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I'm a super newbie, finally able to start making lots of inventory and hopefully sell my work at art fairs. I happen to live in Deerfield Beach, Florida and have recently stumbled upon the Arts Festival Conference 2018 that happens to be held right here in Deerfield Beach in about two weeks. I found out about it from one of Connie's emails. I am taking it as a positive sign and I am going to go! I hope to soak up as much info as possible about the whole art show process. Is anyone else going to this conference? Has anyone been to any of the previous conferences? Any tips or must sees? I'll try to leave a quick review after it's over.

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I assume you're referring to the zapp conference.

The best part of the conference for artists is the mock jury. If at all possible, try and get your images into the jury. It's probably too late but check zapp and see if it's still open and if not call and try to talk them into it. If you can't get your images in, go anyway and watch how the projection works.

Larry Berman

I wasn't sure how they did this, so I didnt sign up.... Darn I regret it now.  I will be paying careful attention during that presentation.

Wonderful, Julie. I'm so glad you are attending. These conferences are full of information about the business. You'll really see the behind the scenes operations of an art fair. You'll meet show directors from around the country. The networking opportunities are unparalleled. I am not attending this year but have been to many of the conferences. You can find a lot more information about them if you search "Art festival conference" on this site. We have reports on almost all of them, from my point of view and from artist's. 

Btw, I know they are running a shuttle to the Coconut Grove Festival on Saturday from the conference. If you haven't been to that show it is worth the trip. And, I can't emphasize enough the chance to network and learn a lot. AND Larry's point is excellent. If you haven't been able to get your images into the jury attend it anyway. You'll be amazed at what you learn. Top judges, top criticisms, strong images ...

Now, I just checked on that. Search for "conference." Lots of details ... I'd love to hear what you learn.

Following this post.  I am going to be down in FL during this conference and was debating on attending for a day.  I too am a newbie and it does sound like an awesome way to understand the behind-the-scenes aspect of it all.  The prospect of taking my now hobby into something bigger does indeed frighten me.  Are there others in the same boat or is it mostly "experts" who attend these things?

I really want to encourage you to attend, Lauri. So many people think there is nothing to running an art festival, this will help you appreciate the complexity of the business. There are experts there but also new artists, show directors just getting started. It is kind of "insider-y", but put on your sales hat and introduce yourself to others and sit at tables where there are others. Perhaps you could meet Julie, who started this discussion, and compare notes. This is a business whose success depends on a lot of networking and learning from others. 

Click this link: and then go to the Agenda to see what the sessions will be about. 

I am moderating a panel at the conference called Mystery Unmasked: An Inside Look at the Jury Process (3-5 p.m., Thursday, Feb 15). Panelists include Sharon McAllister (Fort Myers Arts Festival), Margue Esrock (St. James Court Art Show), Mo Riley (Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, the Original) and artist, Chris Dahlquist.

We'll be talking about the jury process, comparing monitor and projected juries, jury scoring, common misconceptions, common issues, evolving medium categories, the artist statement, transparency in the process, and more! 

Please feel free to offer up some specific topics important to you and we'll try to get it in the conversation.

Hope to see you there!


Will any of this be podcast / simulcast?

Is the Mock Jury able to be entered into and viewed / listened to without being present?

I would have loved to be there but could not get away at this time.

I don't know about the Mock Jury but can find out. I'm trying to figure out how to FB Live this session, so standby.

Hi, Stephen. I posted a big question on here to you and then decided that I should delete it from a public forum and send it to your email. Thanks.

Okay, a change of heart here. I am going to go the conference and I'm looking forward to meeting you Julie (I know we've traded emails before) and you too Lauri. See you in Florida.

That's a great idea about the simulcast. I'll ask the Zapp folks about it.

Connie, thanks for asking them. I am planning on bringing my SLR to video this session (and then trying to figure out how to upload ;-) Perhaps we can FB Live the session?? 

Never done that, Stephen. Have you? Ready to learn ... 


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