Online / Virtual Knife Shows

Online knife shows were a solution to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, but are they the best business option for knifemakers going forward?

Knife shows have always been a much loved event on many knifemakers and knife enthusiasts calendars each and every year.

They provided the opportunity to travel, meet up with friends, exchange ideas, see some amazing handcrafted knives, and engage with fans and customers.

The global pandemic that is Covid-19 has seen many if not all of these events canceled or rescheduled. In the South African context, the Durban Easter Knife Show, Cape Guild Knife Show, Brooklyn Knife Show, and the Knifemakers Guild Show were all canceled. While I think we can all acknowledge the safety concerns that lead to such decisions been made (quite rightly so), it has ultimately hit knifemakers’ pockets hard. These shows are traditionally seen as a key revenue-generating event and are relied upon in turn to keep their business’ going.

2020 may be seen as the year the world will surely and unanimously, want to forget and strike from history for all the disruption it has caused.

It can also be seen as the watershed moment that forced businesses to “pivot” and discover new ways of doing business in order to survive.

While knife shows around the world are canceled, the new modern format of the “Online or Virtual¬†Knife Show” replaced these events as show organizers sought to make their own pivot to digital channels and engage with attendees and makers alike.

Online knife shows have a great number of benefits that traditional shows couldn’t offer. Chief among these was a wider audience, customers could attend from the comfort of their own home, flexible times, nor have to purchase a ticket (in most cases).

Moving to an online format also has its own challenges in that attendees are unable to engage face to face. Which is a large part of the physical event and difficult to facilitate online.

The great thing about physical knife shows is being able to handle the knives in person. If you’re like me, I like to get a feel for a knife. It’s balance and weight. I like to look it over from every angle and chat to the maker about how it was made. Why he/she chose the materials they did etc. Providing customers the ability to evaluate a knife online is incredibly important. You need really good photos or even videos to do so, meaning Knifemakers had to invest more time and effort into their marketing. Those that had already taken committed to taking better photos are well placed to enhance their brand.

Online knife shows, like their physical predecessors, are held over a few days. This obviously helps to build up some hype around the show but it also means that you need to convince everyone to access the show during the time it is running and have funds available to purchase the knives as well.

Moving online and pivoting our knifemaking business should move you forward, make you less reliant on single events, like knife shows, and provide a consistent revenue stream. It’s great to be able to sell a few knives every few months but it’s it better to be able to sell your knives all year round, to anyone in the world?

KznKnifemakers has also upgraded and pivoted the website to afford knifemakers the ability to sell knives online via the new market place. Now you can have an online presence so that people can find you and view your knives. You can add your own knives at any time via the vendor’s area, meaning you’re not beholden on someone else’s timeline. You can see how easy it is to add your knives in our guide.

If you aren’t already listed on the KZNknifemakers website yet, register for free and start selling your knives online.