Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
I wish they would put a notice in the shows leaflet or a sign at entry points, that taking pictures of Artists 2D work is something they should ask permission to do.
In my book, taking a close up photo of an image is stealing. They can take it home and print it, or toss it all over the internet. At least ask. I don't want to give people a hard time but I do want directors to help educate the public.
Wow .... better be able to hold it! LOL I know we don't quit hydrating just because the show is over.
Advertise ,advertise advertise There is to much free social media out there not to see it everywhere. That also goes to artists use social media Twitter ,Facebook ,etc. People can't come out if they don't know we're there. Get me the crowd I'll do the rest .
Brian, I agree. Advertise the heck out of it. The artist should not depend on the promoter alone. Advertise on personal facebook, your business page at facebook ... same for twitter, Instagram, etc. Part of our booth fees should be set aside for promotion but there is nothing wrong with FREE either. :D
I wish that show promoters would stop giving spots out by request. One person I know calls every show and LIES about her ankles, or whatever..and always has a low number spot. I think booth request should be done away with, and level the playing field.
Simple: Find a way to listen to the voice of the BUYERS that attend the event.
I doubt more than a handful of promoters have any clue whatsover and most of those would be commission-based events. What matters most to us and to the event? In my opinion: BUYERS. Simple. Our buyers don't come, we don't do well and may not return. Buyers don't come, the show doesn't do well. As artists turn away, applications go down and promoters face filling their shows with lower quality work - that if their buyers are paying attention, is a bad thing that will turn many patrons away from the event.
Assuming there is an ounce of logic to this: why do promoters not pay any meaningful attention to what people are buying? And I don't mean just subjectively, as in "Oh look, there is some artwork going by!!!" but collecting data to do it OBJECTIVELY, in a meaningful way? In all the years I have done shows, so few promoters pay attention to this. Sizes, art mediums, quantity going by and who is selling the work. Do they place staff at exit points to monitor/count/look/see or god-forbid collect any data? More importantly, what artists are having the most success with those buyers in terms of sales? Most promoters haven't a meaningful, statistically-valid crumb of data on which to evaluate the very success of their event. I believe this to be a simple, obvious fatal flaw. It in now way connects the dots between buyers and artists, the lifeline of the event. It really is not about bodies - it really is about buyers. And on what data does a show base its opinion that their show is working?
To put it bluntly, if an art show is a STORE, and each of us with our artwork is PRODUCT in that store, what store owner in America would succeed if they did not pay attention to what the public, walking through their doors (the entrances to the show here in this analogy) PURCHASED? And who made what they purchased? When people bough product, would you as the store owner not ensure that product was back on the shelves next year when those people returned and again walked through your doors? You think telling someone who pays attention to when your show is, plans to come, gets up in the morning, gets in their car and does come with credit cards in tow, cares one iota when they come to purchase from artists they purchased from last year to now find those artists are not there? And the reason being that some 'consultants' aka: jurors (let's call them art critics to be real) decided the work was not compelling enough? Ignoring completely last year's results? Really????????
Part of our journey as artists and shows as events is finding our market and client-base in the first place through experimenting with shows. Then when we do find our client base, how do we get back to them? The decision process of who is in and who's is not is rarely based on sales to the public. The vast majority of the time that path is blocked by jurors/critics in a very subjective review, totally ignoring the reality of sales at the event.
Does this model make ANY SENSE??!?!!?? Jurors determine what the event looks like each year, ignoring the results by artists the previous year(s) that is based on patrons attending and purchasing art? I hope that is a rhetorical question. NO, to me it is ludicrous as a business model. The voice of the public in what they come and purchase, and how artists do financially, has to come into play at events. Or we fail as artists and events fail as venues. Senescence and decay resulting from dogma and tradition. Makes no sense.
Before you write any response, think of this: do you care more what a juror thinks of your work, or the buying of the patron-base at an event? If jurors score you in and you do poorly, will you go back simply because jurors liked your work? If you do fantastically at the show, one of your best shows ever and an event where you were one of the top if not the top seller in your art medium, and next year and perhaps the next year or two after that you get juried out - you okay with that? Going to find other shows, at more expense to equal that result? That was based on that show's patron base responding to YOUR work?
