"I didn't know this show was going on." Uh-oh. This means the organizers didn't market to the immediate area, which are the people most likely to support locally-made goods. It also doesn't bode well for their marketing strategy in general. In other words, if they didn't reach people who live nearby, did they also miss those living in surrounding areas?
"Oh darn, I didn't bring money."Um, excuse me what? If this is a larger, broader type event (where artists are only a small part of the fun), the people who come out to the festival likely didn't know there would be art for purchase, and thus only brought their sunscreen, walking shoes and dog. Make sure festival-goers know there will be art for purchase, target people who appreciate buying locally-made goods, and make sure everyone knows to BRING CASH!!
"This is cute" or "You have nice stuff" or "I like your work" So sounds good, right? Not if you hear this over and over aaaaand...no one buys anything. This means the target shopper was not marketed to. Artists don't give up 9+ hours of their weekend just to "exhibit" their work. They woke up at the crack of dawn, loaded the car, hauled their stuff to their booth, set everything up, plastered a smile on their face, then gave up bathroom breaks and a real meal in the hopes they would sell their handmade goods. Make it worth their while or they aren't likely to return for your next show.
The season is heating up and spring/summer shows are in full swing. Carry plenty of cash with you in case you are lucky enough to make it to a local art/craft show. And remember that the things you see were made with love, care, and lots of work. The next big thing? 3rd Annual Spring Bash on April 30th in Dallas TX. More info: http://www.handmadebash.com/. See you there!