Art Fair Insiders

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

Most shows,I barely make expenses. The last two,I lost my arse..

I haven't done a show for a year, last one was Amy Amdur's "Bling" and that was another expensive one to do..Her Gold Coast show, we laid out over a grand on booth fee, travel and hotel , paying to park at the hotel at $45 per day,then at the parking garage near the hotel was another $45 per day...and I sold Zipp,Nada, big goose egg... I wasn't the only one..even the buy/sell people near me were complaining...

Did "Bling" in November,hoping for the best since it was close to Christmas... sold nothing at the show but a lady did put one $500 ring on lay away in December,she's still paying on it... uuugghh.

I have lost money doing shows so I just quit...I can't afford to travel, the hotels and $500-$600 booth fees not with going through cancer treatment the last 2.5 years. Booth fees are so high, jury fees going up..cost of materials, how art artists making it?

I make more money on Etsy and sell more on Etsy than I do at shows...and I don't have cheap stuff..

I managed to make pieces under $100 once silver dropped,but not one of those cheap pieces sold,even though that's all I hear from people is "do you have anything under $100 or even worse..anything for $25....

It's really hard to make silver, let alone gold jewellery cheaply... no wonder people do "buy/sell" at shows now...

I made more money not doing shows, and I like doing them,I love seeing the art and it's fun to travel and to meet other artists.. might just have to stick to visiting the shows..

I'm sure it's the same old lament with many of us...we sell less, and we're competing with more buy/sell,booth fees and jury fees up.. sales down...

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The problem is, right after the election, only half the people will be happy.

Well, I don't think it's any better before the election because everyone is uncertain about who will be president.  At least after the election we have an answer though, as you say, only 1/2 will be happy.

Think about this: A show has around 150 high quality artists, this site now has about 10,000(?) members, how many reviews are posted? how many reviews are positive? artists I encounter at shows are pretty optimistic and I see them making sales too. So what is going on with all the artist who you are NOT hearing from on the site? This blog alone has over 1000 views. If you want to get political LOL....... I don't know folks, but something is going on out there.... LOL. take it as a joke please.


Part of the problem is that people think they will be blackballed or want to keep good shows secret.

Just an observation, but take a look at the number of people selling their canopies and displays, and even their transportation. It seems to me the majority of new posts on this board are people trying to sell their canopies.

It confirms to me the business isn't what it used to be, or the people found out the money just isn't there anymore.

Chris I noticed that too. I look at the geography as well. For the glass only half empty people, hang in there, with fewer artists there will be a bigger slice of the pie for the survivors. We are off to Estes Park, CO for last show of our season which has been FANTASTIC. But that has been the story from the Rocky Mountain resort areas. 

We're just now getting into our busy season. I think I have 2 weekends off between now and Thanksgiving weekend which is our last show this year.

My sales have been up every year for the past 5-6 years. Maybe it's just a local thing for me.

My sales have been up too, but they are nowhere near what they used to be. Before the crash I was doing close to 6 figures in sales. Exhibitors had lines in their booths. I don't see anything like that anymore!

Could be local, for now. Our year is slightly down, less people buying out here in Colorado. Many artists that I have talked to are having bad shows in good areas. We might be on the bleeding edge in the 2nd and 3rd house areas and people with money are not spending it. I believe the market will see a big down turn.

PS. For artist trying to do shows in Colorado, do your homework. There are good ones out here and some bad ones. Berkeley Park, Pikes Peak, Salida, Sloan's Lake, Parker, Edwards (it is not vail).

PSS. Do your research on people that will hold your money (consignment). Ok, done with the soapbox. If you have questions on specific shows/people, direct message me. I will let you know info that I know.

Facts not guessing for left brainers. Our summer show season is over with some shows up and some shows down over last year, but I met my financial goals with all of them. All have been reviewed on this site (Estes Park, Sept. pending). 

Hilltop(1 day show at church)     +$564              Average $475     4 years  (benfits my church)

Estes Park, CO (3 day May)        +$109              Average $2617   6 years  (weather can affect sales)

Jackson, WY (3 day July)           -$176               Average $5512   2 years

Golden, CO (2 day)                   +$336              Average $3969  10 years

Estes Park, CO (3 day, Sept.)      -$681               Average $3752   7 years

Net                                        +$152

I have been doing shows for about 25 years, and early on I decided to research those shows and DEMOGRAPHICS that would produce a minimum of $1000/day in sales. The research takes as much time as producing the artwork that sells. Also, I have listened to what clients have asked for and included them in inventory. 


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