Once you have found the show you would like to attend, it is now time to apply.
I like to make a copy of every contract to keep on file and refer back to. This is especially helpful when tailoring your selection of products for the type of show you will be attending. (You don’t want to forget what products you said you would bring.)
Note: Some shows do require you to have a sales tax license. Make sure to look up the information for your state on how to acquire one.
When filling out your application, you want to let them know what makes you different from the other applicants. We’ll use jewelry as an example. There are several different styles of jewelry. When filling out your application, be specific on your style. If two applicants wrote “Jewelry”, only 1 of them would being accepted. (This is an example, they could accept 2 or 3 based on the size of the show.) Now, if the same two applicants were specific and one applicant wrote “Steampunk-inspired Jewelry” while the other wrote “Geekery-inspired Jewelry made from recycled games” it is very possible they both would be accepted. Even though they both have jewelry, each person had something different to offer to the show.
If you are applying to a juried show, and need to send photographs in, make sure the photographs are clear and well-lit. The photographs you send in will be the very first impression of your products and your business. You don’t want to send in a blurry, poorly-lit photographs. You want to show the judges that you are serious about your business.
I’m not saying you need to go out and spend hundreds of dollars on a camera; however, if you have a friend who is a photographer, now may be a good time to pull in a favor. If not, make sure your pictures are a good quality, not blurry, and have a consistent background.
Some juried shows will expect three types of pictures – one of your products, one of your display, and one of you working on an item (to show that you make the product that you are selling).
The contract will usually state how you know if you are accepted into a show or not. I have had organizers send me a message to my Facebook business page, an e-mail, or sometimes you have to watch your bank account to see if the check has been cashed.
If you did not get accepted, don’t get discouraged. Visit the show and see if they already have what you have to offer. Many shows will take returning crafters before new crafters. If they do not have what you offer, look around and see how you could improve your photographs or branding to better fit in with the show they curate.
I hope this helps you out. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below or send me an e-mail. OwnSomethingAwesome (at) gmail (dot) come. I would be happy to help!