How to Host a Craft Show (When You don't Know what You are Doing!)
What was I thinking! Hosting a craft show, something I have NEVER done before, and setting a three month deadline. Did my Mother drop me on my head or something? I work very well under pressure, but really...Ridiculous!
I started making phone calls and feeling the area out for local artisans, crafters, etc. The more I called and researched, the more I found. A veritable plethora. And the more I researched, the more I wanted this to be more than just your average local craft show.
Most of us work during the week and do all of our fun stuff on the weekend. A lot of us have kids, and/or grand-kids and we kiddingly convince ourselves that a craft show at the local park or the local church is a really good thing to kill an afternoon. HA! All the mother's out there will understand that taking children and/or teenagers to a craft show is like taking them to the grocery store. You get to the show and with wild enthusiasm you try and get them excited about all the fun things that they will get to see.
You disembark your vehicle and immediately little children have to go to the bathroom. And, of course it's an immediate thing. No waiting here, folks. A mad dash is made to find the facilities. Teenagers are unenthusiastic and lucky you if they have a cell phone. At least the tones of disapproval are kept to a minimum. In your desperation, you try and find something to turn this day around. Where are the kids activities? Is there anything for kids?
THERE...out of the corner of your eye you spy something that might save you. Someone is face painting...OK, that takes care of the little ones. Finally in an effort to, at least, enjoy wandering through the craft show yourself, you give your teen a twenty and tell them to go and wander by themselves. But, about this time, the little ones are, of course, HUNGRY! "MOM! WE'RE HUNGRY!" But I just fed you right before we got here, you think to yourself. "Do they have hot dogs? Can we get ice cream? OH! Look, pizza. Can we get something to drink?" And the list goes on. Your cool demeanor is waning fast.
I kept thinking about this all too familiar scenario when I took my daughter and now my grand children to craft shows. So...how can I make the craft show that I host different? How can I make it so kids can have fun. Teens might take more thought. And then it came to me. I have to have an entire area for kids of all ages.
In searching on Pinterest and the web I saw outdoor games. So, my craft show will have outdoor twister, Jenga, Yahtzee, dominoes, face painting, temporary tattoos, and everything else that my years of parenting can conceive. I've contacted some clowns and that might even be a possibility. Of course, nothing makes kids more excited than little animals. So, I've contacted the local humane societies and, as soon as the date is really set (which now looks more like May of next year), they will be more than happy to bring their puppies, kittens, little rabbits, etc. I am still working on this concept, so I am sure, being the overachiever that I am, there will be much more.
Yes, the date will be sometime in early May of 2016. More realistic, don't you think. I have a little less than a year to plan something which is, as I am finding out, more complicated than first thought. I've gone to the Town Hall and gotten the correct paperwork to host the craft show at our local park. Found out about insurance, porta potties, table rentals...still have a lot more.
I want across the street banners and am currently trying to find the best prices. I've set a budget (that was the hardest...so far) I am now working on a flyer. The name of my craft show is "LET'S CELEBRATE! NEW LEBANON, 2016"....but that might change.
The more I think about this the more I want the show to be more of a community event. New Lebanon, NY is a little hamlet that was once a little tourist town. Lebanon Springs was one of the places that tourists came for the natural healing waters, much like Sharon Springs, NY. But, just like every small town across America, it has been hit by recession and a myriad of other factors. And, if you have never heard of Sharon Springs, NY...SHAME on you! The Beekman Boys have single-handedly put that town back on the map.
Why could we not do that? Why could we not show the state that, even though more businesses are leaving than coming, this is still a vibrant, dynamic and thriving little town. We have all sorts of artists from quilters to potters to breeders of cattle to farmers to wineries to musicians and thespians.
This is what I want to show. This is the kind of craft show that I want to have. Not just your average arts and crafts' show. I want the kids to have something to do and have fun doing it. I want the adults to have a wonderful time, because their kids are happy. I want this event to be for all ages. And, I don't want people to quickly walk through the show and leave with maybe buying one or two items. I want the show to go into the evening. The local theater groups have been contacted and, maybe they will perform.
Let's Celebrate! New Lebanon, 2016 will truly be a community event!