I participated in many shows this season and learned quite a bit. With my craft, hooded towels and embroidered items, I have a certain target audience for my main items. I believe my items are appealing to parents with younger children or grandparents.
Next year I will be more selective on the shows that I attend. This year there was a huge learning curve, some shows were great, a couple (one in particular) were very bad.
The cost to participate in a show varies a great deal. I was involved in the Bellingham Harvest Festival, over 200 vendors, that was FREE! I also did 5 or 6 events down on Cape Cod that ran me $250 - $350 for the weekend. School PTO events ran between $25 and $55. The Franklin Newcomers cost me $85. These costs figure into your break even point. Some events, all I need to do is sell one single hooded towel and the rest is profit. Some events I don't start making any money until I sell 15-20 hooded towels!!
I will share more on my experiences after my season has ended and I have time to sit and evaluate the whole picture.