booth (24)

Hello! Anybody out there?

Is everybody just folding up tent?

I recently posted two items that were meant to start a discussion and gather information on substantive issues we are all facing in the art fair business.  But I have not received a single comment on either post.  Perhaps you missed them as they were buried in a sea of “Tent for sale” posts that now dominate this board.

We used to have excellent discussions and reports on this board.  Why, at this moment in time when we are faced with more existential questions than ever, is there no interest in sharing information and discussing important changes and challenges?  Is it because everyone on this board is folding up tent and quitting the business? 

Or are some of us still trying to make it work?  If so, let’s talk.

Here are some existential topics begging for reports and discussion:

  • Covid restrictions: Some fairs are restricting traffic, requiring face masks, requiring vaccination, spacing booths apart, not allowing more than two people to be in a booth at the same time, etc.  Are these rules keeping your customers away?  Did you know about them before you set up?  Were they enforced?  Can you make money under these rules?
  • Is the art fair business copying the cruise industry in asking for up-front cash payments for events that may not take place or may be rescheduled, and for which you may or may not get your money back or get “future cruise credits” for instead? Are some art fairs in 2021 pretending to jury in new applicant while rolling over all 2020 invitees?  Which promoters are most likely to go under with our booth fees in their pockets?  How can we prevent that?  Escrow accounts?  Are promoters collecting booth fees for events that they do not yet have all of the permissions for?  Should they be required to tell us when that is the case?
  • Are suburbanites still willing to go downtown for an art fair in this era of social strife and exploding urban murder rates? Any sign that art fairs could be targeted?  Is art fair security being compromised when there is a demonstration in another part of the same city?

You probably have more topics like this.  What would be most useful would be reports from people who have experiences with these topics that they can report on, rather than just opinions.

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Flourish softwalls for sale

I have a set (3 walls) of Flourish soft walls for sale. Used only 4 times and realized a full time job doesn't work with the art fair circuit. Everything is in good shape. These are black mesh with backing for EZ up tents. I also have upper and lower staybar for additional support/tightness. Comes with all of the attaching brackets, poles, s hooks and upholstery hooks. Asking $900 OBO for everything plus shipping. I'm located in CO. If you have to set up and run your booth alone- these are great. They fold up well and are an easy fit into the back of any SUV.

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In-Booth Portfolios

Hello All,

A question for those of you who have a catalog or portfolio of "Other Available Artwork" in your art fair booth... Which do you have --or recommend-- a hardcopy or electronic presentation?  How do you have yours displayed in your booth... on a pedistal... on your desk... pull it out on request... other?

Thanks, in advance, for your input.

--Chris Fedderson

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Take-down tip

A few shows ago, I made a change that has helped speed my (still-slow) take-down and load-out process.

I try as diligently as possible to only touch everything once.

So instead of picking up a painting, putting it down, finding its traveling cover, picking it back up, putting the cover on, putting it down, hauling the dolly around and putting the painting on the dolly, I arrange things so that I pick the painting off the wall, put the cover on it and put it on the dolly without ever putting it down or picking it up again. 

Sounds like a small change, doesn't it? Maybe I am just more scatterbrained than most, but in general, this shift saves me 20 minutes. 

Do you have any take-down, load-out or set-up tips you'd share? 

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Craft Show Advice for the First-Time Seller
(sponsored post)

Author:  Chris Alexander

Congratulations! You’re on your way to your very first craft show! Once there, you’ll be meeting people who will like and potentially help you endorse your products. However, you might be a little nervous about what to expect or what to bring with you. You should not worry too much because selling your crafts should be an easy and fun experience. Here are some tips to ensure that your first show is less about stress and more about success.  

Check on the registration date for the show. See how far ahead you can register for a booth, as some shows are more popular than others and may fill up quickly. Contact the show producers to learn the details on when and how to register. Confirm if you need to provide proof of insurance to register. Also, keep copies of all registration paperwork and correspondence. When registering, provide photos of your crafts to show producers.

Ask about booth fees. Booth fees are usually based on show quality, so if you’re unsure about what the fee may be, look at the quality of the vendors who are attending the show. Also, how much it’s advertised and the anticipated attendance for the show. For a higher audience, such as 50,000 people, a booth fee of $1,000 would be appropriate. However, if the show only typically attracts 500 people, the booth fee should be fairly low. 

