Art Fair Insiders

Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals

Just received an "Invitation" from Juried Art Services to apply to the West Palm Beach Fine Craft Show in February.  This lovely invite came with a $50 application fee ($75 if after 9/12!, but the website says it's only $70), and did note that ONLY last year's award of Excellence winners were grandfathered.  135 Spaces total.  When you are charging booth fees like this:

SHOW SCHEDULE

February 25 - Check-in and set-up
February 26 - 10 AM to 6 PM open to the public
February 27 - 10 AM to 6 PM open to the public
February 28 - 11 AM to 5 PM open to the public

BOOTH FEES

10' x 10' = $ 1,100
10' x 15' = $ 1,650

*10' x 10' corner = $1,450
*10' x 15' corner = $1,800

You don't typically have an application fee.  I cannot imagine sending $50 to a show that can charge such a huge fee (if you book a 10x10 corner you need to sell $10,000 to make retail sense - 15% rent factor) if they can't even get their application fees to match the website.

I have made a decision, and sent them this email after unsubscribing:

Just a note to let you know why I have unsubscribed from your emails.  We are taking a stance against outrageous application fees.  Any fee in excess of $25 should include enough detail on the number of spaces available, the NET number of spaces available, the category mix ratio, and the number of applications received last year.  $50 to apply without this information is like mailing $50 to a casino and asking them to place a bet for you.  Not going to happen.  Sorry

They probably won't read it.

Views: 2590

Comment by Alan Anderson on August 28, 2015 at 7:31am

BTW, I had not even looked at the booth fees before I sent the email.  If I want to spend that kind of money on booth space, I would go do the Southern Women's show (but we don't).  The ONLY way I am going to spend $1500 on a booth is a show that works on a percentage!  Love those shows, the promoter is your partner and is highly motivated to bring buyers.  2 great examples are the Kutztown Folk Festival and Annmarie Gardens Artsfest.

Comment by Kathleen J. Clausen on August 28, 2015 at 9:36am

Alan,

Applause for your stance!  Let us know if you get any response.  I can't imagine paying that much for application, let alone booth fee.  

Comment by Barry Shandler on August 28, 2015 at 9:53am

I will no longer apply to any show with an app fee over $25 or a promoter that wants a new jury fee for every show they do. I do however sympathize with the promoters and committee chairmen as they could really use the extra money to help pay for their beach homes in the Outer Banks and their ski chalets in Aspin.

Comment by Bernard Zalon on August 28, 2015 at 9:56am

That's why I refuse to apply to Reston anymore.

Comment by Alan Anderson on August 28, 2015 at 10:09am

If a show is awesome, and the booth fees are reasonable,  I will pay up to $35.  To top it off, we have never been juried in to a JAS show, yet the Smithsonian juried us into AnnMarie Gardens, we are in the Sanibel Masters, Mount Dora and several other fairly prestigious shows.  Go figure.

Comment by Barrie Lynn Bryant on August 28, 2015 at 10:26am

You probably won'tl hear back from them since they'll probably view your email as smart aleck.

Comment by susan lambert on August 28, 2015 at 11:05am

I'm sick of jury fees. Doing jewelry is already tough. A promoter told me she had 12 slots for jewelry and over 200 applicants. They are making piles of money on these fees. I won't even apply anymore unless I'm pretty sure I can get in. :-(   

Comment by Nolly Gelsinger on August 28, 2015 at 11:20am

Annemarie requires a $50 application fee every year.  With $150 for an inside space, plus 15%, plus the $50 application fee, it just didn't make any sense for me to apply again.  I know I would save a $100 if I went with an outside space, but even that $100 didn't make that much of a difference in my decision not to reapply at $50 for a chance to spin the wheel.

Comment by C.C. Barton on August 28, 2015 at 11:44am

Sausalito and Cherry Creek have been charging those kinds of jury fees and booth fees for years...and the people that do them take it in stride because if you get in and make the kind of five figure money that's possible with those shows, the memory of the jury and booth fees quickly fade away.

I paid Sausalito's jury fees for 10 years before I was finally accepted, then paid the huge booth fee (and had the pro panel guys make me a hanging shelf for extra storage to go inside the work closet I make with panels because at Sausalito, for that big booth fee you don't get one extra foot of space - when they say 10 x 10, they mean it literally).  The show turned out to be quite decent, but just average for me and I felt relieved to finally be able to cross that high jury fee off of my annual to-do list.

Comment by Brian Billings on August 28, 2015 at 11:52am

If their not on the top 10 list, they have no reason to charge that much for application or booth fee. Put in the work and create a top 10 show, then I understand and don't mind as much!

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