I read the title differently.
What I wish show owners/directors would do would be to have a number to call/text to get a booth sitter, or some sort of flag to raise at the corner of your booth to signal you need some help or a break.
Joel: Thank you for jumping in. Lots of shows have surveys but they are for the most part worthless. For one, if they ask how much you made, it is often though not always a range of values (e.g., 0 - $1500, $1500 - $3000) which does little to define how shows do. Also, many ask the question in terms of "did it meet your expectations?" or "how would you rate your sales compared to others shows?". Also for the most part meaningless.
The chief factors that IMO influence any such answer, even a specific sales number, are:
1. Are you a full-time artist that relies on your show income for everything in your life, as if you worked a job (sans of course medical coverage and retirement!)? Or is this a hobby, or part-time involvement? HUGE difference.
2. Are you local? Or did you drive in from much farther away? This affects costs/profit, if you are sleeping in your own bed and eating at home versus incurring hotel/motel/B&B costs and restaurant or grocery costs.
As an example, if you do a show and you make $1500 in Chicago - does it not matter vastly whether you are local? Whether you drove in from Texas or Florida or Virginia? Whether you do it as a hobby? Or full-time on which you rely on that income to pay for and achieve everything in your lives?
If only 20 people out of say 150 artists turn that in, I doubt there is a statistician in America that would say that means anything at all, is in any way descriptive of the results of the event. Same with all the ranking systems: AFSB, Sunshine Artists, here on Artfairinsiders .... if you try to base a 'ranking' on data collected from a small percentage of your artists (say 10-20% which most shows get even that level of input back) - it is meaningless. Please - don't take my word for that - ask anyone that works in statistics. You would have to know the distribution of the data (which from my experience is not a normal distribution so a normal "average" is wrong) and have confidence that the data was randomly sampled (which it usually is not). Let me ask you this: if you did great and wanted to get back in, WHY would you tell the artist community the show was great for you? Would it not lead to more and more people applying, and your odds of getting back in lessening with each new applicant in your medium?
Even with the existence of the post-show surveys given out to artists to fill out if they want to .... in what way do those surveys make a difference in who is in the show next year, again, solely as a measure of the public's voice? Without close to 100% reporting, you don't know how other artists did or how the show overall performed, do you? Shows never use this general information to invite back artists that connected with their patrons, do they? I think that is a rhetorical question: they do not. If any artist wanted to get back into the show because by their own standards (again, full-time, hobbyist, part-time) they concluded it was a good or good enough show, besides honesty and ethics of the individual - what would prevent any given artists from slightly or grossly exaggerating that information? There is no penalty for doing so, is there? And possibly a reward of getting back into a show because the artists was - well - dishonest?
Bottom line, if a show wants to know how it is performing it has to ASK the very people it relies on to exist: patrons of the arts. Short of that, collect the relevant data from ALL artists. Or do the sales at the events for the artists so the show HAS all the sales data. It is done at events so it is doable.
Final point. If you ran and show and collected data from 75% of your artists at the end of the show - and I ran a show and collected general survey data from 20% of my artists - (1) whose data are you going to trust over the other? And (2) why should the national ranking systems not use YOUR data collected from 75% of your artists, but use mine? Or another show where maybe they get 12 cards or online postings? That kinda is the way this 'system' works. Illogical and insane.
Ron I agree with you about sample size and statistics, but some data is better than no data for show managers. I disagree about telling the art community that a show is a good one. I'm not paranoid about not getting invited back as I am confident I will get an invitation because of past sales, sending the show copies of my reviews. supporting their silent auctions, offering suggestions, and etc.....whatever it takes on my part to make the show better. Maybe it is important to be an "active participant in a show" rather than just another of the exhibiting artists. New leather guys have started doing Steamboat and Golden. Our work is different but we are all doing well and new life has come into the shows.