Waiting lists can really be a pain, can’t they. The best wait lists
are ones where you are assigned a number. You can call and find out
how far down on the list you are and how far down on the list the
production company has gotten. ACC if pretty good about this. Some
shows it’s a pure mystery where you are on the list and the
producers seem to like it that way. Some shows you can call and
they are pleased to let you know if you have a snowballs chance,
others really are pretty rude or clueless about it.
I don’t like to be known as a pest, so I usually just try to chill
out and wait. The wait lists of the most competitive shows rarely
move, especially if they’re small shows, or shows without a lot of
Over the last few years I’ve been waitlisted for more shows than
I’ve gotten into. I have moved off a few waitlists, too. I was
waitlisted for one show for 3 years before I finally got in.
I knew one fiber artist who paid her deposit and was told that she
was next on the waitlist. She was told that she wouldn’t get her
refund back until after the show because they may have a booth open
up just before the show opens and if they did she would be notified.
Now, I don’t know how much credence to put into this part of her
story, but she said she was told that if they notified her the day
before the show and she didn’t show up, she wouldn’t get her deposit
back. So, she packed up her work and displays in boxes, hopped on a
bus and camped at the exhibitors desk. They had an opening, though
not because a fiber artist canceled, and let her into the show.
I guess this is an option as to what to do, but pretty desperate.
What else can you do? I suggest patience. I have decided to
overbook shows and if I get into two shows during the same weekend,
or two shows that are too close to each other, then I cancel one of
the shows. If there is a choice between an outdoor show and an
indoor show I usually go for the indoor show, even if it is ranked a
little lower, since the weather is less of a risk factor.
Also consider exploring new shows. It is rumored that some shows
have a “core” list of artists and then a fringe of new artists.
These shows may mix up the fringe artists from year to year. So it
may be necessary to apply to another show that same weekend or month
to better your odds of doing a show, at least until you become a
regular. You can never be absolutely sure you are getting in until
you get that acceptance letter.
Waitlists are just a fact of life if you choose to do business in
this way. It’s a hassle, but every way of doing business has it’s
hassles. By the way, always get to know the show director and
staff. Make sure they always see you happy and busy (even if you’re
not busy making sales). Ask questions, be interested in the show,
ask how you can help make the show go smoothly and make a great
impression. Believe me it really helps. I’m not saying there is a
lot of politics involved, but it may make a difference in getting a
good versus not so good booth space and can’t hurt if the producer
has the final say in who gets waitlisted and who doesn’t.
My craft show schedule so far this year:
February - Baltimore ACC, wholesale/retail
March - Atlanta ACC
April - Spring Crafts Park Avenue, NYC, TBA (fingers crossed)
April - Main Street Fort Worth Arts Festival
May - breather
June - Lincoln Center Craft Show, NYC, TBA (hopefully both weekends)
June Des Moines Arts Festival
July - August Off
September - Lincoln Center Craft Show. TBA (hopefully both weekends)
October - Fall Crafts Park Avenue, TBA
December - Holiday Park Avenue, TBA
December - Charlotte ACC or another NYC show, TBA.
This doesn’t count a couple more shows I hope to squeeze into
September, October or November. This will definitely be the busiest
show year I have
ever had. I suspect that this year will have it’s share of really
slow shows. Hopefully, things will pick up so that next year we
won’t have to work so hard.
PS If anyone lives in any of the cities I will be at, or will be
exhibiting in the show, let me know. I always am interested in
meeting Orchid folks.