Having only done a few shows, I’ve been spoiled with the level of organization of some events and the disorganization of others.
I’ve worked with the Creativ Festival in Toronto Ontario. It would be the first show I ever worked with back in October 2010. I couldn’t believe the level of organization it takes to get that show from seed to full blown 1000’s of guests per hour walking through the show. An estimated 30,000 – 40,000 guests tromping on through. Remarkably, they have an 80 page brochure on what courses are available. All this strategical planning is simply mind boggling but they do it and do it extremely well.
Starting off with a show that is super organized, I figured all shows are like this. I’ve already seen dishonesty from show organizers from over stating their attendance and value of being with their show.
One show in the USA, I have emailed them 3 times requesting what their expected attendance is and have waiting 6 weeks to get some responses. I have seen where show organizers are contacting me mere weeks of the event acknowledging me and still expecting me to be available.
How to pick a good one:
- Google it?
- What are people saying about this event?
- Is the location where the event is making sense for the organizer’s claims?
- Is the dollar value of the booth worth the traffic or what you hope to achieve?
- When you request info, do they get back to you or leave you hanging?
- Are they more concerned to sell than educate you?
- Consumer’s expected at the show, remember that a show of 40,000 guests may be just as good as a 5,000 people expectation. The 5,000 may be more dedicated to the crafting where the larger show may be a great rainy day event. Your sales may be better with smaller events!
- I have yet to make money at doing an event as I am doing it to gain exposure. Eventually though, it is the hope that my own popularity and consumer interest will drive my booth costs down and increase my value to be part of the organization.
- Sometimes you want to take a chance as you could meet consumers that may make a difference in your future.
Essentially, do your homework! Make sure you read critiques from a non bias point of view. Someone selling knitting machines may have sucked really bad but the sew machine vendor totally kicked some serious cash in the same show.