You’re invited to Etsy Craft Party, a global celebration of meeting and making. Every year we invite communities from around the globe to participate and organize local gatherings.
In 2014, more than 8,500 people took part in these parties, including hundreds of party hosts. We are pleased to announce that the sixth annual Etsy Craft Party will take place on Friday, 5th June and Saturday, 6th June 2015. Due to the growing popularity of this celebration, we’ve added a second date (instead of just one, like in past years) to expand the scheduling options for hosts.
2015 marks Etsy’s tenth anniversary of connecting people around the world to make, sell and buy unique goods. This year’s Etsy Craft Party theme, Kaleidoscope: Paper Taking Shape, aligns perfectly with this milestone.
Kaleidoscopes represent many individual pieces coming together to create something beautiful — much like the dynamic shops that make up Etsy. Partygoers will have the chance to create three different collage projects, which will be announced, along with instructions, in future blog posts leading up to 5th and 6th June. Follow the Etsy Global Blog and subscribe to the Etsy Success Newsletter for these updates.
Organising an Etsy Craft Party in your city or town is a great way to get together and get to know other local sellers and members of your community. Last year, Christine Sharp-Crowe, captain of the Indie Emporium Tulsa team, hosted an Etsy Craft Party at their brick-and-mortar space, called Made: The Indie Emporium Shop. “At last year’s party, we had a Let’s Be Friends board, where each attendee could put their name, email address, website, social media sites and any other info that they wanted,” Christine says.
“Afterwards we compiled all of those links and sent them to the attendees, so everyone could easily connect.” For fellow Team Captains, Etsy Craft Parties can help boost your team’s visibility and promote the talent of your members. It’s also an opportunity to meet potential new team members who, as you know, can add value to your team by adding fresh experience and skills to your team.
In mid-April, Etsy will launch a brand new event registration platform where hosts can organise their events and guests can RSVP. This new site will replace Eventbrite, which we used previously, and will include handy new features. To get a head start on party planning, here are six ways to lay the groundwork for hosting your own Etsy Craft Party.
1. Choose a date and time
Will you get your craft on with a Friday night party or have afternoon tea on a Sunday? Think about your audience, and which date and time combination is likely to be the best attended. With this year’s extended dates, you even have the opportunity to make Etsy Craft Party a two-day event if you like – GO WILD.
2. Compile an invite list
Will your Etsy Craft Party be open to the public or will it be a private event? Are you inviting only close friends and family or your Etsy Team? Or, will you publicise this to the entire local community? Compiling a guest list will help you determine the scale of your event. This, in turn, will impact several other decisions, including venue selection and capacity, food quantities and supply needs. Take the time to write down specific guests whom you’d like to invite.
If you’re having trouble getting started, start with broader groups like friends from high school, co-workers or moms from baby music class. Once you have a few broader groups in mind, you’ll have no trouble jotting down a few specific names from each.
3. Save the Date
To drum up early excitement, you can send a save-the-date announcement to guests you would like to invite. Drawing inspiration from the invite list, brainstorm the best way to make your announcement to appeal to these people. Handmade cards, email and social media are all useful tools to get the word out about your party. Don’t be afraid to get creative!
4. Choose a venue
Size, cost and location are important considerations when researching potential venues. Depending on the size of your event, centrally-located schools, shops, restaurants and parks are possible places to investigate. Schools and parks usually have ample space for a larger event, while shops and restaurants may include other perks, like food, drinks and shop swag to name a few.
5. Get sponsored
Sponsorships can be mutually beneficial for donors and recipients. Donors receive recognition for their support, while recipients receive a donation of in-kind goods or money to fund the event. You can aim to make your entire Etsy Craft Party a sponsored event. It can seem intimidating to ask for this kind of support, but often it’s easier than you think.
To get started, make a list of retailers you’d like to approach for sponsorship. This could include asking local craft stores to donate supplies, caterers for food or even a photo-booth vendor. In exchange for their donation, you should credit the company or individual in communications about the party, including signage and social media, and come up with creative ways to publicise the sponsor’s generosity.
6. Join the Etsy Craft Party Team
In the Etsy Craft Party team, fellow hosts share valuable advice for planning an Etsy Craft Party. This team is a place to ask questions, brainstorm ideas and take advantage of institutional knowledge from past hosts. Here, you’ll also be the first to know about important Etsy Craft Party announcements.
As you start preparing for Etsy Craft Party, we encourage you to share your planning photos with the #craftparty hashtag. Do you have a memorable Etsy Craft Party story from a previous year? Share in the comments below.
Lauren Hoban leads Etsy’s seller events outreach team, based in the US, organising community events like Etsy Craft Party and Etsy Craft Nights.