Well, Buddy put the message and the advice out clearly. Getting your foot in the door at a show is a way to boost your skills and prominence, as well as the makers you will serve.
My first show was in 2002, which was an NCCA local show. I shot images for $30. I brought a printer thinking I could shoot, edit, and print. Didn't happen. I learned that was impossible for me.
I have found makers are quite willing to wait for print quality. Just deliver when promised.
It's ten years later, but the message is still the same: Build your prominence and get paid while learning.