Spring Craft Fairs, Shows & Festivals

Original Button Bouquet by Liz

It has been feeling a lot like spring this winter here in Phoenix, Arizona. You could say winter really did not happen around here this year. Sure, it was in full force in other parts of the country but mostly temperatures in 70’s & 80’s for us desert dwellers. With spring in the air I like to enjoy outdoor activities such as attending craft fairs. I figured some of you also enjoy spending a few hours just wandering about looking at all the wonderful items created by others who love to create. So, I decided to check out some websites that provide information about craft fairs, festivals and such and while doing so I took notes so that I could share with you which sites I found to be useful and why.

The information I found on these sites is not only great information for people who wish to find an event to attend but also very useful for crafters who wish to be a vendor at such an event. Below you will find links to the websites I visited. These sites provide the visitor with information about attending craft fairs, craft shows, festivals and similar events as well as information for potential vendors such as booth fees, insurance requirements and contact info. Listed below is the website address link for each site I visited. Below the link you will find my review for that website as well as whether I DO recommend and/or do NOT recommend the website.

http://briarpatchmarketplace.com

This website refers to the Briar Patch Marketplace exclusively. Briar Patch Marketplace is a local event that was formed over 33 years ago by Jeannie Cueto. It is a fundraising tool for local schools. The marketplace has been a huge success for crafters and schools alike. The marketplace event is often made up of over 100 local crafters offering items for the home and yard, clothing items, jewelry, art and gifts.  The marketplace calendar seems to include every weekend (at least in the spring) and locations are valley wide. I DO recommend Briar Patch Marketplace to all my readers and crafters.

http://azfca.wordpress.com/2014-arizona-show-listing/

With over 60 listings for this March alone I DO recommend this website for both attendees and potential vendors. This website includes information such as vendor pricing, insurance requirements, event locations, times and contact information. The information is easy to navigate and well organized. The WordPress blog site includes information about local clubs and organizations and includes classified ads.

http://www.arizonaguide.com/events-calendar/arts-crafts

This website is brought to us by the Arizona Department of Tourism. The information provided is very well organized and easy to read. With 44 events listed for March 2014 it is surprisingly complete. Sure there are most likely events that did not make the listing, yet, I am quite impressed with the listing. The website includes a search option with many filters making it quick and easy to find what you are looking for. Each listing includes a phone number, website or other contact information as well as costs for attendees and vendors alike. I DO recommend this site. This site is a great resource for those who are looking for something to do locally.

http://www.arizonafestivalguide.com/

This is the Arizona Fairs & Festivals website. With over 50 Arizona events listed for March 2014 this site is quite competitive and proves to be just as informative as the other sites I recommended. I DO recommend this site. The site includes a search option with filtering abilities. It is a great resource for local events and local artisans.

http://festivalnet.com/state/arizona/az.html

This website is a good source of information. It is quite complete with 85 events listed for March 2014 alone. Even though you must become a member of FNO (Festival Network Online) to get full details I DO recommend this website for potential craft vendors. The site includes links to related resources and a page to buy or sell related merchandise. It is also a good resource for event attendees that do not mind going through the enrollment process to access the information such as times, exact location and costs.

http://www.nationalcraftshows.com/

This website fell short of being a useful tool for Arizona crafters and craft shoppers. With only one Arizona event listed I do NOT recommend this website.

http://www.artsandcraftshows-usa.com/Arizonia.shtml

This website, as the name implies, represents events nationwide making it a bit more time consuming to get local event information. The best way I found to get only local event info is to use the state links found in the lefthand column. Because of the time it takes to filter out undesired listings and the fact that it contained only a handful of Arizona events for this March I do NOT recommend this site to those who like to keep it local.

http://fairsandfestivals.net

This site has over 400 listing for events within a 100 mile radius of zip code 85010. Even with over 400 listings I do NOT recommend this website. However, I DO recommend any crafters who are new at this to check out the informative links listed on the site. The site has more to offer than just a list of events it also contains articles related to succeeding in the craft business. The reason I do NOT recommend it is because the listings are not kept current.There were listings for events that occurred over a year ago. I would verify all event information before investing any time in preparing for an event listed here.

www.craftmasternews.com

At first I thought this website was no longer in existence but I looked a little closer and found that I had incorrectly entered the address. I added an S to the word craft in the address. Once I entered this website I found myself looking at what appears to be a plethora of information. There is so much information on this website that it seems as if it must include every event no matter how small. The reality is I did not look any further into the information provided once I noticed every one of the +/- 50 events listed on the first page of Arizona events took place in 2013. I do NOT recommend this website. It does look like a decent resource if you do not mind sifting through bunches of outdated information to find what you are looking for.

If you are planning to host a craft fair or similar event most of the websites listed here allow you to list your event on their site for free. Listing your event on these sites will be beneficial in finding vendors to sell at your event as well as letting attendees know the details about the event.

For vendors that want to do shows nationwide the last two websites listed here may prove to be exactly what you are looking for to get the information needed to go on ‘tour’ with your creations. You should be able to fill your calendar with the thousands of listings contained on these sites.

I hope you find this information helpful. For all of you crafters looking to find success in doing what you love I hope you succeed.         Happy crafting.         Take care.  : )

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