Art Fair Insiders

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

Im new here and trying to learn how to use and  negotiate this site.  I read a lot of the  pages and see some brilliant things and some really dumb things and comments.   Then again after 35 years exhibiting at art and craft shows thats normal. 


To any newbes to the exhibiting world. , There are things I do and things I dont do to make my display life easier.  I will rent you  by $/sq. ft  any part of my booth that you encroch on.  No pay and I remove your stuff.  Also dont take the gap between our two booths.  You have half and no more.   I will match inch by inch  beside you if you encroach into the isle.  You  absolutely will not make people veer away from my exhibit to get around your junk.   If you have loud noise coming over some speakers in your booth I will not complain to the promoter.  You will find the cords cut next morning.  I dont want to hear your music. I want to talk with my customers and earn a living.  Its not a flea market.  Dont ask me to watch your booth while you go to the restroom.   If three things get stolen I dont want the responsibility.  Do what I do.  Hire some kid  for $5 to sit in your chair for a few minutes.


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Wow - vandalizing your neighbors booth because you don't like their music??  Glad I was never next to you at a show - that is just some sick passive-aggressive business there. 

Is there anything positive you do to help a friendly neighbor? Or are you just a crabby old fart?

Sounds like you just came from bad experience, Larry. Maybe we need a blog post 10 ways to be a good neighbor and 10 ways to be a bad neighbor.

I was ready to write a "welcome" post.  Yours is the first initial post I've read in 3 years on this site that has had me reconsider. 

When my neighbors have committed any of the above sins, I've simply asked them to correct the issue.  With only one exception, that's all that's been necessary to resolve things.  And I consider it no big deal to watch a booth for 5 minutes while someone goes to the bathroom.  It's called being a friendly neighbor.  You get back what you give.

Not that, after 35 years, my comment or anyone else's is likely to change your mind. 
Good luck out there. 

Geesh larry. What a post. Are your panties in a bunch today? I just did a show that was very slow but all my neighbors were professional and helpful to eachother. I still  have faith in the innate goodness in people.

I haven't been doing shows as long as you, Larry, but I am certainly not a newbie. I can relate to some of the problems you mentioned. I was once next to a fellow selling LARGE windchimes. He had about 15 examples on a circular display at the front of his booth space next to my tables. As people walked by, he would rock the display with his foot to make the chimes ring (?) As the day progressed, his display began to get closer and closer to my table until some of the chimes were bumping my table pretty hard. I finally put my most expensive 'scope on that table. When he rocked the display and knocked my scope off (being glass, of course it broke), I presented him with a bill. He grudgingly paid and moved his display. He was decidedly quieter after that, too.

I usually find, though, that it is best to let the show coordinators handle any conflicts and I will be the nice one who offers pleasant conversation and help when possible. I prefer not to have an adversarial relationship with fellow vendors.

Oh boy, here come the manners police. 

Maybe the guy's just venting about all the ridiculous stuff that happens at shows because there's always some primadonna wth boundary issues, a propensity for socialism when it comes to other peoples' booth space, and selective hearing with emotional baggage when approached. 

Instead of recognizing his concerns and the possibility that he was being facetious, you guys bust out the finger-wags and the "be-nices". 

How about doing the Art Show Hen Treatment on the behavior he pointed out instead of jumping on him because he didn't say it nicely enough in his post.

Many times you are right about things Munks, but on the "cutting the cords" thing you are not.  It is unreasonable that any person who has a beef, has to threaten their neighbor's equipment instead of having a simple conversation with them or going to the promoter.  He never said he wanted to vent, he simply started up with a boorish response to problems type of post.  We all have neighbors that might drive us crazy.  I started to get peeved about my neighbor infringing on my booth space at Krasl and then I checked myself.  I am glad I did because they ended up being really cool people that I learned some neat stuff from.   If I had been a jackass right back at them over the cases in my space, I would have missed out on that.  Other neighbors - particularly the smokers - have made my life hell.  You just have to know when to ignore something and when it's worth it to respond.  Destroying some one else's property will never be an answer - it just marks you as a stupid thug.   You know perfectly well I will point out something that is wrong Munks and this post was wrong in tone, content, and the action he implied he was willing to take over a non-issue.  Don't defend the indefensible.   

I would hand him my trusty stilleto, help hold the wires tight, act as a lookout, duct-tape the family that is undoubtedly camped in the booth, dump them in the creek behind the nearest Wal-Mart, sell their booth ti thenearest buy-sell vendor who is probably the neighbor on the other side, lie to the promotor who more than likely held the tent open for us - and I would proudly accept the award bestowed on me for making the world a nicer place to "vend". 

Munks, there's a way to make a point, and a way not to.  But beyond that, the post is offensive not just because of the tone he took to make his point, but the actions he says he would take against his neighbor for misdeeds.  Holly put it perfectly. 

Seriously: Would you want to work next to this guy at a show? 

I agree with Holly Munks. You mean it is it ok to damage a neighbors property without first trying a more reasonable approach? That is definitely indefensible.

I think it's ok for him, you, me, and whoever else to write about what is bothersome or frustrating and how it feels. What I got from his post was a guy blowing steam because there are a lot of idiots out there. I would be his neighbor any day compared to many of the selfish morons I have been next to all too often.


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