The past two Saturdays were spent at Craft/Vendor Fairs. The first in Utica and this past weekend, Rome. It has been a few years since I dedicated time to these type of events but within the first couple hours last weekend, I knew it was time and was glad I went.
Here's the deal, authors don't typically sell a lot of books at craft/vendor fairs so why do we go? It's an opportunity to meet our readers and build relationships. I'm more apt to read a book if I've met someone who recommends the book and if I can meet the author, the likelihood increases even more.
As a child, I remember my Mom and aunts bringing me books signed by the authors after attending different book signings. Maybe this is one of the foundations for my passion to write and meet my readers. It is fun and energizing to meet my readers and those who attended events I spoke at. This weekend I had the opportunity to meet a women who heard me at her church's Fall retreat a few years ago. Her words encouraged me more than she realized, God used her to bless me.
It's amazing to see the way God works and uses us, isn't it? Anyway, in November I have two more events, one in Fulton, New York and another in Oswego, New York. In December I'll be at Christmas in Mexico, then a break until Spring. The amount of time required to prep, plan, travel, and pack can be intense while the actual hours spent sitting can feel long BUT, at the end of the day, it's about the relationships renewed or created that make it all worth it.
In life, so many people are looking at their screens to communicate, I find events like this invigorating because of the one on one contact, eye contact, and real conversation (you know, using our voices and body language). It's great! If the conversation and 1:1 isn't enough, by shopping at local events like this, you are supporting your local creatives. I still find the homemade gifts, books, and goodies my favorite treats to receive (and give).
As you move forward into the holiday seasons, I encourage you to slow down and visit the variety of local craft and vendor fairs. Here are a few benefits you'll receive:
*Meet new people
*Run into people you haven't seen in awhile
*Support local people, possibly your neighbor
*1:1 contact with a variety of people
*Unique & personal Gifts at your fingertips
*Free parking (usually)
*You can do it with or without the kids (it fits your mood)
*Make a girl's (or guys) get away for a couple hours then grab lunch
*Most have food choices so it's one stop shopping
*You learn about new items on the market
*Autographed and personalized books
*You'll get steps and make your heart and Fitbit happy (you can't do that shopping online)
*It's fun and each craft/vendor fair is different and variety is the spice of life.
What is your favorite aspect of craft & vendor fairs?
Lisa M Buske
P.O. Box 323