Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Frustrating Arts and Crafts Market

I'm a little frustrated.  I think there are craft show promoters out there that really aren't doing their job.  The economy is terrible.  People aren't buying what they used to.  I think some promoters think they don't have to work any harder than they are used to doing. They're wrong.

Promoters need to do what they do even more than they were, especially when the economy is down.  They need to promote.  They need to advertise.  They need to talk about their show.  They need to talk about their artists.  They need to tell EVERYONE!!!

I have done a few craft shows lately that seem to think that all they need to do is proclaim they are having a craft show, gather artists, and take our money.  I don't get the feeling they think they owe us artists anything more than that.  They are WRONG!
There was one show that I do, and actually did pretty well at the previous year despite the economy, that changed the week that they did their show in 2011.  Why would they do that?  This show is in a vacation destination.  Vacationers tend to book their vacation for the same week EVERY YEAR.  So those who book their vacation JUST so they can come to this particular show were left wondering what happened to it this year. Plus, they don't even have a website for this show, so vacationers can't even check when it is. I was so bummed, and I did so badly! It was also the first year that I'd been there and we had NO bad weather.  It was BEAUTIFUL!!! But nobody came.

I don't understand why there aren't more promoters using Facebook.  Or using it more to their advantage.  I know some promoters that only list their shows on their promoter page instead of creating a page just for their show.  I think that's a huge mistake.  I think instead of making their promoter page stand out, it makes their event impossible to find by those who are actually looking for it. I believe they're shooting themselves in the foot.  I believe that having both a promoter page AND a show page DOUBLES their chance of being found.  It also makes it easier for us artists to promote it because it makes us (the vendors) feel like that show is OURS, not just the promoter's. We can post pictures and comments on the wall at will.  We can tag where we are.  We can help them do their job.  Just give us the tools, please! We DO want to help!

Don't get me wrong.  I do feel some responsibility in promoting the shows I'm in.  I try to do the best I can, and I know plenty of other artists who also help promote the shows they're in.  But the promotion is ultimately the responsibility of the promoter.  I'm hopeful that the shows I'm in this year do a KILLER job of promoting.  We could really use a profitable year!  Happy craft show season!