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To Zapp or Not to Zapp, that is the question . . .

We have been promoting shows in New Jersey for 30 years. Approximately four years ago, we explored going with Zap as two other promoters who have shows in New Jersey had done (Artrider and Sugarloaf). Aside from the cost to us, we had input from some of our exhibitors that, at times, it led to some complications so we put it off.

We are once again thinking about whether or not we should go with Zapp. This forum seemed to us to be the ideal place to get input from you, the exhibitors.

So - to Zapp or not to Zapp - that is the question.

Janet and Howard Rose
Rose Squared Productions, Inc.

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Jacquelyn, here's the deal. If you apply to shows that use ZAPP, and get rejected, it's because they don't see your work fitting into their show. It's really quite simple. 

The reasons you state all have some bearing on your rejections. There are many more artists now, and many more shows. And yes, shows want every booth to look professional. You can call this "looking like a gallery", but here's a clue: if you get feedback that says your floor is not suitable, then take it out of the booth shot you use to jury. You can always put the flooring in the booth when you do the show. Your reasons for using the flooring are great.

Some shows put more emphasis on the booth shot than perhaps they should. Keeping it as simple as you can, and less distracting will help you in the long run. Many thread on here about improving the booth shot. I'm sure that my booth shot has knocked me out of the running with some of the top shows, too. 

But you've managed to derail this thread, and make it about you, and your problems with getting into shows. Sure, your opinion is valid, and may help the Roses make up their mind on whether or not to use ZAPP. ZAPP levels the playing field for artists in many ways, and one might argue that it is unfair to artists that refuse to change. But ZAPP has become the defacto standard for the best shows in the country. It increases the consistency of input for the jurors, and makes it easier for them to evaluate hundreds, if not thousands, of applicants in a fair, consistent process. 

My guess is that you will do better in the smaller, local shows with your puppets. That's fine, and good for you. But please don't muddy the water in this thread because your work is not suitable for the high-quality, highly-competitive shows that tend to work with ZAPP.

I have to agree with David on this. Zapp itself has nothing to do with whether or not you or someone else gets into a show. Zapp does not dictate methods or make them juror a certain way. That is all up to the shows themselves.
Not to sound mean, but it may simply be a case of the shows you applied via Zapp to are more competitive in general to get into (which is why they use Zapp to handle more people applying), and the shows you apply to by mail are smaller shows that are easier to get into in general. So it is not Zapp itself that is to blame.
It is like saying "Restaurants that take reservations are always so busy on Friday nights. I can never get a table right away when I go to one of those restaurants, but when I go to Denny's I can always sit down right away. I wish the other restaurants would stop taking reservations, then they wouldn't be so busy." Of course that makes no sense. The restaurants are busy because more people want to eat there, and they have to take reservations to help manage the crowds. Same thing with Zapp. If it is a smaller show that doesn't get lots of entries they may not feel a need to use Zapp, but a large national show that gets 1000 plus entries needs to use it to help streamline the process.
So when you say "the shows that use Zapp", you are still implying that there is something inherently different about shows that use Zapp. When really it is simply a logistics issue.
The only show that I have applied to that did not use one of the online services was a small local show.

The Roses were asking for the opinion of the exhibitors.  I gave my opinion with some examples.  I didn't intend it to be about me, just my experience.  This post was started in August, with only a few responses.  Now, the Roses have a little more information from some exhibitors. 

Actually, the blog about "to Zapp or not to Zapp" was from 2011. We don't use Zapp because it would mean so many exhibitors accepted who wouldn't then do the show They would understandably be applying to multiple shows on a given weekend to insure they have a show which wouldn't help us maintain our sanity working as hard as do already.

We keep our booth fees as low as possible, especially considering we do not have gated shows except for the Westfield Armory. We do not want to add the additional expense of an online jurying service - an expense which we would have to pass on to the exhibitor with higher booth fees.

We had an excellent year with both the quality and number of exhibitors applying as well as the weather for our four outdoor events. That said, Superstorm Sandy and the upcoming Nor'easter resulted in the cancelling of our Westfield show this weekend.

We accept Zapp images via email or on CD and our applications can be filled on line.

I'm just picking up on this thread -- yes, all who are reading, this is a very old discussion started by Janet Rose 15 months ago that got recycled back in yesterday.

As a promoter of shows using Zapp and JAS gives you a bigger pool of applicants and maybe from some who have never heard of your events, because they came into the business "post slides" and are totally hooked into the digital systems notifications, so you might receive some new applications from their databases.

How do threads get "recycled back in," Connie?  Is it an automated process? If so, I don't see its value.

The difference between blogs and forums. When a blog goes off the first page, it's gone even when people reply to it.

When a forum is replied to it automatically goes to the top of the page. That's why forums are much more interactive.

Someone replied to a forum thread from last year because they were interested in the topic. That's what Connie meant.

Larry Berman

gotcha, thanks

Very true, Connie, but word of mouth and our attending shows throughout the year to insure no buy/sell works very well for us. Email blasts with you, Art Lynx, and for the first time Greg Lawlor also works for our style of promoting and our jurying and acceptance process.

You're right. There is nothing like word of mouth, the very best information.

I have seen the Roses walking the best shows, recruiting  the best artists in those shows for their shows.  They fill their shows with quite a variety of art and fine craft.  They wear out a lot of shoes, I'll bet. 

If you look at the thread on this discussion you'll see it lay dormant since August 9, 2011. Yesterday, Jacquelyne Morgan posted a comment to it and it brought the discussion back to the home page and the top of the forum, then others commented on an old discussion. Nothing tricky here, or automatic.

There are some great discussions in this forum and some of them get picked up now and again, e.g., the discussion from Linda & Jim Dalton, "What is the Worst Question You've Been asked at an art fair?" with over 16,000 views and many many comments, that has been around and active since April 2011. Last comment was August 2012, but you can bring it back to the top of the Forum by adding a comment to it today.


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