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Four Essential Tips for Applying to Craft Shows

The summer craft show season is rapidly approaching, so it’s time to start those applications! They can sometimes be daunting- but it doesn’t have to be that way if you follow a few easy suggestions. Here are my top tips for success at applying to art fairs and shows:

1. Watch for Application Dates

There’s nothing worse than missing a deadline to apply for a craft show, so keep an eye out for the important dates. I’ve found that the best way to stay on top of this is by following the shows and organizers via social media and their mailing lists. If there’s a show you definitely want to do this year, check out the event’s website and sign up for email alerts. Word of mouth also helps remind me of upcoming shows, so chat with your crafty friends about which fairs they’re doing and when to apply.

2. Read the Instructions Carefully

Many applications are rejected because they aren’t filled out correctly. Help increase your chance of getting a “yes” by reading all of the details and instructions throughly. Every application is different and you often only have a few seconds to make a good impression. For example, if an organizer wants you to send photos, make sure your pics are the correct size and truly represent your work. If you need to include a bio, ensure it is clear and well written. Also remember to proofread your application and check that all attachments were uploaded correctly.

3. Be Patient

Sometimes you won’t find out if you got into a craft show for a few weeks or even months. Being patient is important and you don’t want to pester the organizer. One exception is if it’s been a long time and you haven’t heard back (and other artists you know have gotten an answer). Then it’s okay to politely email them to ask if they sent out any messages yet.

4. Don’t Get Discouraged

Even if you aren’t accepted into a show (which has happened to every crafter ever), try again next time. A rejection doesn’t always mean your work isn’t good enough, there may just be circumstances that are beyond your control. Sometimes there are too many applications in one category or an organizer likes to mix up the artists from show to show. If you really had your heart set on a particular event and get a “no,” it doesn’t hurt to ask to be put on the waiting list in case there are any cancellations. People often drop out of a show or don’t pay their booth fee, so that may open up a spot for you!

What other hints do you have for getting into craft shows?