Art Fair Insiders

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

Are You Worrying about the Booth Shot?

From an email I received:

I just purchased a new Showoff tent and Armstrong walls for the 2016 season. Being in MI and in the middle of winter I am not sure I will get the chance to get a new image made before getting out my apps that are due soon. My last year's image is with my EZUP tent and mesh walls. Is it better to find a way to get my booth set up and shot before the deadlines or to use my image from last year and instead let the show know that I do have this new setup?


My response:

It all depends. Is it a well known show with many applicants, or one where you might not have to be too strict about the rules? 

If its a biggie and your old booth shot is good, I'd use that. Shows do not choose their exhibitors on the quality of their set ups. I know we obsess over which is the best tent, walls, color, angle, that will get ourselves into a show, but basically the show just wants to know your 10 x 10 will add value to the overall look of the show.

Didn't get around to shooting it? Put in the disclaimer, but ordinarily the show doesn't care. They just want to see the degree of professionalism you have and you want the jury to say "we want that one in our show."

What does anyone else have to say? What have you done in this situation?

Views: 886

Comment by Larry Berman on March 30, 2016 at 9:00am

Yes, by all means upgrade your booth picture. It's not winter anymore so you shouldn't have any issues, short of time, to set up your booth for the picture. And have enough of the top of your new canopy in the picture that they will understand you have a more professional canopy.

For the most part, besides needing a professional looking booth picture, shows tend to use the booth shot as a tie breaker and a better booth picture will give you a better chance of being accepted into shows you apply to.

Here's an article I wrote on how to take a good booth picture.

Larry Berman

Comment by Paula Shoulders on March 30, 2016 at 9:36am

Yes and I think you'll be happy that you did, regardless what your old setup was like, for Larry's reasons and more! Figure out how to put your tent together and mark all the parts so you can do it again. Figure out the best way and where to add the weights, your signage, lights and of course making sure your product is shown off in your new display to best advantage. All BEFORE your first show. Best wishes!

Paula Shoulders

(p.s. "let the show know you have a better setup?"  If that works I will try it next time on a show where we've been rejected... wait... we have better work! I'm just not showing it :)

Comment by Gini Weslowski on March 30, 2016 at 8:30pm

I was recently wait-listed for an upscale fine craft show.When I spoke to the organizer, he indicated that the jury liked my work, they didn't like my booth shot. Specifically, he took issue with the light aqua table toppers, and the curtain.  He said if I agreed to remove those, he had a  spot for me.  I'm not sure if he'd have ever told me that if I hadn't called.  So, booth shots apparently can be a deal breaker. 

I am happy to remove the aqua toppers and curtains. But I would appreciate input here.  I can see for very high end shows, leaving the aqua off is probably a good idea. But for more average juried shows, I'm inclined to use them. I've gotten many compliments on my booth from customers, and been told the color drew them into the booth. What do you think? Should I use in typical shows or scrap them altogether?  (BTW I bluured out my logo for the booth shot)

Comment by Greg Little on April 1, 2016 at 10:55am

What are the grey wrinkled panels on either side of the curtains? To me they look like vinyl tarps I use to protect things from the weather ans rain.

I don't like the aqua colors either...but that is a matter of personal it is with the juror. If you find something that works better for the very high end shows then why would you settle for anything else for any show of any level?

Comment by Gini Weslowski on April 1, 2016 at 12:39pm

The "grey wrinkled panels " are actually the white tent sides.  As for why I would use them, because I like them, because I do get compliments regularly on the color.  I don't see it as "settling". But that's why I'm looking for input.

Comment by Greg Little on April 1, 2016 at 1:05pm

I didn't realize they were the tent sides. I guess the lighting caused them to appear grey.

I constantly look for ways to improve my booth photo and it is a difficult task because a good booth photo never seems to happen when taken at a show. It is a lot of work to set everything up in the back yard at home ...but I've done it numerous times and will most certainly do it again.

A booth style and design/colors have to be a perfect fit with the artwork and creations each person is displaying. It is a balancing act between pleasing ourselves, the booth visitors and the judges who decide if we meet their personal tastes. A difficult task to put it mildly.

Comment by Connie Mettler on April 2, 2016 at 12:21am

Gina, Greg has been kind enough to weigh in here. On this site a while back he showed his booth shot and there was a lot of talk about how he could improve it, and I believe he did. Go to his page and you can probably find the discussion.

Listen to the show organizer, that is who decides whether or not you get into the show, not the buyers. I don't have a problem with the curtain but I agree about the table toppers. The higher end the show the more sophisticated your booth has to look. Have you been to the show where you weren't accepted? Have you attended art fairs specifically to see other jewelers booths? If not, you know what you have to do to step up to the next level. 

Comment by Gini Weslowski on April 2, 2016 at 3:09am

Thanks so much Connie.  I will, of course, listen the the organizer for the show I talked about. But since I can't very well ask each show organizer their opinion prior to applying, I was hoping for knowledgeable opinions here. I have been lucky enough to be accepted into the majority of shows I've applied for so far. I've attended many shows and seen many, many jewelry booths. I'm not new at this. This was just the first time that my booth shot was mentioned as the reason I was not initially accepted.  I'm reluctant to abandon my color scheme for all my show applications based on one show organizer.  That was why I asked for input. I appreciate your feedback!


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