in great contacts. I met some wonderful craft vendors: some veterans of the circuit, and some newbies like me. And that's what I love about this business: crafters are by nature friendly people (and, since no one there makes what I make, also very willing to share tips and other show experiences!).
And now, back to crafting I go! Tonight.... I want to finish two little crochet purses I have started.