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Hidden competitors at Crafts Events by Wiliam T. Lasley.

While craft shows are a great way to market your crafts, there are hidden competitors at many events. These should be
traveling/lodging costs and raw materials to build stock... But there are also some not-so-obvious factors that can come
into play. These "hidden" competitors can take the money right out of your customers hands before they get a chance to
spend it with you!

The Hidden Competition

Admission Fees -
Some shows and many "festivals" charge an admission fee to visitors. Some fees are not very expensive, but any fee can
affect a customer's cash flow for the event.

Parking Fees -
In many larger "downtown" areas, at civic centers, fairgrounds and such, visitors have to pay for parking. This is yet
another expense that can sometimes turn "buyers" into "browsers".

Concessions -
Everyone love to eat when they are on an outing. This is just as true at craft shows. For would-be customers with a
limited cash-flow, this may mean having to decide between buying lunch for the family or buying your crafts.

Other Events -
While other events that are going on in the same area at the same time as your craft event can bring extra traffic, it also
thins out the amount of money a crowd has to spend.

Season -
someone selling gift items and ornaments, but at the same time could dramatically decrease sales for someone selling
handmade patio furniture. Take into consideration what season your products sell best and try to base most of your
show-circuit around this time.

Remember, none of these factors can make or break a show. For instance, an admission fee can also work to your
advantage at a high-quality juried show, by weeding out the browsers from serious buyers. But, anything that your
customer has to spend money on at a show should be taken into account. Determine ahead of time if a particular event
will be right for your product. Over time, you will get a feel for which shows work best for you and watching for the hidden
competitors will be come second nature. Good luck!
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