Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
This one of those shows that used to be a biggie for a lot of us. Now, it can be a decent show for many, or a half decent show. The sales here are not like they used to be. That said, many exhibitors come here and do better than $5K for a three day show with nearly a $600 booth fee. This year we had heavy heat on Saturday, 90 degrees plus, and it affected the crowd and our sales.
First, a little meat:
The whole show is on the streets in downtown Columbus. Booths are on both the bridges that span the Scioto River. Then there are booths on the other side of the river. Also one street goes off the flow of the show, do not go there, you do not see the whole crowd. Being on concrete you will need weights. Ample storage behind most booths unless you are unlucky and get one of the electrical. Storage bins behind you. Side to side is tight unless you have a corner booth.
A staggered setup is on Thursday. Tear it all down on Sunday and then get a pass to come in. Hours are long til at least 10:30 on Friday and Saturday. For most of us this is a waste. They have artist oasis and serve the usual stuff, most of it fattening. There is a good restaurant right in the center of the show. They are pricey, they serve good drinks and the A/C is heavenly on a hot day. In the old days the well heeled people from the suburbs showed up and bought here. Then you would see them in Naples in the winter. We do not see much of them anymore. Lots of tattooed kids with piercings and very little money to spend. High end sales are few and far between. Low end reigns here, especially from print bins and art on the stick.
I have done the show since the eighties so I have a strong following here. One funny thing about this show. They require you to have a fire extinguisher at your booth. I have yet to see a single fire marshal check us out for compliance in four years. Plus, in 42 years I have yet to see a single flame at an art show except when we sat in our vans and smoked good doobies. Those were the days.
One of the show's biggest drawbacks is that it is so long to walk it, and you do not get many be-backs. Although one Colorado photographer I know, said he had a customer walk the show three times trying to find him. When he did, he spent over a grand on a nice piece. Lucky Dick.
As you may have read on other Facebook forums the director of the show caught some bad shit over a show sponsor who was selling cheap pillows at the show. The sponsors pay big bucks to be there. But it is one thing to be there promoting your line, and another, to be there selling. Hell, otherwise we might as well call ourselves being at a trade show where art is irrelevant. I heard the director was let go. Sorry Scott.
I would gladly do the show anytime. I just wish they would end it earlier and not have it so spread out.