Make a list of everything you need to bring with you. Supplies should include a booth itself (if one is not already provided for you), decorations, office supplies (pens, pencils, a stapler, business cards, tape, scissors, surge protector and extension cord), a tool box and your products. Making a list ahead of time will help to keep you organized and focused.  Use the Lindbergh Craft Show Checklist to get you started. Lindbergh-Craft-Show-Checklist.pdf

Do a dry run. Set up your booth or at least a space the size of your booth before you go to the craft show to get an idea of how you want to display your crafts. Your preparedness will show when you present your booth and wares in an eye-catching and inviting manner.

Follow the rules. Be on time to set up your booth; do not set up too late or leave too early. Besides missing early or late sales, the show rules may require that you’re set up for a certain amount of time. Make sure your booth is set up properly and that you are dressed appropriately for the show. Take responsibility to review the craft show rules before you arrive and even bring a copy of the rules with you.

Engage with show attendees. When the show starts attendees start to mill about, smile to show that you are welcoming and willing to talk to them. Be friendly but not overbearing, and offer to provide customers with information on the products you’re selling. Also, just a simple acknowledgement, such as “good morning!” or “good afternoon!” will at the very least turn the head of passersby.

Reciprocate contact information. When someone asks for your contact information, ask if they’d be willing to share theirs as well, and add them to a mailing list where you can notify them of new products or future shows where you’ll be exhibiting. This will help build your clientele as well as increase the possibility that they may refer you to others that might be interested in your crafts.  

Most importantly, show you love what you do. Showing your enthusiasm for displaying and selling your crafts should be apparent and natural. Introduce yourself to other sellers to network and exchange ideas – you may even make a friend or two!

Follow these tips and your first craft show experience is bound to be less nerve wracking and more fun-filled and exciting - and you’ll be that much more ready for the ones to come as well!

Learn more about why you may need a proof of insurance to sell your wares at a show. 



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Notes from the St. Louis Art Fair Mock Jury

Late in 2015, after I'd been rejected again from some of the top shows in the country, I was on a different forum, moaning about my plight. Someone said that the best insights I could have would be to sit in on an open jury. 

A few days later, the mock jury presentation opened in Zapp. I was one of the first 150 who applied, and so I was accepted. I could hit St. Louis with only a slight detour on my route to Arizona to visit my dad and participate in the Tubac Arts Festival. 

I went with some trepidation. I'm self-taught, started painting 10 years ago when I was 50, and so I am relatively new to the art festivals. I have self-doubt from those situations and from a lifetime of self-doubt, and so I was quite nervous about putting my work up for critique in such a public forum, while I was in the room. But this is the year I stop hesitating because I'm afraid, so off I went. 

The event was held in the conference room of a Budweiser distribution company. There was room for probably 50 attendees, but only 15 or 20 attended. About a dozen emerging artists attended, as well. Many of them, interestingly, were in their 50s and above. 

SLAF President and Executive Director Cindy Lerick and Deputy Director Laura Miller organized the presentation, greeted us cheerily and dealt with all the technological particularities (they were doing a webinar for the first time). 

In a typical SLAF jury, there are five jurors. For the mock jury, there were two - Steve Teczar,artist and retired professor of Art at Maryville University in St. Louis; and Peg Fetter, jewelry artist and metal smith. 

Typically, a SLAF jury would receive 1281 applications and choose 150 from them. The waiting list is another 11.7 percent of the total. Missouri applicant make up 8 percent of the total, Lerick said; first-time applicants make up 25 percent of the total. 

The SLAF jury process is three rounds, Lerick said. The first two are yes/no/maybe and it takes a unanimous five "no"s to drop an applicant. In the third round, jurors slow down a little, comment and wrangle. Peg said that when she participated as a juror, the process took 27 hours, and was more than a little contentious at many points. 

The mock jury presentation was set up as the SLAF jury is set up, i.e., five slides - four of work and one of the booth - are shown at the same time. In the regular jury process, they said, the jurors look at the work for about 10 seconds before voting. 

Generally, in my opinion, the work that was submitted was good, though I have to say that I found only a handful of the entries actually exciting. The jewelry category had the best work overall, in my opinion. To my eyes, the sculpture category was the most uneven, with many artists making similar work (small, eccentric, amusing pieces made with reclaimed materials). The sculptors who made different work stood out astonishingly - to me, at least. 

