What can I sell at a convention? This question plagued me as I was transitioning to Artist Alleys.
When I was younger I used to run arts and crafts booths with my Mom. I would sell my jewelry creations while she sold her homemade decor and soap. This past year I started to dive into a cousin of these shows, artist alley. I had a basic idea of where to start from my own trips to some conventions, but I never really stopped to think about it until this past year when I got my first booth by myself! Though there are some overlap between how to sell at these two types of shows, the products you sell can be very different.
After doing a lot of research, I found my perfect combo of products for me, but I wanted to share some of the ideas I discovered, so you don’t have to spend the hours I did on getting ideas.
I highly recommend when you’re just starting out to pick two or three then expand your collection with each booth you run as you see fit.
Without further ado, below are some examples of products I’ve seen and sold at artist alleys:
Types Of Products
- Art Prints (Each size you sell can be counted as a different products.)
- Desk pad
- Car Decals
- Jigsaw Puzzles
- Resin Creations
- Jewelry Holders
- Post It Notes
- Pencil Cases
- Greeting Cards
- Face Masks
- Coloring Books
- Graphic Novels. If you run a web series this can be a great way to promote your story.
Honestly the list can go on and on. But I bet there were a couple on this list that immediately made that creative mind of yours spark with inspiration. And that’s the key right there. Whatever products you do decide to pick should be one’s you find a passion in creating. If none of these immediately call out to you, a great thought exercise is to think, “What would I want to buy from a fair?” If nothing comes to mind, it might be a good idea to take a moment to research how to create an ideal customer and try again.
Difference Between Artist Alley and Craft Fair Products
At the end of the day, everyone is allowed to try what is best for them but I found these rules help me a lot. For arts and crafts fairs, there is an appreciation for the creation and the process for completing it. Not saying that that is not there for Artist Alleys as well, but the products are expected to be more refined I think here.
For example, a notebook hand bound won’t get the same attention as one created at a print shop. Part of this I believe is because those going to conventions are looking for a lower price point than those at a Craft Fair. So keep this in mind when creating your game plan for an event. Of course, there’s a chance that you will find those ideal customers still at the convention.
At the end of the day, trust your gut. Half the charm of your product will be that it’ll be your style of the subject matter. The first booth is the hardest hurdle. Once you start, you can always work on refining your booth for the next convention.
Best of Luck,