Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
Now that begs the question, just what makes a shop a production shop? And yet another question, How big is too big to exhibit in a craft fair?
Who is the exhibitor? I have always been under the impression that most of the better shows state that the work must be done by the exhibitor and must be present at the show.
I have not ever seen that rule enforced.
You can't compete against that any more than you can compete against stuff made in China at Hobby Lobby. Don't try. You will never win the price battle. You have to beat him in other ways. Be more original and harder to duplicate. Ask yourself, "What can you do that a team of 20-50 could never do?"
I know it's a tough question. I ask it to myself constantly. If you answer that question you will have a competitive advantage.
Also, they have professionals selling their stuff. That's tough to compete with. I have found reading books on selling and business strategy have helped me get closer to their level.
I run into this at every show I have been to. A craftsman of this type can't be at all the shows especially when there are several the same weekend. So they use employees or relatives.
There's an exhibitor called Hudson River Inlay. They are a production shop that gets furniture from China and does the inlay in their shop. They have lasers to cut the wood so the fit is exact. They do a lot of shows and I can set up right next to them and they don't bother me one bit. Because I have something different than they do.
And that's where our mind should be. Unless you have the same thing as the other exhibitor, you have your customers, and they have theirs.
Don't get me wrong. The ones who lie on the applications should be tossed from the show. Right now there's one exhibitor who claims to make everything, but we have the web pages from wholesalers with the exact same things. But these people swear they make their own work and intimidate promoters into letting them in.
How do they intimidate promoters? I thought it was strictly an application with photos and through the jury process one should expect to only get in a percentage of the shows they want to do. Are you saying there is another layer of acceptance whereas artist/companies just go straight to the promoter and bypass this entire process?
Do they pay extra or what?