Over the course of the day, several themes emerged. In general, the booth shots were where much of the focus was directed. I was amazed at the many booth shots that were just horrible. EZUps put up crookedly, with the sides open, junk piled in front and a standing fan in the middle. Sagging walls with drooping fabric on them. "Booth shots" that were just tables set up in a gymnasium - or basement, or garage - with chairs and boxes visible in the backgrounds. Booth shots with sunshine slicing across the ground and up the wall, obscuring the work. Booth shots obviously (to the experts' eye) photoshopped. 

Like everyone, I've wondered at the stress that's placed on the booth shot, and now, I understand it a little better. It's incredibly difficult to cut 1281 entries down to 150. I think that the standout work declares itself - at least it did, to my eyes, during the presentation. The truly bad work - and there was some of it, in my opinion, in the presentation - also declares itself.

And then there's the rest of it. If a lot of the work is sort of typical, middling, seen before, this is where the jury shot makes the difference. 

So, people, don't send terrible booth photos to juries. Set up your booth in the back yard, in the driveway, somewhere where you can find even light without bright sunlight or dark shadows. Don't clutter your booth with too much work. That was one of the themes. Again and again and again, the jurors said the booths were cluttered. They wanted to booths to be elegant, spare. "Galleristic" is the word they used. Put up the work then take a third of it down. 

They hated nearly all the booths with brown as the background. Oatmeal-colored backgrounds often got "anemic" comments from the jurors. Peg did not respond well to white or black backgrounds generally, though there were many exceptions; she was not just against white or black, but to her eyes, these colors either washed out the work or were too bleak for the work. A medium gray was what these two jurors suggested repeatedly. A number of times, Steve suggested using a color - not red! - on one wall. 

A few random observations...

  • The jurors - and even the audience, after seeing about 50 entries - could tell professional photography from homemade shots, especially in the jewelry category. 
  • Do not include frames in your images. 
  • Surprisingly, at least to me, the jurors were accepting of some shots I'd not have expected they're like. Jewelers who sent photos with multiple pieces in the same shot, that was OK. One sculptor sent a shot of a couple pieces on the wall, and included the edges of two chairs, to give a sense of scale. That was fine. One box-maker had a photo that showed the box at the top, and a detail of the box at the bottom. And re the recent discussion here about detail shots, these two jurors were OK with several detail shots that artists entered. 
  • Work on your 100- or 200- or 300-character descriptions. The SLAF jury reads these out loud, on the third round (I believe). Just because Zapp implies that you should be giving technical details of the work, that doesn't mean you must. And if you enter two bodies of work, tweak your description. Don't just send in the same one for both bodies of work.
  • If your booth shot is photoshopped, and the jurors realize that, they will toss you out. 

As for my own work, I got no life-changing comments from the jurors, but that was OK. I got a lot of ideas over the course of the day, and understand much better now how to make my entries stand out from the pack. 

The most important thing I took away from this event came from Cindy and Laura, the organizers. They stressed that we, the artists, are the stakeholders, and that they, the show organizers, are happy to help. We should call with questions about our art, our application, our booth, anything. They are there to help us! 

So, thank you, SLAF. You have definitely helped me see my art in a different light. 


Above, the jury looks at work by jeweler Cynthia Battista

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The Horror!

Cackling and horrified, I untied the loose knots holding up curtain backdrop as quickly as I was able. Thankfully and blissfully, the curtains dropped to the ground. I clipped the curtains shut and hung as much weight on the bottom of the curtains as I dared.

Giddy laughter would not stop bubbling from my lips. Again and again I looked in disbelief at the photo I had just snapped of my booth. I could not have set up, framed or imagined a more perfectly horrible image of my booth.

A gigantic, stomach churning, revolting butt crack was perfectly centered in the middle of my booth.

The take away lesson boys and girls? Always, always, ALWAYS, take a moment before the show begins to step back and look at what YOUR booth looks like from the aisle. ALWAYS!!8869146065?profile=original

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For those who are just starting out - there may be hope. 

I think I have come a long way from my first art show.  I know I still have room to grow but I'll keep learning and trying to do better.


