Mentors: some shows offer mentoring programs
for first timers; they connect you with a veteran to
whom you can ask questions. I had a mentor for my
very first major show, and it was a big help. Promotors
sometimes have student programs where they will
cover some expenses in exchange for help and the experience of seeing what a show is all about. This gives
an advantage if the student wishes to enter the following year, provided their work is up to par. I have also
had students, interns, and friends who wanted to get
into shows so they have worked for me for free while
I picked up their travel and meals. This is a great way
to see firsthand what the entire process is all about.
Let’s face it; we artisans don’t get out much. The com-
radery among woodworkers is unique and show expe-
riences can create strong bonds. I have made many
close friends that I only see at shows; it’s wonderful to
share information about our creative process, what
new projects we’re working on, technical aspects
of your work, new tools and processes, booths, and
other shows, which can be invaluable. These shows
offer great business opportunities, and they give you
the chance to mingle with our kind.
Craft and trade shows can be lucrative, fun, and
exhausting, or they can even be a bust, but I’ve found
them to be a useful way to get my work out in front of
more people in ways I wouldn’t otherwise be able to.
I’ve developed a larger client base, made a lot of new
friends, and always have a great time. ;
Scott Grove is a full-time professional woodworker with more
than 35 years experience. A graduate of the Rochester Institute
of Technology, he has won four Veneer Tech Craftsman’s
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