I’m sure most handmade crafters and people who frequent craft shows and the like have at one time or another been contacted by an expo or some kind of lifestyle show. I’m not naming any names but I’m sure you know what I’m talking about they usually revolve around weddings, women, kids, men, the home or whatever else they market them as.
Normally you will get onto their phone lists and they will call you at least 3 times before every show and tell you how well you will do there, that you will make loads of money and get a ton of new customers. But do you really?
The general concensus is no, from talking to a lot of crafters, small business owners and the likes. They are very expensive making it hard to re-coup your costs for the average craft based business so here are some pros and cons of doing such expos.
As a general rule food sellers tend to do quite well at these kind of shows especially ready to eat and dessert type foods. Cupcakes, sweets etc generally do well. There has also been an influx of alcohol and drink vendors and they seem to do quite well too.
Before you do an expo there are some important questions to ask yourself. Firstly what is the goal of attending the expo. Exposure? Profit? Reach? All of these things will ultimately answer if your business should be at an expo.
Expos tend to draw in big crowds (be sure to ask the organisers how many people attended last time to give you an idea on numbers) this can be great for reach and exposure. Profit can be hit and miss and with the prices being considerably higher than other markets this is an important thing to measure up. Can your business afford to run at a loss for this even in exchange for potential reach?
Have you attended an expo before? Did achieve your goal whatever that was?