With various Creative Craft Shows coming up throughout the year at various locations (lucky us!), we've been musing over the reasons for cardmaking lovers to attend a craft show... As it turns out, there are plenty!
Most of us have probably attended some form of craft show over the years - either as a cardmaking visitor or with our own stand. But, the thought of attending a craft show as large at The Creative Craft Show is inevitably daunting for some.
Here, we try to answer all of your concerns and questions about craft shows - giving all of the best reasons to visit and advice as to how to navigate a craft show. Your crafty show guide awaits…
Why attend? Practical reasons
There are a huge range of retailers who are all incredibly passionate about their crafty company, so will want to offer you the best possible products at the best possible price! You’re sure to find new companies you’ve never heard of with new dies, stamps, papers and more to choose from. Perhaps you’ve been looking for that beautiful but evasive stencil for months, when you come across it in a bargain bin from a company you’ve never heard of! That’s a win for everyone.
Craft shows, including The Creative Craft Show, hold workshops and classes to let you really get your making muscles moving and create some cracking new cards! From block printing to silk painting, these workshops will help teach you new techniques, or perhaps more efficient ways of using old ones. You may discover cardmaking tricks that blow your mind and make your crafting a whole lot more practical. If you’re nervous about getting involved in a class, there are always plenty of demonstrations being held, so stand back and admire both professionals and amateurs as they share their crafty secrets with you.
If you’re thinking about the financial concerns behind travelling to a craft show, bear in mind that your trip there could save you multiple trips to different craft stores over several months! With almost everything a crafter could wish for at hand, you’re not restricted in the products on offer. With so many bargains to be had, it makes perfect sense to make the trip – just bring a friend to help carry everything back to the car! Along with bargains, there are many competitions and giveaways, so you could find yourself walking away with so much free stuff, you can’t count it all!
You can’t beat the exclusivity of a craft show - so many new launches and select products that have yet to hit shelves. Being surrounded by all of this newness can really help develop your creativity!
Supporting craft businesses
These shows are also massively helpful to craft companies across the country - from the biggest names to the tiniest local craft store, these shows can give burgeoning companies a chance to shine and get their name out there. The impact of not supporting genuine craft businesses can be devastating. Popping to a show and following a new craft shop on social media because of your visit can genuinely mean the world to a new business.
The Creative Crafts Shows happen throughout the year at venues up and down the country, so you can find one that suits you. Here’s a top tip… book them close enough to keep you inspired but far enough away to give you enough time to put your new skills and knowledge to good use.
Why attend? Fun reasons!
Craft shows don’t have to be all about putting your sensible cap on and ruthlessly hunting down bargains and freebies – there’s plenty of fun to be had! Surrounded by like-minded people, you won’t find an atmosphere like it anywhere else. It’s the perfect environment for any cardmaker to look around and feel at home. Everyone at the show is there for similar reasons - you can’t beat a meet with thousands of people who all love the same crafts! Many people make lifelong friends from these shows - sharing ideas and techniques between each other.
Plenty of people can’t express enough how wonderful it is to be in such a space - a day at a craft show can be a day you’ll never forget. So, give it a go! And why not make it The Creative Craft Show?
How to navigate a craft show
Are you concerned that, as a first-time craft show visitor, you may be a little lost? The NEC, Birmingham, for example, is a huge venue and understandably daunting. To help put your mind at ease, we spoke to someone who is well rehearsed in attending craft shows. ICHF Events organise craft shows across the country so clearly know their stuff when it comes to being at a craft show! We asked their communications executive a few questions about how best to get about…
Hi! So, how would you recommend someone should prepare to visit a craft show?
You need to make sure you plan your day so you don’t miss any demos, workshops or speakers. It’s really easy to get lost in the aisles and spend hours looking over new tools or kits. So, get a Show Guide when you arrive, or see if you can access information online before you get there and make a plan of attack for your day! Also make sure you can carry everything you buy; see if your craft show has a shop and drop area or purchase a shopper or very large bag before you arrive. It’s also a great tip to make sure you have cash with you, as some smaller stands may not be able to take cards!
Excellent advice! What's the best method for navigating your way around?
Save your biggest or heaviest purchases for last if you can, so you aren’t carrying them around all day. Take time to have a look at the layout of the event and perhaps do a quick sweep first and note down any stand numbers that catch your eye. Then you can work your way back around. Remember, craft shows often offer lots more than just shopping, so check the maps and see where display and workshop areas are to make sure you don’t miss out.
What if you get to the show and find yourself struggling to find a particular stand, is there help available on the day?
Absolutely! Show Guides will contain maps, or you can ask show organisers or venue staff – they will always be happy to help! ICHF shows always have an Organiser’s Office you can check in with if you have any problems – from lost property to transport queries.
That’s great! So, what would be your key tips for making the most of a craft show?
- Be open to anything! You may discover a brand-new hobby or obsession by trying something new.
- Plan your day. Craft events can be huge and there’s nothing worse than finding yourself at the wrong end of a hall five minutes before your next workshop starts.
- Bring your friends! A craft show is a great day out and it’s always good to have someone to offer advice on your next purchase.
- Eat a big breakfast, bring a packed lunch or be prepared for queues for food and seats at busy meal times.
- Make new friends! Guilds and clubs will often be looking for new members plus you’ll be meeting like-minded people who love the same things you do.
Looking for amazing craft shows where you can catch up with like-minded people, shop until you drop and enjoy ogling at fresh stash items? Come to the Creative Craft Shows this 2020! Even better, get free entry to the venue of your choice, with our amazing subscription offer! All you need to do is subscribe to Making Cards & Papercraft mag and get 3 issues for just £10, PLUS free entry to your chosen Creative Craft show. Find out more on our website!