If you’ve never exhibited before, you might want to try and get some
experience with smaller shows that fit your market before jumping
into the huge shows. That will help you polish your display and
"patter" (how you interact with customers) and fine-tune your
marketing materials and approach without as much expense as the
really big shows. That way, when you do move to the big shows, you’re
showing yourself as a polished, experienced presenter who buyers can
feel confident with.
You also don’t say whether you are in the wholesale or retail market
(or both). Handmade? One-of-a-kind? Production? Artistic? Beading?
The answers to those questions will drive your choices of shows and
which shows are likely to accept you.
In terms of how many pieces, again it depends on the type of show. A
wholesale, order-only show will need far fewer pieces than a retail
show, where people are (hopefully) buying and you need to continually
restock. You will also need to determine your merchandising
philosophy… there are those who believe a “packed” booth display
(lots of goods, densely displayed) drives more purchasing than a more
sparse display. Conversely, there are those who feel that showing a
few items, highlighted in their own special way, speaks more to the
valuation of those items. It’s a merchandising philosophy that needs
to be closely allied with how you position your work in the
marketplace, so it’s not a hard-and-fast rule. I’ve seen both
approaches, as well as many things in between, work well for people.
The key is consistency with the overall marketing plan.
As with others who have asked similar questions, I’d say: Do your
business plan and know your market segment. Then research which shows
in your geographic area target the same segment that you want to be
in. You can then contact show organizers (and this list) and find out
whether the show does what it says it does in terms of bringing in
the “right” demographic and whether it’s well organized and promoted,
and thus narrow down which show(s) you want to spend your marketing
Hope this helps!
No Limitations Designs
Hand-made, one-of-a-kind jewelry