Last week I attended the Music & More Fest’s first annual craft show as a vendor. It took place in Lamar Park, off Byron Center Avenue in Wyoming, Michigan from 3-7pm (though some vendors must have been told 3-6pm, as they packed up pretty early). They had lots going on with kids’ and other family activities, plus music and a movie outside. This is the first time they decided to do a craft show, so it was free and open to anyone willing to set up shop.
The promoters marketed in the area, including at the Byron Center Farmers Market, which is how I found out about it. Several of the vendors that set up were also from the Farmers Market; others were new to me, but they seemed to be from the area. About 15 vendors set up, ranging from artwork to quilts to sand art. The sand art booth was kinda cool. They had a rainbow of sand and candle wax so you could build your own sand scene in a container or build your own candle with the wax beads. They also had a lady who could etch your name on a grain of rice. Other vendors included quilters, bread makers, painters, crocheters, and more. It was really a great variety with little overlap.
Every vendor had to make their own items, so it was a true craft fair; no direct sales vendors. We were arranged near a path just outside the baseball stadium where the band was set up. The traffic was decent and people were buying. I did ok, it was like a decent day at the Farmers Market, but nowhere near what a normal craft show would bring in. But hey, it was free to participate after all.
I did, however, get some terrible heat stroke. It was hot and muggy and no on was on staff to watch your booth as you went to the bathroom or took a break. Luckily, the kind lady next to me was wonderful enough to keep an eye on my merchandise while I did make the occasional run to the bathroom. I set up at 2pm and didn’t finish my tear down until 7:30pm. So by the end I was just exhausted, hungry, and thirsty. I should mention, too, that the heat and I don’t get along and I am more sensitive than others to heat stroke and migraines.
Some of the vendors were smart enough to bring a friend, but there were a good amount of us doing it solo. I think I would just suggest that if they do it again, just have someone to assist with set-up/tear down and breaks. There was just one woman directing people and vehicles to spots, and the organization was not entirely clear. They did do their best on short notice, but it could stand to be improved.
I also got the feeling from the event-goers that they didn’t know there would be a craft fair and they would have brought more money if they had known. I have promoted many an event, so I do know how hard it is to reach everyone… but at this event I heard it from most of the people.
Overall, though, it is a show I would do again, especially once they work out some of the kinks. It was nice to be a part of an event with so much else going on. I think next year will be much better. They really did do a good job, though. So thank you to all who were involved and I look forward to the next one!