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Home and Garden shows and "Booth Quote"?


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I was gathering information on home and garden shows in Texas and while going through the website I was directed to a link "Get a booth quote". I have never seen anything like this before but we have never done a HG show before either. On the surface it seems weird like you are being sized up for how much you can pay before they give you a price. It seems like when you get there you would be left wondering how fair your charges were. Is the booth next to you paying half as much or twice as much as you. On the surface I just hate not just seeing a price list for vendors. Would appreciate any feedback from someone who is familiar with this practice.

edit:

Ok I did find a price list AND booth quote form so I guess I gt it more now as they have discounts and some premium options. Any input on these shows would be great. We have a line of art tiles so want to expand our reach beyond the local arts and crafts show we normally do. The fees are 7,8 times more than we usually spend so definitely little concerned about it being a waist of money but if we actually picked up some builders and designers as regular buyers then it might be worth it.  

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Edited by Stephen
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  • Stephen changed the title to Home and Garden shows and "Booth Quote"?

I have never had good luck at home and garden show, but did do some searching online at the "Texas Home and Garden" website.  There website is setup more for people going to the show not the exhibitors.

I have not had any luck in years past at home and garden shows.  I have done very well from the leads I make at interior design trade shows.  This is 100% to do with the type of pottery I like to make.

I have seen a huge price variation in booths in the same row biased off the type of product they have, if it's there first year at the show, if they have a known name, ext.

I canceled my 2020 and 2021 trade shows due to COVID-19.

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Hey Stephen.   I've done the Garden Extravaganza  in Jackson, MS  in a previous business and have put some jewelry in a booth  for the last 3 years.   I never did as well as I have in other shows.  I don't recall seeing many builders or designers at the show (could have just avoided my booth).   That fee is a little high.     Some buyers go there just for gardening items and bedding plants.    Some don't like seeing "junk" in the show and avoid those booths.   The booth I was in had Raz flower jars, some metal outdoor pieces, home decor and a small display of my best selling jewelry.   I go down to work the jewelry in that booth (they are a wholesale customer) because its less than an hour from me and is a fun outing.    I actually heard a few people complain about our booth because there were non gardening items.  That Jackson show claims to be really picky about non gardening and we had to have the jewelry in a "non conspicuous spot" .  BUT I just read vendor list and noticed a lot of non gardening (eeeeek Cutco  Cutlery  and other "junk" ..... Glitz & Glamour).  But I do note that some of the top landscape businesses in my area are there.

Note the prices (click on exhibitor packet).    A lot less than the Texas show (but probably a way better clientele in Texas)

https://msnla.org/msnla/exhibitor-info/

(we had an end cap, 2 corner booths $800 .... a really nice set up)

I did see a booth of pottery bird feeders and bird houses.   I think you need to make it on your sales, not prospects.   But that's just me thinking.

Where are your art tiles used? 

 

Edited by DirtRoads
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I have a African friend who sells aftrican fine 2 d art and does a few of these shows on the west coast. He did ok. Booth fees are higher but not that high -well I said it before everythings bigger in Texas and booth fees are no digfferent right.

I have never heard of a potter doing these shows unless the specialized in huge(I mean BIG) pots for rich folks that I have heard of that .

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When you are honestly not sure if a show is worth its booth fee, my advice is always the same. Skip it this time as an exhibitor, but go as a spectator. You can see with your own eyes if your work will fit it, and if the type of customers you want are there. Going in blind is the same as gambling. 

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When I think of home and garden shows, I think of a lot of businesses related to home building, renovations and landscaping presenting their services to the public, not as places that people offering those services necessarily go to shop themselves for their own suppliers. This kind of show might be more successful for you if your products were being featured by a designer or a tile installer of some sort, or if you were able to offer installation or design services yourself. 

That said, there is always an exception that proves the rule. I agree with Mea though, that if you want to take a stab at it, you should asses it in person first before applying for next year.

 

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I know of a few potters that do really well at the Seattle home and garden show.  It's definitely expensive though!  

Maybe because there isn't a lot of potters there, maybe because it's so expensive, who knows.  The real kicker is that people actually pay to attend, and they pay a LOT.  It's in downtown Seattle and parking is upwards of 50 dollars, and last time I went, I'm pretty sure the admission price was 20 dollars.

But they're also not just a vendor thing, there are a lot of seminars and demonstrations and stuff throughout the days so it's easy to stay busy and get lost.

 

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I think it all depends on the show and how it's set up in terms of what types of vendors they have. Sometimes these shows aren't really made for people to buy things at the show, but instead are more of a big advertising arena, where people can browse different services and get ideas for their home remodeling and landscaping projects. The vendors don't plan to make any real money at the show, but know it'll pay off in the future as people move forward on their home projects. If it's that type of show, I would be hesitant to invest that kind of money, especially during a pandemic when attendance may be down. I'm with Mea, don't do the show this year, but rather scout it out and see if it looks like something that would be a good fit.

I did a home show in Milwaukee once, at the urging of a friend who did the show several times and swore I would make money, especially with my lamps. It turned out to mostly be a furniture show, with just a couple of other artists selling decorative work to sit on the furniture, so not much money exchanging hands. The furniture makers used it as an advertising show.  The booth fee was $800, and I sold that much the first day, so I was happy  that day two would be all gravy. It turned out that the Packers played at noon that day and almost no one attended the show, so I only sold one mug, which covered my lunch and gas.

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Thanks everyone!

I do always doubt high dollar venues for handmade because what we really sell is time and being 40-50 hours in the hole before you sell anything is hard to overcome. If you just order stuff it much easier for cash positive to actually be worth it. The getting a bid threw me but I guess they have lots of add ons. Not feeling it at this point but will take GEPs advice and check the local one out in the Spring if the virus is fading. 

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