Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Our Weekend in Old Deerfield

We spent the weekend at the Old Deerfield Fall Craft Show. The weather was perfect (no wind) and sunshine. Our booth was near the food tent and music so we got people coming and going for food. And it was so nice to see some friends from the library (Eva & Janice), some neighbors, and Jeanie who I have known for over 30 years and haven't seen in ages. We got caught up a little in between customers.

Traffic was great on Saturday. Some of the guys who park cars at Yankee Candle and Channing Bete were at my house for a party on Sunday night (more on that in another post) and informed me that one of the lots was full and they had to close it. Sunday traffic was lighter with fewer buyers.
The atmosphere was very fall-like with lots of Halloween decorations. And the ubiquitous scare crow statuary was a nice touch.

Having Bethany work the shows with me allows me to walk around, shop, and talk to other vendors. I love to get opinions from different crafters on how well they like the show. Generally, this year sales were down. Though "Guy Gifts" who sold fire starters probably cleaned up. Some vendors felt it was just an off year, others feel the market is saturated with their type of work. A few said they won't apply next year as it's too expensive and they're not making enough.

So listen up Old Deerfield! My feeling is that this show is overpriced. Too many vendors who travel long distances are unable to cover their costs. The summer show was a clear indication that vendors are staying away and so are customers. Old Deerfield could lower their prices for next year and do away with the admission charge. The lower fee might encourage more vendors/new vendors and bring in more traffic. While eliminating the entrance fee might bring in more browsers, I've seen lots of people purchase impulsively if you can just get them into your booth.

Or maybe they just need to go back to fewer shows. Four shows a year may be diluting the market.


  1. Thanks for the info. I know nothing of craft shows, but I always learn something on your blog! :-)

  2. I also like to read your reviews, as this is my first year doing craft shows and being a member of the Artisans of Western Mass.

    Wendy (Bags of a Feather)