When’s it gonna stop? Every day someone is announcing or hosting another “arts & crafts” show! STOP IT! We’ve got 500+ events with exhibitor space on various 2010 Georgia calendars. Why would any organizer think we need another one?
Last Saturday, a two mile stretch of a “busy” (we’re talking 50 miles from a city) two-lane road drove the issue home to me. Tucked between two businesses in an open field, about a dozen assorted kinds of tents were lined up. A bit farther down the street was a weekly flea sale. At the end of the street was the weekly farmers market. If there were artists or craft makers in any of those gatherings, they’d have had little to no chance to catch significant sales.
Waking up today, I heard the radio host talking about a different local event this Saturday. The “vendors”, she said, would have all sorts of “really nice merchandise”, from little kids’ dresses to pocketbooks to “oh, just anything you’d want to buy”. Now if that doesn’t make you want to rush right over…
This particular radio host does at least a dozen remotes every year at festivals within a 50-mile service area. And “vendors” and “oh, just anything you’d want to buy” would apply to all of them. THAT is what makes a really special event lose audience… And for every twenty or thirty of these side-of-the-road set-ups, there ARE really special events.
The saddest thing about the proliferation of “arts & crafts” shows is that when one dies, two more will pop up. STOP IT, STOP IT, STOP IT. If you and/or your group is looking for a way to engage the community, raise money, or support local artists, another arts & crafts show IS NOT THE ANSWER!