As we all have to plan out a schedule six months in advance, I find that to have an efficient schedule, I have to apply to shows scheduled on the same weekend in hopes that one will pan out and make my travel most efficient and cost effective.  My question is: what does this do my future chances of getting in to the shows I turn down now?  Is it smarter to only apply to shows I will definitely attend if chosen and not get on a bad-bet list or continue and hope that this is a tactic that we're all forced into in this competitive market won't come back to bite me?   Will appreciate all thoughts on the subject.

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  • It's funny that this thread is up today....I accepted and paid for a show in a far, far away place from where I live (16 hours each way), I had already applied to another show when the first one was still being juried.  I didn't think I had a good shot at either of them, so when the first one accepted me, I immediately paid and accepted the offer.  Then, a funny thing happened.  I got accepted into the other show too.  I politely and promptly declined the second offer.  Thinking it was done at that point, I continued to plan for the first show.  Then, I got the nicest e mail from the director of the second show.  Warm, friendly, kind, and very complimentary of my work.  She expressed a very sincere desire to have me in the show.  I have never had a show director be so nice and thoughtful after I had to say no to their offer.  I called her and then thought about it for about a minute and decided I am doing the second show.  I will have to eat the booth fee from the first one, and I am ok with that.  It isn't something I would normally advise doing, but in this case I am ok with it.  Being nice really does go a long way, especially with me.  I know sometimes it is said that shows are treating us lilke commodities and I know some do, but in this case, I was really touched and decided to throw $400 to the wind and hope I make up for it at the second show.  We will see what happens, but I am confident that whatever sales do or don't do, I think this will be a really nice show to do.    

    • Sometimes we have to make hard choices. If the second show is much closer to home, the difference in gas may cancel out the $400 booth fee. I did a couple of shows last year, Minneapolis and Charleston that were something like 12-14 hours away from Indianapolis. Each one was over $400 in gas alone. I drive a Ford E350 that gets about 14-15 mpg. It sounds like they really want you there and it's less gas money, so that sounds like a win-win situation.

  • Carol,

    Over-applying is a necessary part of the business, and there's never a guarantee that a show you don't do but are accepted for would work into a realistic circuit plan with other shows. I understand this, and I'm sure the vast majority of other show Directors do as well.


  • I do the same thing. It is not something I like to do and I do not enjoy turning down a show. In today's market, as you said, with the competition, it is a necessary survival tactic. Each time I have to say no to a show, I always write a very nice and complimentary e mail to the director and as a matter of personal policy, if I apply next year and get in again, that show is a must do for me. I would hope that the shows understand and would not consider me a bad bet.
  • I'd say no. Artists decline or cancel all the time due to other shows or even family obligations.

    Larry Berman

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