What a difference a day makes – or years of experience.  I admire those of you who have been doing art shows for decades.  You have been so good at sharing your experiences and helping those of us who are new to this business.  I started playing with a camera about 7 years ago.   Many of my friends complimented my snapshots and told me I should go professional.  I thought their compliments were nice and that they were just making me feel good.  Then one year we (my husband/best friend) decided to see if people who did not know me would actually pay money for my photos.  I attended the Daylily Festival in Gray, GA – only 15 minutes from home.  AND….people actually paid real money for my photos.  Wow.  Amazing.  So we did another show and another.  Intermittent reward verbally or financially is highly addictive.  Our first show was an EasyUp with Walmart folding tables, vinyl tablecloths, and Lowes shelving.  We had a large variety of Michaels frames. 


8869104689?profile=originalPicture - my first sale!!!!

Side note – The EasyUp may be moisture resistant but if you are showing anything that may be damaged by moisture – don’t.  Remember it is resistant, not water proof.  And condensation was a real problem.  That all ended when the whole thing collapsed during a rain storm due to pocketing pools of water.  Yes we did use the hoola-hoops and swimming noodle tricks.  They just did not work.


It did not take long to learn that being in a tent in 100 degree weather with 98% humidity was NOT fun.   It did not do good things to photography behind glass either. We quit doing shows between June 1 and September 1.  We did take a space in small store in our local downtown area.  That was November 2007.  Just in time for the economy to go south.  Oh Yeah. But we did OK and actually ended up having about 25 artists join “The Gallery”.    This is where I learned running a gallery is a 10 hour day 6 days a week job.  The weekend (day) was catch up in responsibilities at home.  I was not doing any photography.  Never any time.  Sadly…and happily...The Gallery was closed.  But during that time a man came in one day and said “Hi.  How would you like to work with me?”  I said “Who are you and what do you want me to do?”  He was a magazine publisher looking for a photographer.  WOW.  Sure.  If you want to learn photography quickly jump right into being a magazine photographer.  You learn very quickly how to deal with different people in a variety of settings and under whatever light exists.  For advertising the doctor wants all his staff in a small area all looking wonderfully beautiful and happy with all eyes open and get it done within 5 minutes between patients.  OK.  Then you go shoot for a feature and can enjoy more flexibility and creativity.  Setting appointments and meeting deadlines and it all has to be really good quality.  I’m still working with the magazine and loving it and learning more with every assignment.


But back to art shows….We have come a long way.  When I look back at our display in the beginning it makes me wonder why anyone bought anything from me.  Every dollar we made has been put back into the business.  We bought a much better tent.  The very first time we set up the Finale (Creative Energies) we got hit with a microburst.  The 3 booths in front of me were 15 feet in the air way on down the street.  The potter behind me had NOTHING left.  My awnings made perfect airfoils.  Fortunately we had 50 pounds on every corner and like an idiot I hung on to my booth even when being lifted off the ground.  The only damage was a small tear where the awning joined the tent, which Creative Energies promptly repaired in time for our next show.  We got a great deal on Propanels from someone that tried the art show circuit three times and did not enjoy it.  We bought a 10x10 set with browse bins for about ½ price of new ones.  This was a MAJOR change from using gridwalls both from the aesthetic perspective and physical challenge.  The weight of the gridwalls was just too much and the time to set them up with all the bulldog clips and wire ties was miserable.  Loading them in and out of the back of the covered pick-up truck was a major challenge.  So when we saw a trailer for sale for a great price just on the other side of town we snatched it up. 

8869104869?profile=originalPicture - Bigger is not always better.  What a mess!!!  I'm surprised we sold anything at all.


We’ve come a long way from our first show.  We leaned so much and have met so many wonderful people.  Even now, every time I go to a show I learn more from those who have been in the business for years.  And when a newbie comes asking questions – I gladly share what I have learned along the way.  It’s only fair. 


As the quality of our booth and the improvement of my skills continue to grow – so do the profits.  I am happy for the “education” I have had the past 6 years.  But I still need more time to get out there and shoot!!!!!


8869105072?profile=originalPicture - we now have a clean, uncluttered look with consistent frames.  I love the skirts below the panels that hide all those unsightly wires and other artist's under table stuff.

We've come a long way baby.




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The magic of booth shots

We juried the Royal Oak Clay, Glass and Metal Show Monday.  A few observations. 

First it amazes me every year how creative people are able to get within these few mediums.  One hundred and twenty booths and each stands out as creative and unique.

Secondly, while I did not feel that the booth shots were given more weight than the work images, the majority of rejected work had poor booth shots and the majority of accepted work had professional images for their booth.

