Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Thoughts on my first time as a vendor at a bead show.

Just over two weeks ago, I attended and vended at my very first bead show. While I'm still processing all of the tidbits and information I learned and gathered, I thought I would share some tips that I found helpful as a first time vendor. I'd love to share whatever I can with you, so be sure to leave me a comment or a question that perhaps I can cover in a future post!



In many ways, Vending at a bead show is quite similar to vending at a regular art show with some very important exceptions. My booth was very close to Artisan's Alley, the area where all of the artisans are placed. At art shows, I often have to explain my jewelry to customers, and explain that the beads and components are all handmade. At Bead Fest, a large percentage of the customers are already familiar with artisan components so I was able to spend a lot more time conversing about my specific processes and techniques.



Inventory was something I was concerned about since it was the largest unknown quantity. The most important lesson I learned was to make sure you have a large and varied inventory. Don't rely on what may be a best seller online, because in person, you may find your best selling components are very different!



Meeting people in person is one of the most fun and rewarding aspects of any show. If you vend at a large show, be prepared to meet many friends and business contacts. If you have any upcoming plans or new products, don't be shy about mentioning them!

What questions do you have about being a vendor at a Bead Show? Let me know in the comments!

8 comments:

Cynthia@Ornamental Style said...

The table looks great and I hope it was a success.

Micheladas said...

Actually my question was about how large of an inventory you would need, but you answered it...

Shelley Graham Turner said...

First let me say how disappointed I am that I was able to get to meet you - next time! A question I always have is HOW do you know how much inventory to bring? Is there a formula (for instance last years attendance time #)?

stacilouise said...

Thanks for sharing your tidbits!!!! I am thinking of doing this show next year, and need to decide sooner then later!!!!

Ok- so how many cards did you end up giving out? I know lots of the gals were unsure how many to have for beadfest.

Artisan Beads Plus said...

Thank-you for the information. I don't sell beads other than online since we really don't have much going on where I live, but maybe in the future, I will be able to venture out. Was your location a good one or is that something that people should think about too? I know it has made a difference when Bill has done pottery shows.

Marie Cramp said...

Thanks for sharing these tidbits! I hope to get to try out vending at a bead show sometime. I am clueless as to how much I will need to make for it, but it is worth a try for sure!!

Stacie said...

I was anxiously awaiting this post...I plan on making some metal beads to sell soon....lovely set up...

Kelli said...

What I'd actually like to know is WHERE the bead shows are that have artisan made beads. There are a couple of shows that come to the Louisville, Ky area, but there is rarely a handmade vendor or two, if any at all. Bead Fest sounds like a BLAST!!! Where can info be found on where these shows are ? I'm sure our readers would like to know as well. THANKS for this great post!!! Hope you had an AWESOME show! Your set up looks great!

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