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Art fairs are investigating new "virtual" show platforms.

What are the best ones to help art events keep going during this difficult year, and beyond?

Pros/cons and advice welcome!

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A jeweler friend of mine participated in a virtual show in March and I visited her booth. From my perspective it went well and she said she made some money. 26 of her shows cancelled this year. The organizers used Booth Central, a company that has done similar things for a long time. Some of it might still be available to see--it was called Art Gone Virtual! and the first one was so successful that they did a second show the next month.

I have two fiber shows coming up--one in September and one in October. They have made me gain new skills: video-making, expanding my own web site, getting a You Tube Channel, and setting up an Etsy site. Granted my neighbor, who does video editing for a living, helped me greatly, but I feel I'm in a good place to go virtual. They are using Zoom, Facebook, and YouTube to promote the artists for these shows coming up. I'll post again when we get something up so you can look at the way it works from the customer perspective. Both shows plan to leave info up through the end of the year and only close the live Zoom segment. You can also check out how the Maryland Sheep and Wool show is still highlighting vendor info even though their show was held last April, I think it was. Another friend is still getting orders dribbling in from that one.

If anyone wants to contact my neighbor, let me know--she's made me look like I knew what I was doing!

Is it Art Gone Viral - Not Virtual? Thanks

Yes. You're right. That's the correct name of the fest. Thanks for letting everyone know.

We also have had just about every show cancel this year, which is 27 shows.... and we have participated in virtual shows with good success- but it’s not the same as having conversation with booth visitors. We have been online for 10 years, having migrated from Etsy to our own website with e-commerce. That’s where having built a relationship with people makes a difference in support and following. Sales always translates to a relationship with the buyers

What's the latest on this from the artist's point of view?

Anyone successfully negotiating this new frontier to make some sales?

I participated in the Michigan Holiday virtual art fair put on by Mark at Integrity shows.  I only had one sale, but there was no fee to enter and the shop I set up on the platform used - Eventeny - will be available to use for future virtual shows.  Once a sale was made, I was charged a commission by the organizer and a processing fee.  I'm also trying out right now.  It's kind of like an ongoing virtual art fair.  I really like the interface, and I can add as many items to my portfolio as I wish.  Customers can purchase directly from your portfolio page, and you don't pay a commission, just a payment processing fee to Stripe.  However, there is a monthly charge for having an active portfolio.  Haven't made any sales yet, but have only been on site for a couple weeks.

I'm currently participating in The Artful Elf virtual show through Eventeny. $35 fee and the usual stripe fees. I've had about $500 in sales for very little effort. So not too bad. I'm also going to try the virtual Cape Coral Art Festival. through the same venue. We'll see how that goes. Set up a page at recently. So far no sales, but Etsy is working really well for me.

Of course, probably nothing will replace reality, but I'm still very happy with the development of the Internet and the attitude towards online studing, online events. Online gives opportunities to those who in reality have limitations: due to their time or location or something else

Good point, Leon. Things happen beyond COVID where we can't show up for an art fair ... every opportunity is a gift.


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