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Understanding Juried Craft Shows: How to Participate and Prepare for Success!

Are you a craft seller looking to take your business to the next level? Learn about juried craft shows, how to participate and prepare, and why they're important to your success!

Welcome to the world of juried craft shows! Whether you’re an experienced craft seller or just starting out, understanding what a juried craft show entails and how to participate can be beneficial for your business.

This article will cover all the basics – from what a juried craft show is and how to submit an application, to why it’s important for craft sellers to be aware of these events. So let’s get started!

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What is a Juried Craft Show?

Let’s start by defining what a juried craft show is. A juried craft show is an event where vendors present their handcrafted products to be judged against other applicants. It allows artisans and craftspeople the opportunity to showcase their work on a larger platform, and can provide great exposure for their business.

The jury typically consists of professional or experienced crafters who assess each applicant’s work based on its quality, originality, uniqueness and overall presentation. Once accepted into a show, vendors are required to pay a fee which covers the cost of participation.

Juried vs. Non Juried Craft Shows

Juried craft shows have a more selective approach to vendors and usually require an application process. Non juried craft shows do not require applications, but instead allow any vendor to attend with no prior evaluation of their work.

Juried shows can provide better visibility for vendors since it is often assumed that all products within the show will meet certain quality standards. This could lead to increased sales since the customers know they will find products of a certain quality within the event.

Non juried shows, on the other hand, may attract more visitors but are less likely to generate as much revenue for vendors due to the lack of selection criteria and overall standards.

How to Apply for a Juried Craft Show

Applying for a juried craft show can be competitive, so it’s important to be prepared. Vendors must provide evidence of prior sales, photographs of their work, references and a portfolio or sample of their creations for review: the process differs a little depending on the show itself, so ensure you are fully up to speed with the application requirements. It’s also wise to ensure that you are a good match for the show – not all craft sellers will be suited to each event.

When applying, it’s also important to ensure that all materials you submit – photos, descriptions, prices – represent your work in the best light.

Once the jury assesses all applications, applicants will receive notification of acceptance either by email or mail. If accepted, vendors are required to pay a fee which covers the cost of participation.

5 Tips to make your Juried Craft Show Application a Success

  1. Submit an organized and comprehensive portfolio. Include clear photos of your work, sales records and references from prior craft shows or customers.

  2. Carefully read the jurors’ criteria and make sure that your application meets all requirements in order to be evaluated fairly.

  3. Create a professional-looking booth display with thoughtfully designed signage, posters and other visuals that showcase your products well. You’ll want to sweat the detail here.

  4. Make sure you are aware of any deadlines for submission, fees, rules and regulations as specified by the show organizers (it counts to be on time).

  5. Make sure that your products are a good fit for the juried craft show - know and understand your target market

Once accepted into a show, it’s vital to put in the effort to prepare to make this opportunity as successful as it could be. This includes planning out display materials such as signs, banners and displays for their products; researching different marketing tactics such as offering discounts or giveaways; coordinating volunteers or additional staff members if needed; and creating strategies for interacting with potential customers.

Download our free craft show printable here for a handy list of the essentials.

Why It’s a Good Idea to Participate in Juried Craft Shows

Participating in a juried craft show can be incredibly beneficial for most craft sellers, no matter what stage of the game you are at.

Read more: How to prepare for your first craft show »

Not only does a juried craft show provide great exposure and the chance to build relationships with other vendors and customers, but it also offers a unique opportunity to gain constructive and honest feedback from professional crafters - this can help you refine your products and your branding to reach new heights.

Additionally, events like these are an ideal platform for networking and growing one’s customer base. Participating in these events requires hard work and dedication, but the rewards they offer make the effort well worth it.

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Nicole Pascoe Nicole Pascoe - Profile

Written by Nicole Pascoe

Nicole is the co-founder of Craftybase, inventory and manufacturing software designed for small manufacturers. She has been working with, and writing articles for, small manufacturing businesses for the last 12 years. Her passion is to help makers to become more successful with their online endeavors by empowering them with the knowledge they need to take their business to the next level.