Not sure what to expect at your first fiber festival? Neither was I. While I've done more craft shows than I can count, the other weekend was my first fiber festival ever. Here's what I learned:
All tents are not created equal. The majority of shows I've done have just involved a table space, so I'm not terribly experienced in the tent department. There were some super fierce winds that afternoon and I had enough sense to stake my tent to the ground with 10" anchors, but I noticed the legs on my tent were much skinnier than my neighbors'. My tent was doing a serious shimmy while my neighbors' tents were barely swaying. Though I wasn't worried that my tent was going to blow over, I did seem like my tent legs were going to snap in half. A sturdier tent will definitely be a future purchase if for nothing other than peace of mind.
Festival goers are great guinea pigs. It's a great place to test new products. I had a few different notecard designs that I was on the fence about adding to my line. I printed out a few of each one and was able to see which designs got purchased more frequently and got real time feedback instead of waiting days or weeks to see what moves online
Fiber people are prepared! I did not give out a single bag because every single customer brought their own. Granted, my items are small, but every customer was fully armed with a spacious tote bag. They were prepared financially, as well! The majority of customers paid in cash, so I was happy that I had plenty of change.
Fiber folks are the best folks! Everyone, customers and vendors alike, was just so NICE. I had so many great conversations and met so many wonderful people. There was a great sense of community that I haven't experienced at other non-fiber shows.
It's a learning experience. I feel like I learned so much and will definitely continue to test things out and make changes. Though we'd like to have all the answers ahead of time, you're bound to make mistakes (I made plenty), so take notes, figure out what works and what doesn't, and take time to reflect when it's all said and done!