When you travel to an art fair, one way to increase your visibility at the show and increase your sales is to have a social event prior to the fair opening. Contact a local event planner to gain access to information about local artist groups. Using their contacts and your list of patrons have the event planner plan a cocktail party at a local gallery and meet the public. The cocktail party is a perfect environment to meet art patrons, connect with the community and start to create interest in you and your work. If you can afford the expense of renting AV equipment have a slide show of your work running during the party. This will increase their ineterest in you and your work. The event planner may even be able to get an AV company to allow you to use their equipment at no charge for the exposure to the buying public. This is getting at the roots of local marketing and networking. As an event planner to the art community I have used these techniques to create fun, lively parties that benefited the artist, the community and the show. Community groups, local art schools and universities will hep you promote the party by allowing your event planner access to their mailing list. You now have the opportunity to be close up and personal experience with people in the local art community. To get to the next step in developing as an artist, finding and meeting your potential patrons is essential to your growth. One last word, have that event planner keep a mailing list for you. Your future success in that marketplace depends on it.

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  • Hi Warren, The only way to get from starving artist to not starving artist is to sell your work. The only way to sell your work is to expose it to the buying public. Art fairs with boorth space starting at $250 is a bargain. It is like buying an add in the local newspaper only much easier to gain from because you are there yourself. Get creative, plan your fairs, raise money and save money and invest in yourself. Trade a piece of your work for the planners services. Planners need the exposure, too. In the world of wholesale food and wine $300 goes a long way. FYI, when I want to raise an extra $300-$500 I have a garage sale. Don't have a garage, ask your neighbors or friends. Afterall, it is for good cause. Long story short, get creative and plan for the future so that when you get there you are ready. Luck favors the prepared mind!
    Good luck. If you ever do an Art Fair in Southern California I can help.

    Warren Townsend said:
    Julie, sounds like it would be expensive. Local galleries will charge to open the doors. Who is paying for the cocktails etc? Most of the local art communities that I know are starving artist too. Yes there are some sponsors out there but if you get 50 people to show up how many are buyers?
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