Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tales from the Road - Shows I have known

Those of us who sell our art have favorite shows and ones we will never visit or sell at again. We talk among ourselves and compare experiences at various shows. Some of us go to juried art shows, others sell wholesale to the trade.

Once upon a time artists set up a table somewhere people congregated, maybe added a tent, then artists got together and had small shows and the rest is history.

What most artists want is a fair break. We can't account for bad weather or other acts of nature.

  • Venues whether they are outside or inside need to have easy access to setup.
  • With the advent of Zapplication and online entry - honesty is the best policy in defining the customers and their purchase power to the artists.
  • Charging large amounts for show fees may make the provider feel that they are making more money - they are promoting turnover in the artists they bring.
  • If it is an art show - $5 bracelets and tie dye teeshirts should not be included.
  • If it is a show where wholesale and retail customers mix - make the policies clear. (Wholesale to the public need not apply)
  • Advertise wisely - where are your customers coming from
  • Make advertising available to the vendors
Shows I will never visit again are those that:
  • Overcharge vendors for space and amenities
  • Are difficult to setup
  • Lie about the possibilities of earnings
  • Limit access to my customers by either charging large entry fees or stringent admission requirements.
  • Mostly are in it to make money for themselves and show it by putting their products at the forefront or limit promotion as an unecessary expense.
  • Have large volumes of inexpensive products for sale at the show which I and other artists need to compete.
I have done high end shows in the big cities and low end shows on the beaches of California where my tent tried to fly away. The thing that keeps me coming back is the respect the show promoter shows their vendors, the honesty they speak and the possibility that the next show may be my best.

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