The Keyword is Research
There is nothing like a three day public show to get your goods and services moving – if you pick the right show. The good shows are not inexpensive and the reason is simple … they bring in the people. You can sit with your folding metal table and your homemade aprons and linens and pegboard backdrop and get there at 7am on Friday morning and leave at 10 pm Friday night and do it again on Saturday and get to leave by 7pm on Sunday and make $600 after driving, renting the space, eating, well you get the picture. Or you can pick the right show and make $6,000. Here is the difference – research. Find the great shows, get on the list, present a beautiful exhibit that they want in their show, go to the head of the list. It doesn’t take much. Research, a mix of homemade and handmade (bought wholesale or partnered) and quality items to sell. If you have seen mop head dolls or brick doorstops for 15 years at a show, then these are not your buyers. Today’s buyer wants stylish, handmade, artisan, original applications. If you sell French linens they should be from France, or the patterns should originate there – there should be a strong story, a history.
Wholesale Product Shows Directory
http://www.nynow.com/Home.aspx – The HOME and LIFESTYLE industry’s most comprehensive product directory, featuring more than 50,000 products from NY NOW exhibitors.
http://retailinginsight.com/tradeshows.html – month by month trade show calendar for retail store owners including unusual gift items, handcrafted furniture, gourmet food products, jewelry, clothing, and handcrafted reproductions
http://www.wholesalecentral.com/tradeshowcal.htm#jan14 – Wholesale Central.com – monthly B2B trade show calendar for retailers only, no consumers
Public Shows and Exposition Calendars
http://www.artfaircalendar.com/art_fair/west-coast-art-fairs.html – Find fine juried art fairs and craft shows in California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, Oregon and more, with links to all other states across the country
http://festivalnet.com/ – The ultimate online events source, providing extensive show details since 1996 on events nationwide and local shows right in your backyard. This is a unique public marketplace for artists, crafters, vendors and shoppers