Art Fair Insiders

Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals

   I am pretty new to the art fair scene . I have been trying to research and choose shows to apply to for next spring. Many of the show descriptions will have an approx number of visitors expected . Sometimes this number can be large , like 80k to 100k . For those of you who have been doing this awhile , do you feel that most of these numbers are pretty close or is it an exaggeration most times than not?

      I went to a fair that said they had 45k visitors and maybe 1/2 that was actually attended . I still did well so I wasn't upset, but I feel that it is very misleading  and where can I find truthful info about these fairs?

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It think it's pretty close to an exaggeration. That's not the best criteria in choosing show. Better to look for qualified buyers, not number of bodies. Smaller shows can generate higher sales if they draw the right people.

The best resource in choosing shows is to talk to artists who have done those shows in the past.

Larry Berman

This is why it is important for artists to fill in the a Review form as well as write the blogs. Estimated attendance is one of the review questions. Follow the Discussion: How Do You Research Shows. I definately agree with Larry that smaller shows can be better, but you may have to work at developing a following at them. It has worked for me.

Dick Sherer

thx larry and richard  for the info. I do understand the reasons why not to judge a show by numbers only. It is hard to find information about the shows and the buyers that attend . There are alot of variables to it to make the best choice.This site has been really great, are there other good ones that you know of?

         What are some red flags that I should look for to stay away from a show?

I do agree that reviews ,blogs, ect are such good tools and make me realize I need to do my part as well to inform other artist about shows I have attended . 

How far are you willing to travel? The smartest thing is to test yourself out not too far from home. The overhead in this business is considerable. I talked to a bunch of artists last weekend at a show. Many of them live in the Midwest and drove to California recently to do the highly rated Sausalito Art Festival. When we did shows we often thought about going to this event but then would stop and say how much would you have to make to justify driving for seven days, plus expenses? Draw a big circle and think about how far you want to travel and then research the events inside that circle. Visit our site to see your choices, follow the reviews here, google the shows that you are interested in. Ask questions here. Not generic questions like "where are the best art fairs?" but specific ones after you've done some research.

good advice Connie, thx, we try and keep the shows within a days drive.  There are so many great shows all over and it makes it pretty easy to stay close to home . Everyone is really nice about answering questions on here and the research helps as well . It's already helped me avoid a big mistake when choosing shows for next year. 

Hi Connie, How I Research Art Shows - Part 1 was posted a few minutes ago. Neat that we both have used some of the same approaches.
Takes look at the Discussion: How Do You Research Shows. Part 1 will go up today.


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