Craft Shows 101: Finding the Right Show for You

Craft Shows 101 Finding The Right Show for You

Non-Juried, Juried, Gift Shop, Art Show – how does each differ from the other? – Click to Tweet!
When you start to find shows in your area, or where you’re willing to travel to, you will notice there are different types of shows.  You will find non-juried, juried, gift shopping/holiday, and art shows. 
There could be more, but these are generally the kind you will come across.
Now, you’re probably wondering what the difference is, so let’s go over them.
Non-juried – these are generally a first-come, first-serve basis as far as getting accepted. They are pretty easy to get into, and not much to explain here.
Juried – here we have two kinds in a way. I have seen some where organizers will only jury to the extent of making sure there are no more than 2 vendors with the same type of product. The more advanced juried show requires a bit more work. Some organizers will want pictures of your completed work, your work in progress (to prove it’s handmade by you), and photographs of your display. They usually will have an application deadline. This allows them enough time to choose the type of displays that are a good fit for their show.
These type of shows may seem a bit more work and money to apply to; however, these are usually the shows where the organizers have years of experience organizing the show, do a lot of advertising, and have a higher customer turnout.
(Side Note: This isn’t the case for every juried show, so be sure to do your research before spending a lot, or attend one year as a guest and see first-hand.)
Gift Shop/Holiday – these depend on the show, but a lot are set-up the same as other shows. You will want to make sure to have good items for gift-giving, and have a variety of items in different price points. A good idea is to also have holiday-specific items, or even just offer gift wrapping right at your table. If you are not good with wrapping, or it’s too busy, you could have cute gift bags, tissue paper, and bows ready for your customers’ purchases.
Art Shows – this type of show really depends on what kind of show it is. A Fiber Art Show might be different than the Sidewalk Art Fair. If you make One-of-a-Kind items though, these would be a great option for you to look into. You can really capture your target audience at Art Shows because the whole show is catered around one genre of items. Example: For a Fiber Expo you would find vendors who sell wool, yarns, etc. You would find artists who have their needle felted sculptures for sale, as well as crocheted items, knitted items, or anything fiber related. Be sure to show off your most intricate work if you can only take a few pieces with you.

If you are ever unsure about a show, attend as a guest one year, or even check out social media about the past shows, to gauge a show’s popularity. 

What type of show have you found the greatest success at? 

6 thoughts on “Craft Shows 101: Finding the Right Show for You

    • You’re very welcome! I’m glad you found this post helpful and hope that you find some good shows in your area to get started.

      And if you do attend one as a vendor, I can’t stress enough the value of speaking to the other vendors about other upcoming shows.

      Good luck and I wish you awesome success in your venture! 🙂


    • I won’t lie – after almost every show, I come home and take a nap. 🙂 There is a lot of time and effort put into craft shows, but I like to have that face to face experience with customers.
      Thanks for stopping by!


  1. I did art/craft shows for a couple of years a few years ago. I made some jewelry and refurbished furniture. Shows are so much work but they are so much fun! I personally liked the outdoor shows with a good mix of artists and craftspeople.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree! They definitely are fun. I have yet to do outdoor shows since starting Own Something Awesome because I need to invest in a tent still and consider some options for keeping wax tarts cool if it’s really hot that day, but hope to in about 2 years. Currently I stick with a couple spring shows, then pick back up in the fall until Christmas time. 🙂


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