Art Fair Insiders

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

I notice some people using the word "vendor" to describe us lately, and also recall seeing this word used to describe us-in materials passed out to me at the art shows from the promoters.

So, yesterday when I was opening my email packet from another show-there is was-

*Instructions for the VENDORS.*

This comes from a been-around-some-time art organization composed primarily of older watercolorists- if anyone doesn't want to use the word VENDOR, it should be them, right?

I was reading another packet this morning for the show I'm doing this week, and this show is referring to me as an EXHIBITOR.  I like that word.

Just some thoughts.

Views: 1021

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Yes, i totally agree as well. it begins with the relationship between the artist and the promoter. I began a new festival 3 years ago. I used ideas from events i attend and my own personal touch. 

To begin, we have a jury process (in person). Once accepted, the artist receives an application. On the app it requests a bio and any pix they would like to have included on the website and facebook page. If they dont send anything, they cant be promoted. no brainer, but it happens. 

Previous artisans are given an added incentive to pay early and their photo will be added to the rack card, which is distributed to thousands of people. 

As applications are received, the artist is sent 50 cards to hand out at their next event. Some artists request several hundred to place in offices, lobbies and travel centers. It is a team effort. 

Beginning in Feb/Mar, we begin featuring an artisan every evening on Facebook at 7pm. The artist is notified of the scheduled post, so that they can share it w/their friends. The website is updated weekly to reflect as applications arrive. 

This year we gave all artists a T-shirt upon "check in" with a option to purchase another shirt at a discounted rate. I was amazed...most people wore the shirts all weekend! It showed our patrons how much support we have from our artists. 

We offer Free water to everyone at the festival...Ice chests are in every barn and building with a sign "FREE WATER". Also the concessions are given water to hand out. We thought they would have a problem with it, cutting into their sales, but that has not been the case. 

We do have our challenges of building up. However, I think people are beginning to realize how much we are giving back. All monies go into the festival, not promoters' pockets. 

So, thats what we do :)  

still trying to get updated pix for our gallery, hopefully soon!  Come join us or visit!

Shari, your remarks about free water remind me of a guy running a food truck at a show we do.  This is a vintage and handcrafted show, not fine art.  He puts out 2 or 3 ice chests in front of his truck, to the left and right. In one he has sodas that customers purchase when ordering.  The other has bottled water.  The water is on the honor system & there is a jar to put the $1.00 in for the for the water.  I asked him about the water thing.  He said often people are just wanting water.  This system keeps them from having to wait in line for a simple purchase and helps him serve more customers more quickly who are actually buying food.  It works great for him.  He reports that he has not lost $$ on it.

This really has nothing to do with the conversation but I thought it was awesome that he found a way around a problem and has not lost anything of value.  In fact, he has proved that many people are trustworthy in the little things.


I agree.  I just don't know how we change the tide of public opinion.... specifically those who promote shows.  I wonder if the attitude they have is because they come strictly from a business or non-profit field and are not artists or craftspersons to begin with?  And ... as long as they come out with a profit (if it's a for profit show), the promoter is happy.

I can visualize one of us, being the only one, standing on a soapbox in the middle of a show, shouting, "I am an artist!  I am NOT a vendor!"  LOL


Cindy, I know it seems a futile pursuit, but what if we ALL stood on our soapboxes...?  Hhhmmmmm...


I prefer the word artisan. Feels more comfortable to me.

I agree - especially for fine crafts.

I guess Vendor is still better than ART PEDDLER.  I don't like EXHIBITOR either after seeing "The Full Monti" yesterday evening.  ARTISAN is still a good word  I however still like ARTISTS and CRAFTSMAN  or even FINE ARTISTS and SUPURB CRAFTSMAN.  Is is time to call PROMOTERS...…... SHOW BARKERS

After reading two pages of previous replies, I believe there's a more important point to be made. In critiquing a newbie artist's booth it was pointed out that consistent use of frames would enhance the look of professionalism.

In marketing "real" art, which I think most of us want to do, the word you use for the artist MATTERS a LOT.

I saw a few comments accepting the word "artisan." It's not the same thing people in our language group think of when they hear the word "artist." An artist does not make cheese or bread, things which recently have begun taking on the "artisan" label.

If the product you make is more like cheese than an oil painting, then embrace it at the Craft fair. If your works are one of a kind, I suggest you are an artist.

This isn't just for us. It's to help the event organizers properly label their event and those who make it what it is so customers can have their expectations fulfilled, not disappointed.

The "V" word is poison to this effort. Vendors sell hot dogs, soda pop and mass-produced items. We should remove it completely from our marketing and communication about our shows. Even a little 3 x 5 card gets seen by the outside world. Details matter.


Want to sell more online? Advertise with Reach over 60,000 fiber arts lovers.

Look Inside the 2018 Art Fair Survey
Who Won and Why

Top 10 Reviewers on for January and February

Join the MasterMinds Group for personalized coaching on your Internet Lifestyle Business! 

60 Page Report - Best US Art Fairs

Click Here to
Learn More

© 2019   Created by Connie Mettler.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service