How to Prepare for Arts and Crafts Shows?

March 2016

Image Courtsey: Shreveport-Bossier / Flickr.comImage Courtsey: Shreveport-Bossier /

Arts and crafts shows can be great events for artists everywhere to showcase their pieces, building a fan base, and making some great money. Preparing for the show is very important, especially if you’re an artist just starting out. 

An arts and crafts show is not just about bringing your inventory and selling. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you might end up with a booth full of inventory, no sales, and a loss for the investment you made. Consider these points when preparing for an arts and crafts show.

Indoor or Outdoor

Based on the weather forecast and the type of product you’re selling, determine which setting is better for you. Outdoor shows can be great if the weather is mild and no extraordinary weather events are expected. Especially in the spring and fall, outdoor events can be great. 

If you are selling perishable items or items that can melt or get messed up with heat, sunshine, or rain, avoid outdoor events or make sure your booth is protected from the elements. Also, consider that not as many people may show up at outdoor events if it rains or if it’s too hot outside.

Fill Out Your Application

In order to get into a show, you will need to fill out an application. Be sure to complete this step as early as possible so you can get the opportunity to choose your booth and not have to take whatever is left. 

If you’re one of the first to choose a booth, you can get probably get an area with an expectancy of high traffic and, with this, ensure that more eyeballs are on your products. There are a few steps into securing a booth at an arts and crafts show, so be sure to not wait until the last minute to apply.

Stock Up on Product

Find out how many people are expected to show up at the event to have an idea of how much product you should make. You want to bring as many items as possible, because you don’t want to run out and miss out on potential sales. Knowing an attendance estimate will help you determine what’s a safe number of items to bring.

Booth Essentials

It’s always a good idea to do a mock-up booth at your home or business before the show. This allows you can practice how you want your booth to look. Most booths will have a table, tablecloth, banner, signage, displays, and the items for sale. Preparing for your arts and crafts show ahead of time will save lots of headaches. Start planning as soon as you learn your booth has been approved, and you’re sure to have a better time focusing on selling your products and enjoying yourself. 


Good points! Worth a quick read.

By Pens by Stan on March 2, 2016

Thank you, great advice!

John from Kramer versus Kramer Creations

March 7, 2016

By kramerjt7 on March 7, 2016

How can you tell what you will need if you haven’t been there before?

By will james on March 29, 2016

Do you list
events that don’t have to have a state tax number??

By Nassau Hawkins on March 31, 2016

Do you need a sales tax number ?,

By CandyRosesFromTexas on April 9, 2016

Thanks for the info.  Does the state of MI require sales tax number also?

By Deb Johnson on April 10, 2016

I’m new at wanting to sell my crafts.  Do I need a tax # and a Square { or whatever it’s called) if I’m not sure if this is even going to pan out?

By reni on April 22, 2016

Very informative, thanks.

By b & b happy craft shop on April 24, 2016

Do I need a state tax ID. How does that work?

By Janie Echols on May 18, 2016

Do you have to provide proof of insurance when applying to the fairs.

By kadoe on May 18, 2016

Is it necessary to have a state of Maine tax ID number in order to participate in a craft show.

By Rodney Corriveau on June 5, 2016

How much is a booth?

By Lucifer on June 15, 2016

It’s my first time, do I need a business tax ID number?

By Graceavor on July 1, 2016

I’m interested in renting a booth, my mother makes doll clothes, She would like to sell, she currently has about 80 pieces made.How much is the rental and do I need to have a business license?  Thank you,. Judy Vantrece 968 5025271.

By Judy Vantrece on August 3, 2016

Do you have a brochure with information about pricing, tax information and are there booths that have electrical outlets? 

Thank you for your time.

By Lisa Marie Schow on August 19, 2016

I sell Paparazzi. Our sales tax is taken out by the company before the order is shipped. Then do I have a sales tax ID number in that case?

By Carol Boyce on August 27, 2016

How do I apply for booths at different festivals?

By Laurie Law on September 5, 2016

What is the cost of renting a booth? And do I need a business license to sell my craft items? How do I get an application in order to get in the show? Marla Price 773-366-4276.  I reside in the city of Chicago and am interested in the arts and craft shows where I reside and also in the surrounding Chicago suburbs.

By Marla R. Price on September 23, 2016

Looking for Arts and Craft Vendors for Global Winter Wonderland.

Contact the Fair office for information

By Tulare County Fair on October 7, 2016

I would love to be a participant of the art shows. As an artist I have all kinds of paintings and art work that I have personally designed and painted. Unfortunately looks like I missed the deadline!!!!!

By Ava Coleman on October 18, 2016

I am doing my first show next month and I appreciate your information.  I was told I needed to collect taxes.  Do I need a tax ID #.  Thank you.

By Debbie Spellerberg on November 11, 2016

  I make miniature gardens and fairy gardens.  I never been to any craft show. How do I apply it and where? How does it work?

Thank you!


By Feifei Yoder on November 29, 2016

I make lithographs and painting and drawings. I would like to start exhibiting in art and craft fairs. How do I find a list of such events? Your help is greatly appreciated.

By Anne Freed on December 29, 2016

I make lithographs and painting and drawings. I would like to start exhibiting in art and craft fairs. How do I find a list of such events? Your help is greatly appreciated. I live in San Diego, Ca. Thanks

By Anne Freed on December 29, 2016

To all who are asking about tax ID’s. Yes it is necessary. Apply with the IRS for a tax ID number, then contact your state government for information on how to get a vendors license to collect and pay taxes on your sales. Hope this helps you all.

By Sandy Davis. on January 3, 2017

Can I sell pies

By Debra Archie on January 4, 2017

Hello.  I am an artist in Broadalbin, NY.  I have done craft fairs in the past but would like to get back into it.  Is it best to be a member with to be in touch and aware of the shows in my area?  Thank you, take care, Christine

By Christine Wait on January 8, 2017

we sell amber necklace, raw, braclets etc big selection

if anyone knows of anywhere to vend please let me know here in BC or Alberta, 604-338-7599
samll or big we’ll be there

thank u

By jonthon on January 19, 2017

looking to do a craft show soon in the tn area do i need a business license to sell my craft items, how much is a booth , do i need a tax id#

By vashon williams on January 26, 2017

I would like to start participating at some craft shows. But am unsure if I need a Tin# to do so?
Can you advise?
Thank you

By Kim on January 28, 2017

I’m just getting started in the soap business and would like to do some craft fairs. Do I need a business license, tax number, etc? My phone number is: (541) 672-1910, I’m in the state of Oregon and need any information you can give. Thank you, Kathy Brown

By Kathy Brown on February 7, 2017

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