I have shared a lot of tips about markets as a handmade business on Instagram, and have learned many of my fellow maker's tips and tricks! I hope this is helpful!
Markets can be amazing for your business - even if sales are not exactly where you want them to be, you have access to a large amount of people in person! This gives you an invaluable chance to connect with potential customers and give out your card, chat them up, and invite them to follow you on social media.
I have been doing markets for two years and this is my advice!
Tip #1 - Google is your best friend now.
When I started trying to find markets, I realized I did not know my local area as much as I thought I did! Enter: Google.
Simply searching your city and "market" or "pop up" will help yield results. Check out Marketspread - a website for arts and farmers markets - for more options.
Tip #2 - Social media is where it is at.
I have noticed that most of the events I have been connected to are being set up by fellow small businesses. Make connections with other artists and makers in your area.
Half of my event leads come from other business friends sharing on their stories or DMing me about new events. The community aspect is incredibly important!
Tip #3 - Don't expect them all to be amazing...
I am not trying to be a buzzkill BUT not all markets are created equal. You may have one reliable market where you crush $1k in sales every time you attend. You may then attend a smaller one the next week and only make $150. While not ideal, it is all part of the game.
That said, if you have attended a market multiple times and it is not the right fit for you, it is OK to not go back! I have done that before, because I chose to pick the value of my time over the potential reach of a less-than-ideal market.
Tip #4 - If all else fails, start your own!
Don't panic! I know this sounds daunting, but I have talked to makers in other cities/states who decided to start their own events when their local area was not making markets a priority.
Start small with this - market planning and management is not for the faint of heart! Talk to local breweries and coffee shops, see if they have capacity for hosting. Many times they are open to the additional foot traffic a market brings!