Hello, everyone!

I have been invited to Springfield Old Capital Art Fair.  I've read good reviews for it and I have a friend who highly recommended it.  However, I have also applied to both Broad Ripple and Marion. I did Broad Ripple last year and did well but they don't decide until after decision and booth fee are due for Springfield.

What do you think? Should I just go for the Springfield since they already invited me?

Thanks for your help!


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  • I had a considerably longer response keyed in, but my laptop decided to get so hot that it shut itself off in a heartbeat taking my response with it. C'est la vie.

    I might be more inclined to do the show I did last year, especially if I did well at it. But after reading the applications for all three shows and comparing them side-by-side, I'd go with Springfield Old Capitol. Even without Jim's good recommendation which does mean something to me, I'd shoot for developing in that Springfield show. Great awards package there. I might consider it next time for myself since I've never even heard of it until today, just like I hadn't heard of the Peoria show until recently. Now I'm considering Peoria.

    As for the kiddie tent, that doesn't factor into my decision one bit. I don't look at that part of the show as an opportunity for income.

    Lincoln...What an amazing man.

  • Old Cap is a good show, well attended, pretty easy to do. It's got a bit of a quirky layout, but they have made setup a little easier by extending the Friday hours for that in the past couple of years. Donating some small items to the children's tent will usually pay off -- the kids love it, and adults not allowed in. You can sell up to 100 things at a very low price point (4$4-6), and if you can make something for that little, you may make a few extra dollars and make some kids happy. Win-win.

    I like being on the inside of the rotunda walkway, but the street spaces probably get a bit more traffic. Lots of free parking around the show, and hotels on the south side of town are relatively more inexpensive than the downtown digs (Hilton, State Hotel, Abe Lincoln).

    Audience is solid middle class in Springfield, but they love this show. If the weather cooperates, sales can be good.

    • and you get to spend some time in a very historic place. If you do it don't miss visiting the Old Capitol. You can stand where Lincoln stood.

      Committee treats artists very well.

      So right about that kids tent, Jim. We easily could add $500 to our sales from selling small pieces in that tent. It is the best run children's art area I've encountered.

      • I shot some wedding photographs inside the Old Capitol a few years ago for a couple of artist friends who live in Springfield. It was unplanned, ad hoc, off the cuff, and the people working there were very used to having photographers ask permission to shoot weddings there. The shots turned out well.

  • Now you're talking ... 3 events with nice reputations for decent sales, hospitality and community support. I'd be inclined to go to the one that paid off for you last year and see if you can build on that success. 

    The other determiner is overhead, where you live and how much of a commitment you'd have to make. A few years back a friend who lived in the Bay City, MI, area said she thought she'd go to Broad Ripple in Indy instead of E. Lansing where she had always done well. So, we're talking two full days on the road to go to Indy and probably two extra nights in a hotel. What is the cost of that? Versus, a two hour drive each way ... and only two nights away.

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