After last weekend’s soggy experience in Sequim WA, we were excited to be headed east to the warmest part of Washington. Several of us who had put up with the rainy weekend were looking forward to the opportunity to dry out and we weren't disappointed.
This was our 3rd year participating in this art show. Last year it was our best show of the year and still stands as our best 2 day show EVER! So, we went into this weekend with expectations of a good show, but also trying not to be overly optimistic. Sales? We hid the dead center of the results from the past 2 years, less than last year but much better than our first year and to date this year, our best 2 day show of 2012 thus far. In our minds we at least achieved our goal for this show.
Load in / Load out is fairly easy, I blogged about the show logistics, fees, etc. last year so instead of re-writing all of that, I’ll refer you to last year’s blog:
We had several repeat customers and seem to be building a great client base in this area. This is the one big show they have each summer and is well attended. We were a bit disappointed to see how they had reconfigured the portion of the show where our booth was located. We had the same booth number but instead of having our nice shady location we were without shade most of the day, we had a lot of comments from customers that we had one of the hottest booth locations, groan, grumble, etc. Set up and tear down in the direct sunshine was also a little more exhausting, but at least the tent dried very quickly after being packed away in rain the weekend before.
Friday sales started early and rapidly between 9-11 and then seemed to die for a couple of hours. The crowd seemed to shrink about 2 PM until early evening. We had a few sporadic sales through the afternoon and then after 6 PM the crowd seemed to multiply quickly and we closed the evening with a few more sales. Overall it was our lowest Friday at this show, a decent day but not the great day we had last year on Friday. Friday’s weather was warm (97 for the high) with higher than normal humidity for this part of the state. We were saved by having a fairly windy afternoon, that helped keep the air moving and made it feel a little more bearable.
Saturday started slower but sales were very steady for us from 10 – 4 and then a few last minutes sales between 6 PM and 7 PM. The weather was much more pleasant with a high only in the lower 90’s, low humidity and a wonderful breeze for part of the day. Saturday was a better sales day for us and the crowd was pretty steady all day.
Overall this is a fairly pleasant show to do. No artist amenities are offered, the focus is really on just the art. There is a stage with music and some performances by various dance groups, but it’s off to the side and the volume is not an issue. The food area is close to the stage and there’s plenty of seating near the food area so we did not have near as many people walking through with messy hands, trying to touch jewelry while eating their junk food. The show is held the weekend of the hydroplane races on the Columbia River. I learned this year that this used to be a 3 day show and years ago the organizers decided that holding the show on Sunday wasn’t worthwhile for the artists due to the races, so they shortened it to a 2 day show and eliminated Sunday. Nice to see a show where the organizers are actually concerned about making it worthwhile for the artists.
This is a show that most likely remain on our schedule and continues to be the start of our summer road trip. Next stop? Couer d’Alene ID, Art on the Green. Hoping to get a few things restocked between now and Thursday.
Connie - this is Richland, not Sequim, who decided boat races and art events didn't draw the same crowd. Sorry, Sequim was the weekend before.
Good to hear of your good sales, Ruth, and thanks for chiming in on the BAM review with your point of view. It really helps round out the info on a show.
I worked on an event for a few years that was associated with the Port Huron to Mackinac (MI) Boat Race and know how those boaters love their parties. We were brought in to expand the drinking, but it was a very hard thing to do and did not succeed in bringing people from the boats and the parties to the art fair. Kudos to the organizers at Sequim for recognizing this and running an artist-friendly event. We need to hear more good news like this.
Lisa - no issues such as those you described at the art show. There's not even a beer/wine garden, the art event is pretty low key, lots of families. I appreciate the fact that several years ago the organization decided that it wasn't worthwhile to hold the show on Sunday when the final races are held. Most of the patrons we talked to weren't even planning to attend the races, the events seem to attract a very different audience.
Hi Ruth and Lisa, I'm originally from the area, too, and I really like to hear about the Washington shows. Good luck in Couer d'Alene next weekend.
Hi Ruth, I'm originally from this area so it's nice to hear good things. Were there any issues with excess alcohol consumption due to race events? I read the show closes before actual race day but for many the races are a full weekend of "party and watersports". Several years ago the area made national news for the wrong reasons when there were riots due to the races. I know this was an exception because its been going on for decades without similar problems but there is still a lot of alcohol everywhere.