I say majority because it is not universally true.  We accepted some work from artists with poor shots, even from an artist that had no booth shot.  For this event at least you can't entirely blame the "fourth image".

I try to be communicative with the applicants so I did send some specific notes to artists regarding their displays.  Of course those reflect only my opinion, but if you would be interested in seeing them, you could check out the posting on my website-

If you have not looked at R. C. Fulwiler's blog yet- Can the System be Improved?  I would suggest doing so.

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This is copied from my blog

You’ve applied to hundreds of shows over the years. You know what to do and not do with your images. ZAPP and JAS have made it really easy to quickly apply and not really think about it. BUT, when was the last time you went into ZAPP and checked your profile? Checked that all your information is correct? Checked your capitalization, spelling and punctuation? Have you checked your artist statement to make sure it’s current?

 The same things are important on JAS but on there your artist statement is even more important. When you’re being juried on JAS, your artist statement is right in the center of the page, easy for the juror to read. And you wouldn’t believe how many people make mistakes in there. The wrong words, extra punctuation, missing letters and the big one is your name! Sometimes just the first name, sometimes the full name, “James does this”, “Mary Smith likes that”. I was shocked during my latest jurying how many statements had names. Have you checked yours lately?

 Your artist statement should be current and if you want a juror to read it, it should be short. I don’t need to know where you went to school, what your life’s path has been or how many years you’ve been doing this. I need to know anything critical to what you’re showing me in your images. This is not your resume, please don’t list all the shows you’ve done. Short, readable and to the point.

 And then there’s the old issue of a name in the booth image. There are still many, many booth shots that have either the artists name showing or the business name. Please, please remove it. It will not help you and it may hurt you. Take down the booth signs that the show gives you even if you can’t read your own name on it. Anything that distracts from what you want the juror to be looking at which is your booth and the work in it. Leave the chair, that doesn’t bother me at all but get out all the signs.

 And I’ve learned a couple of new things in this last round of jurying that I’ve done. Photographers as a group have the most odd looking booth images of anyone. Many of them look like they’re 20’ x 20’ booths and amazingly they show under 10 pieces with no flip bins! Wow! Please don’t take offense if you’re a photographer because it’s probably not you I’m talking about but you probably know someone who fits this. Just something to think about.

 The other thing I’ve learned is that sterling silver must no longer be a precious metal. No one told me! Jewelers - if there are two categories, precious and non-precious and you work in sterling silver, fine silver pmc or gold, you belong in the precious category. And trust me, you don’t want to be in the non-precious category if you don’t belong there. There is some absolutely wonderful jewelry being made these days without the use of precious metals and you don’t want to be competing with them if you don’t have to. Of course if you’re applying in the non-precious category then I’m not competing with you for a space so maybe I shouldn’t be telling you this…

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Here is me, sending jury fees for shows that I don't even know I'm going to get in, so why not? Let's apply sometimes for two shows on the same weekend in case I get rejected in one, or if I am lucky to get accepted in both then I can chose, it's only a jury fee, or two, times 12. Oh! But wait! Getting invited as returning artist to couple and guess what...We need your booth fee for a show that is in 4 to 6 months. Oh! But I forgot...It's January, just after Holiday season, which means I went over board with dinners, parties, presents so my wallet is empty. Another detail...I am in Chicago. I don't travel to FL shows because I have 3 little kids that I can't leave so I have to stay local. So not too many shows during winter season. Oh! Yes, my materials that I just ordered online, just 1,000.00 and I will still need couple more things. So I have more expenses than $$$ in my bank. Ha!!! I will cross my fingers and will send booth fees when I start making $$ in my shows. And the question is...Am I going to make money enough to cover all my booth fees. That my friends...IS THE QUESTION!

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I would love your feedback on my booth

8869097065?profile=original      I am a mixed media jewelry artist whose main ingredient is the dried acrylic paint pulled from the artist palette. After  years of doing shows, my booth has evolved to what you see here. It is simple, colorful, lightweight, and it all fits in my car.

        Recently I mentioned to my jewelry photographer that I have never been accepted to a show from Zapplication. He looked at my  jury slides and then assured me it was because of my booth shot, not because of the jewelry . He went on to say that jurors look at the type of tent in the booth shot,  and if it is an EZ Up they are more likely to disqualify you. 

