We are well into spring now and that means the season for art & craft fairs, shows, and festivals will soon be upon us. In fact, many events have their application deadlines, many of which include vendor insurance, within the next couple of months! Artists, Crafters, and Tradesmen Insurance (ACT) has made a list of five tips to help you have a masterpiece of a season.
1. Choose Events Strategically
It might sound counter intuitive, but there are some shows that you shouldn't attend. As you consider a show, make sure that it will help you accomplish your goals. Don't simply attend for the sake of attending.
Make sure that the event you are planning to attend will attract an audience that will connect with your product. For example, it may not be a good idea for someone who is a clothing designer to attend a home and garden festival. It's nothing against you or your products, it's just that people attending that show do not attend to buy clothing.
It's also a good idea to find out as much as you can about the event before you sign up. You'll want to know how many people attend the event, what percentage of those people will likely buy from you, as well as the fees that are charged. This will help you determine the number of sales you need to get to achieve a positive return on your investment and whether that is likely.
2. Register Early & Know the Venue
Once you've decided to attend an event, show, or festival, make sure you register early. You may be able to work with the event organizer to find a map of the venue. By studying the layout of the venue, sometimes you can get a better location for your booth.
You might even consider looking at the pathways and where they lead. This could be beneficial because, for example, if your booth is a "gateway" to restaurants and food venues, you might want to plan to be at your booth around lunch and dinner. Regardless, a better location means more traffic, and more traffic can often turn into more sales.
3. Advertise Where You Will Be
Make it easy for your customers to find you and tell your customers where you'll be, especially if it is a large event. Your advertisement doesn't have to be anything too extravagant. You just need to communicate with your potential buyers.
One of the easiest ways to do this is through your social media account. Your personal account may be a wonderful forum to win the support of your family and friends, but having a second business account that is dedicated to your work is a good idea. This not only allows you to show your work to your prospective customers, but it is an excellent medium to tell your customers which events they should attend to buy your products. It might also be a good idea to place a list of events you will attend on your website.
Finally, sometimes people just need a little incentive to show up. You might consider doing a giveaway at the event, or a small discount. This could drive more people to your booth than you would have otherwise seen.
4. Prepare for Inclement Weather
As the Boy Scouts say, "Be Prepared." Weather can change in an instant and you need to be prepared. This means that your booth or tent should be ready for the worst weather. One of the common claims we see at ACT is a vendor's booth blew over and damaged another attendee’s property. Make sure your booth or tent is secured and will protect you and your work.
Another idea is to make sure that you have a plan to get out of the event if the weather is bad. Bring plastic and other covers to protect your work. The last thing you want is a lot of damaged product, and no profit to show for it.
Maybe you just want to tough out the weather and see how many people will come to your booth. Be sure that you have warm clothing or other means of keeping dry, but be ready to bug out if it gets too rough.
5. Have Vendor Insurance
Having insurance to protect you is one of the most crucial things when attending an event. If something were to happen and a claim were to be filed against you, legal fees and other costs can quickly add up.
Additionally, while many events don't require insurance, some do require you to add them as an additional insured to protect them and the event. Once you have an ACT policy, adding additional insureds is free and easy.
ACT has two policies, both of which will meet the needs of most artists attending shows, events, and festivals. The Show Policy is great if you only need coverage for a few days and you are only interested in general liability. However, if you need business personal property coverage or professional liability the Annual Policy starts at $265.
To learn more about our coverages, click here.