It has been suggested that this be posted as a new thread.  I asked the question in another Blog, Jim Parker gave a really good answer but I'm wondering if there's any other input on this topic.

As we start planning 2012 and will be trying some new markets, the sheer number of shows is overwhelming, many of them run by professional promoters which is also new for us, most of the shows up here are not run by professional promoters, many are run by art leagues, chamber of commerce, rotary clubs or other non-profit organizations.

As I've been researching shows, I've also been looking at the area's economics, median housing price, etc.

So,  how do you know when an area has too many art shows?  Is there a ratio you use on population in an area vs. number of shows or number shows times number of booths, etc.? 

BTW, here's the blog post where we didn't quite stay on topic.

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  • Well I can only say this, when a market gets saturated; I feel it is diluted.  Locals can't tell the difference between all the shows and it they have no real urgency to attend, they can always go next week.  So depending on which week you are there - you could miss your people.  If you are at too many shows in one area, people will feel comfortable delaying the purchase - saying "you be at XYZ show next, right?"  I don't know how it would affect tourist business.

    I am in AZ ... a perfect example of diluting the Market is Cave Creek/Carefree they have a show every month and sometimes every week from Fall to late Spring.  Everything from organized shows to flea markets.  There is really only 1 event that works for me - it is a studio tour called Hidden In the Hills and is for local artists - it has collectors.

    One of my business goals is to be at less local shows, now that people recognize my work.  Selectively choosing the local shows and being confident in saying - no this is your best chance to get that piece.  Concetrating on new markets and gaining recognition there.  There is risk of course but I am looking to build clients and drive more action to the website. 

  • When lots of people come by your booth and say "Hello, I bought from you at xyz show, Good to see you" If you're seeing the same people over and over it is time to drop a few from that area.

  • I've tried shows that were in good demographic areas and bombed, so that's not a big thing for me. I've also done great in shows that were otherwise in a really saturated market of other shows. Why? It depends on who's coming and whether they're on vacation or not. Naples Florida gets different people in town from week to week, and for the last few tries there I've noticed none of the locals are doing the buying.... I live in a tourist town that does a monthly art fair. All the patrons are different from month to month. The best of these shows coincide with "big" weekends that has lots of visitors. Just some food for thought...

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