 Here's my question: What do you think? Is it the tent or the display, or both, or neither? What can I do differently that could give me a better shot at being accepted into shows? 


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help! my display is boring!

8869082485?profile=originalI have been making jewelry for a long time and just starting to do shows.  From research and visiting the shows I want to do, I made some changes to my booth to make it more professional.  However, I lost something in the translation!  It needs something on the walls and some signage.  I also have a problem with my do you get the sides to be nice and taut?  Or do you just cover them? help/input/comments would be greatly appreciated.  Be honest, I can take it!

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3 seasons of booth evolution.

3 years ago I made the leap to drop jewelry entirely and focus on just glass.  My first season I tried to work with displays that had been the basis for my jewelry booth... I painted the wood white so the colors of the glass would show up and came up with a start that left patrons snowblind, although I didn't think of it that way until I looked back at the pictures.

Last season I invested in chrome shelving to give me more depth (the white shelves were 8 inches deep) and to break up the white.  By the end of the season I had found light green fabric and . created curtains to allow me to raise the walls without taking in the background view of whomever was next to me. .  I was getting complements about the cool, spa-like feel of the booth but I wasn't done.  The wire shelves were a pain to setup, worse to tear down, and difficult because even with plastic tops things liked to fall off and through.

For this season I invested again (and gave the chrome shelves a good home) and bought wood folding bookshelves.   They take up less room in my car, go up and down far easier and look much nicer.  To see pictures of this evolution check out my blog post at

My next steps (hopefully complete before my next show in 3 weeks) are

1) a smaller folding bookshelf to use as a "desk"

2) higher chairs (hidden behind the tall shelf on the right)

3) final work on the curtains to make them fit properly

4) hiding the weights at the front of the tent.  The curtains hide the back weights.

If I get all of the done for the next show I may be able to focus on just glass!  For the first time I feel like the end of my booth evolution might be in site!

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"Vendor Behavior"

I just returned from a festival I have vended for 5 years. It's run pretty simple, the expectations are the same as elsewhere - behave - act like an adult - take care of yourself/your booth/your product/your customer - and keep out of other vendors booths etc.

What I don't understand and could really use some guidance here are the vendors who come barreling in during set-up/tear down and during the show with the attitude that it is "ALL" about them. They totally block the entrances with their vehicles, and sometimes more than one entrance if they are pulling a trailer (I am talking about not being able to slide thru on the sides with a dolly, nadda) they spread out all over the place when setting up so no one can get past their booth area, and to make matters worse - this past weekend, they were get this - parking UNDER my motorhome canopy, and up to within inches of the other side although I was parked in a clearly defined spot I paid for.

If you go to the show organizer - then you are labeled a complainer.

I spoke to the one blocking 2 entrances and asked her to move and she acted like I was suppose to bow down and kiss her feet first. And I thought...huh? There were 10 of us setting up with all of our vehicles parked a good 30 plus feet away so we could all use the entrances equally and she just came barreling up with the look out I am here and it's ALL about me attitude.

The ones parking so close to my motorhome - due to the length of road access in front of the motorhome, I would have never been able to pull out, they were blocked too close to me there was absolutely no swing room, and I had already paid for the camping spot which happens to be on the back side of one of the 5 buildings - they are assigned to those of us with rigs, and there was designated parking.

This tends to go on at many shows. Typically, my business partner and I break down everything, and carry it out so that others with smaller vehicles can get in and out, and we politely wait and are more times than not the last ones out, however, this constant rudeness just blows me away.

How do you handle this?

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Need a booth critique...

Hi everyone!

I have been doing indoor and outdoor shows for about 3 years nows. While my booth has come a LONG way - I seem to get more compliments on my booth vs. my glass jewelry. Am I doing something wrong? Have any advice you can share. I welcome honest feedback. Thanks so much in advance!!!




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Some interesting progress, my 3rd show.

I attended a 2nd show in Cincinnati that was interesting and educational because my booth attracted many lookers, not so many buyers.  My 3rd show was in a small town in Ohio called Ashland where the organizers just want to bring some arts and crafts into the area.  This year was their 2nd and was very nicely done, well organized!  Talk about being prepared for weather, the wind was blowing so hard that I almost couldn't get set up!  So much work!  These shows take so much effort and preparation and then to get bad weather!?!  Well let me just say a big thank you to my husband who encourages me because otherwise I might be tempted to not participate.

