Juried Shows Have Quality Craftsmen
A juried show requires that you apply in advance. You are required to send in photos of your work, your booth and a bio of yourself . Each show has it’s own specific requirements, and you receive those after being accepted into the show.
Shows are juried to make sure the items being sold are genuinely hand crafted. The items are carefully looked over by a team or committee. They choose based on originality, creativity, appeal and other criteria. The jury is looking for high end, good quality, hand crafted merchandise. They look at booth design and set up. This is important at a juried show. The show must “look” good.
Juried shows make sure there is a good mix of vendors for the attendees of the show. A properly run juried show limits the number of vendors that are selling the same items…ie; jewelry. The jury usually notifies you by phone, email, or mail whether you have been accepted into the show. If you have, congratulations. You now have a better chance of selling your items!
Costs of juried shows are usually much higher than that of a non juried show. Costs can run from $100- $500, and sometimes more. The costs are due to extensive marketing of the shows, which includes advertising in local, state and trade papers and magazines, radio ads and more. Advertising also includes web based programs.
It is true that juried shows costs are higher, but in the long run, the value is better. The shows are marketed to the audience of customers you want to find. Juried shows have higher end ticket items, and are marketed towards people who are willing to spend. We speak from great experience. We started out by going to non-juried craft fairs back in the 1990’s. While we knew we had a great product, we had to compete with the “imports”, and others who were not really crafting anything. We had fun, met some nice people, but didn’t really make much money. It was frustrating.
Non Juried Shows Not For True Craftsmen
A non-juried show is one that you pay the table fee, sign up or send in the application and you are accepted with little questions asked. You do not have to show your products (which means no one else does either). Non juried shows cost anywhere from $10-$50. Rarely more. They are usually put on at a church, school or other civic organization.
While non juried shows can be good for a beginner to “spread their business wings” because of the cost, you must remember that while you are selling beautifully hand crafted items, the person next to you bought dollar store items and a package of glitter glue. The person on the other side has brought cute little snowmen, but they are imports. There is no way to really compete. Their costs are low, and can sell low. They will get the sale.
While you can make some extra cash at non juried shows, don’t expect to get rich off doing them. They are not heavily marketed or advertised (at $10 a table, there is no budget for advertising). For example, a craft show with 30 crafters only grosses $300. That is barely enough to advertise in the local paper. Take away the other costs:hall rental, signs, road signage, posters and other productions costs, these shows can’t afford to advertise to get people in the door to buy your products.
Non-juried shows can be way to start your business, but you will not find the right kind of customer there if you are selling a high end hand crafted item. Folks that go to these shows aren’t looking for that kind of merchandise. They go in with $20-$50 in their pockets. If you are selling beautifully hand crafted jewelry…you’ll be hard pressed to find your customer base at a non juried show.
Vendor fairs aren’t really craft fairs, and they really shouldn’t be marketed as such. These are the fairs where you will find people reselling items like Scentsy, Tupperware, Avon, Ava Anderson, as well as the countless other resellers out there. These can be a great boost if you are selling these items, but they are not truly a craft.