2018 Fall + Holiday Craft Shows Around the Midwest

Midwest Craft Con was founded by three craft show organizers with the mission to help people grow their handmade businesses. While we are still recovering from our conference — sign up for our emails to get details on the next con in 2020 — we are deep in the DIY craft show scene all year round. This list of craft shows and fairs around the Midwest and adjacent states for the rest of 2018 is our gift to makers who want to branch out to new markets. But it’s also for handmade fans who feel like taking a craft show road trip!

strung by shawna, string art, usa map
Art by Midwest Craft Con alumna Strung by Shawna

Know any other indie craft shows that should be on our list? Add them in the comments!


Three is the magic number!

It’s been just over one month since we all said goodbye to one another in Columbus. In that time, I’ve encountered two attendees in the wild. By in the wild, I mean in their natural habitats: at a craft show and in a yarn shop. One had attended Midwest Craft Con all three years, and the other experienced the Con for the first time. While they both had kind words to say, they also had wildly different experiences. They are at different places in their businesses and were looking for different things, but they both left ready to dive into their business headfirst.

As I’m finally settling into my day to day routine of life and work and the glitter is starting to fade, your stories and growth are keeping me going and are helping me look toward the future. We are going to take the next year to think about what Midwest Craft Con can do for our alumni and how we can bring in more makers who have not yet joined our Conner family.

Though 2020 seems so far away, my hope for us is to still find ways to meet one another, online and in person. I want to keep hearing your stories and see you challenge yourself to grow your business.

I’ll leave you with three reviews from attendees with their own experiences from the conference:

Oh yeah… and I totally finally got to met Crafty Chica! #micdrop #nevercraftalone

— Megan

PS! You can still nab a Gemma Correll-designed Never Craft Alone T-shirt or tote in our store until we run out!


Want to talk at Midwest Craft Con 2018?

keynote speakers midwest craft con 2018

Want to share your craft business knowledge with the entire Midwest? Midwest Craft Con is looking for experienced creative business owners to share their experiences with our attendees.

Our target audience is what we call mid-career makers, people who have run a creative business for at least two years. A successful session pitch will keep those businesspeople in mind, and we love it when people put own spin on the topic. Breakout sessions are 1.5 hours in length, including Q&A time. We are looking for sessions specifically targeted to makers regarding marketing, business, finances, legalities, work-life balance, ideation, creativity and other craft business issues. We’re not looking for medium-specific craft workshops at this time. To get an idea of sessions we’ve had in the past, check out 2017’s schedule here.

Invited speakers will receive an honorarium, hotel stay and admission to our three-day conference and some additional surprises. (If you buy an early bird ticket but then are invited to speak, we will refund your ticket.) We regret we aren’t able to invite to everyone who submits an idea, but we hope you will plan to join us no matter what!

If you’ve got an idea for a talk you’d like to give at Midwest Craft Con 2018, fill out this proposal form by Sept. 15! We’ll get back to everyone who submits a speaking proposal later in the fall, and announce the 2018 speaker lineup shortly thereafter.


Save the Date for 2018 + Keynotes Revealed!

Midwest Craft Con is back! We are returning to Columbus, Ohio, in 2018 for our third Con with three days of programming and three amazing keynote speakers!

Write it on a Post-It, save it to your phone’s calendar, wrap some yarn around your finger… whatever you gotta do to remind yourself that Midwest Craft Con is happening Feb. 16-18, 2018, and early bird tickets will go on sale August 1!

Our theme for 2018 is Never Craft Alone. We are moving to a new intimate setting located about 25 minutes away from downtown Columbus to the concrete cornfields (it’s a thing) of Dublin, Ohio. Our headquarters will be the Embassy Suites Dublin, which is going to be more affordable for our Conners and offers perks like free parking and breakfast!

And now for this crazy amazing lineup… are you ready? Our keynote speakers are:

kathy cano murillo, kelley deal, gemma correll, midwest craft con keynote speakers 2018

SERIOUSLY! We are still pinching ourselves. And we’ve still got a whole lineup of breakout speakers to announce, plus we are adding more craftivities, LOTS of DIY workshops, midday stretches, pool activities and and all the googly eyes you can handle!

We expect early bird tickets to fly away, so do not wait to grab your three-day-pass at the discounted rate of $199 when they go on sale August 1. There are only 100 tickets available at that discounted rate; after early birds sell out, the full-price ticket is $249.

Once you secure your ticket, you’ll get all the details of how to reserve your room as well as access to our secret Facebook group where you can hang out with other creative business owners all year round. You can find a roommate/new best friend in the group, too.

Sign up for our newsletter to get a reminder when tickets go on sale! No one is going to craft alone this February, and we hope to see you in 2018!