The pros have to do with profitability and prestige. In an effort to lower my wholesale workload next year, I am not going to the Buyers Market trade show in February. I'd like to add a few more retail events instead, and ACC Baltimore would be a good start. This is a very active show, it could be my largest gross sales event of the year. It's still one of the most prestigious venues for craft artists. And it's close to home, it makes sense to take advantage if I can.
The cons have to do with cost and workload. It's a very expensive show (about $1700) so the risk is higher, and even if sales are good, the cost:sales ratio is actually worse than a lot of other shows. And in order to have worthwhile sales for the cost, I need to make an awful lot of inventory. I'd have to start now, in between preparing for my other fall shows and remaining wholesale orders. So much for the time off I've been dreaming of since March. And then there's the inconvenience of a wait list, meaning I might not get a spot in the show until the last minute. Or I might even prepare all that inventory and never get a spot.
My wait list number is 29. Back in 2007, I was wait list number 25 for the "wholesale-retail" section, and I got in. In more recent years, I know that much higher wait list numbers have gotten in, as more and more artists dropped out of these high-end shows due to the cost.
What do you think, should I accept or not? I'm taking opinions here and on my Facebook page.