My big news is that I sold more of my items than I have previously and I attribute it to the presentation.  I've not changed my inventory one bit but I've changed how I present the items in my booth.  The booth shot below is during set up for my 2nd show so not all is evident but it does show many changes.  I raised the tables up to counter height (42"), created an "L" shape with them, mounted blow-up pics of some of my pendants, and 8871896661?profile=originalI organized my pieces into what I called collections.  I also took advice from you all and did the "less is more" approach -- this I believe was instrumental is allowing items to stand out and be appreciated.  The next thing I did was to move some of my necklace pendants and charms from their chains.  I attached them with ribbon to Charm cards that I made up and then allowed folks to select their own chain from a display I kept in the back of the booth.

This worked very well for my lower priced charms.  People were not buying the more expensive necklaces and pendants that remained on jewelry display trees so I didn't make much $ but I was profitable.  My take on this is that the higher priced items attract visually but while they maybe aren't as affordable in the given population they add the credibility to the other choices on the display.

I'm going to capitalize on these learnings for my next show.  I ordered some additional packaging that I think will be attractive to holiday purchasers.  I'm also going to try moving some of my more expensive pendants to the charm cards.


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Having bailed out at the last minute on 3 shows this year, it was time to see how things were going. The Denver show has the advantage of being organized by Jim DeLutes, a road show veteran. Jim is (almost) obcessed with making this an event of note and I trust the guy to actually do what he says, and he said he promoted the bejesus out of it. He was right.

The crowds were there, (most with hands in pockets), but we were blessed with 4 days of the best weather Colorado could offer. That, my friends, was a minor miracle.This one may have cost Jim his soul. Sales for us hit my goal of 5K, but what was unusual was what was purchased. I rarely sell a big framed piece, sold one. I usually sell a dozen or so canvas wraps, sold three. The matted prints flew out the tent, and most were purchased in groups of three or four. Very cool, since this product has the highest profit margain. A few commissions (we will see) a wedding (been a while for that). The neighbors (the dancing dachshunds,a jeweler, a scuptor and Heather the clothing lady all had varying degrees of success (and for two of them, this was the last show,both going on to bigger and better things).My good friend Jeff (analog BW) had a decent show as well. No one complained about anything but sales (well, Jeff dislikes the preponderance of what he refers to as "landscape porn" the overly saturated nature work in the 10X20 booths). Some observations from the show:

1) I am convinced that tent poles have a secret life. Despite careful packing, pre assembly and organization, once exposed thery are never where they were left.I can see the damn things snickering and laughing, jumping from bag to bag just to confuse the hell out of me during set up. I plan to install a nanny cam in the bags to prove my theory.

2) One of the most under rated benefits is people watching. I have my favorites, the hippie in the flesh colored body suit leading his llama thru a show in Nederland, my biker buds and goth people that readily identify with my work (damn, that's some sick s**t dude!), and my all time favorite, the white guy in shorts with black knee socks with the flip up sun glasses. This show had the March of the Cougars. It began quietly, a trickle of little black dresses, high heels and feather boas that turned into one of the oddest parades of prefumed and overly made up women I had ever wittnessed.Side by each, no male escorts in sight, I thought "this is one hell of a girls night out". Turned out to be the premier of Sex in the City. Quite a sight, and more than one husband got the shot to the ribs by the girlfriend/wife as his head swiveled to admire the scene.

3) Despite years of shows, I can still screw myself.Had a bike couple (pedal bikes) stop and exhibit some good interest in the work. We talked for 20 minutes or so, and they asked if it was OK to take a few pics of the booth for reference to take back to the hotel. I never allow this, but they were soooo nice. I said OK. It started with a few general pics, then she began to frame the images, he would hold them up for her.By the time I realized I had been set up, they had a half dozen shots.Very uncomfortable confrontation followed, I stopped short of asking them to delete the images (I really had no proof of their intentions). Never again.

4) As the show ended, had a guy (blue blazer/yellow pants) walking with his wife stop for a second.He raised his hands in disgust, and said loud enough to hurt the feelings of anyone within earshot" Why can't these people do something different, it's the same old crap at every show". Wow. That one really hit below the belt.Hard enough these days, and to have one a**hole summarily dismiss the creative efforts of all the hardworking people kinda got to me. Then I thought, this guy is probably the only male to see Sex in the City with his wife.Good enough for me.

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