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Here are a few thoughts on the show, while they are fresh in my mind:

Manayunk, June 22, 23, 2013.


Large street show, variety of work, good quality and some ok work.

Nice area, nice atmosphere.

Interspersed in between booths- commercial booths- 5 Hour Energy, Geiceo, etc.

Also gave out tons of free yogurt near me- tons, so people were carrying entire BOXES of cold yougurt, hands full, and I would say no longer shopping as they just received some free food that had to go home and be refrigerated.

Load in is not easy,tight, but everyone seemed to be ok with it. A trailer , which is what I have, no use trying to get anywhere, we had to walk far and dolly but it went ok.

Crowd- plenty of people, people who looked like they could and would perhaps purchase a few items. Lots of younger people, ages 25-40 I'd say was the majority of the crowd.

Weather-very hot.

Hours- My setup arrival time was 5:30 am, others were 5 am, and 6 am.

I left my booth up overnight, it was safe.

Sales- here's the problem, at least for me and my area of artists. Those that I spoke to were not happy and said they could not afford to do it again.

One artist in my area was very happy with sales, 2D.

I saw people in booths, primarily the jewelry.

My sales were not good. I won hon mention, which they called 2nd place in my category, glass and clay, I also had one of my pots featured on their webpage AND in the arts fest tv commercial, so I was well received.

So I have been analyzing this.

I usually check last year's exhibitor list before I apply to a new show, and I did for this one, and that is where I took my chance. I did not recognize any names, and there were not many potters, which is normally a bad sign for me.

So, lots of people, looked like a younger, educated, middle class crowd, not much buying, at least not in my area.   ????????

I should have been able to do better than I did, so that disturbs me.

I KNOW for a fact that people still buy lots of pottery, and normally like my work, and it is affordable.


Views: 1675

Comment by Nels Johnson on June 24, 2013 at 10:04am

The show sucks canal water, and has for many years.  If you live nearby it is an acceptable risk, otherwise, don't bother.  Been there done that and learned.

Comment by Susan Bishop on June 24, 2013 at 10:34am

We attend this show most every year. I don`t do the show because as a jeweler, i think they over saturate the category-1/3 of the artists were jewelers. In walking around and talking to artists that I know, and others that I just met, and also overhearing conversations between artists, I`d say most did not do well. We were there on Saturday, and it was blazing hot, but it was worse on Sunday. It seems as though this show is ALWAYS very hot! I`ve been to shows in August that aren`t as bad as this. It can get very crowded with dogs - really? in that heat?, and strollers, that it can get very congested on the street, and frustrating just trying to  move along.

We always find art to buy, which was no different this year. In fact, we both felt that there was some really wonderful art at this show. But when we found what we wanted, there was no question that this was the piece for us. we start our holiday shopping through the year at shows, so we were able to pick up a couple of gifts as well. 

Two of my artist friends said they will not do the show again, primarily due to lack of sales, so I think I will follow their lead and continue to not apply.

Comment by Connie Mettler on June 24, 2013 at 10:48am

Thanks for this review, Judy. Isn't this your first? We all appreciate your time and generosity in adding it here.

Here is a piece about the show from the local news:

And another one with a little more "flavor":

Comment by geri a. wegner on June 24, 2013 at 11:06am

Interesting article.  I like how they mentioned the cost for the artists to do shows, I don't think people take that into consideration very often.  I understand they were emphasizing new genres of art but barbie doll shoes and real fruit were hopefully not the best examples.  If you had never gone to the festival, would that make you want to go?  

Comment by deborah potash brodie on June 24, 2013 at 2:04pm

did it last year.  lots of people - walking with dogs.  and very few buyers.  lots of 'where else will you be in the area?' - a question i never understood.  didn't do it this year. 

Comment by Leo Charette on June 24, 2013 at 4:41pm

I am in awe at the marketing approach to patrons used by the promoters at this show. A really brilliant and successful approach. They were able to get thousands of people to come to an art show who had no interests in going to an art show... they did it with a contest where success was measured in the total number of people to pass 320 booths and cross the finish line with yogurt still in refrigerated condition. Each contestant was given 1..2 and I saw some with 5 cases of yogurt at the start line. Now this wasn't easy, constants had to remain focused, temperatures were 90 degrees in hot sun and there were obstacles to distract: the 10 booth Morning Star set up with carnival barkers calling to contestants to try free veggie burgers (and some of the contestants fell victim). But the cheap white and red wine tasting had little impact on the contestants nor did the dazzling artists booths along the way. Most of the thousands contestants remanded focused, never looking left or right, must get the yogurt to the finish line before it spoils. This became clear when I spied a mother with a young lad in tow. The boy was so taken by many of the art pieces that he passed, "look mommy" to which the mother replied "listen son, the rule today is we are not buying art!". Her pace quickened as she marched on carrying her cardboard box of yogurt.

True, not everyone came to participate in the contest. Few actually bought art, but the number of qualified buyers were too few for the number of actual artists. 320 booths was far too many...would have maybe worked with 150 to 175 booths and the $450 booth fee was exorbitant for the quality and earning potential of the show. This is not an Art Show it is a money maker for the Manayunk Development Corporation...stay away unless you have free things to give in cardboard boxes...or maybe tee shirts, the vendor across from me did well "$25 for one or 2 for $40" but this wasn't art. Even my neighbor trying to selling gourmet pizza couldn't make it work... just couldn't sway enough yogurt contestants away from the challenge.

Near the end of the show after watching hoards of people walk by with cases of yogurt...never making any attempt to look my my surprise two gentleman walked in my booth and expressed a genuine interest in my work. One of the exclaimed, I want these three framed piece, I will buy two and want the other for free. I was confused..he didn't seem like a family member (skin color was wrong) and I didn't think I remembered him as a close friend, but he seemed to want the family discount. A stranger thinking I would give him several hundred dollars? but he did."This is your last chance, I'm walking away." He said. And so ended my last hope of turning a profit at the Manayunk Yogurt Festival...This show has received the honor of being among my top three worst shows EVER!!! I seldom loose money, but I did at this show...sigh!

Comment by Donna Marie Thome on June 24, 2013 at 9:30pm

I have been doing retail shows for 13 years. Sunday was the first time ever, I did not make a sale all day at this show. !!!  and ugh the YOGURT !!!!!!!!!!!  The show was organized and promoters were responsive but toooo many vendors and too much jewelry (I am a jeweler) and booth fee $450 too high.

Comment by Judy Christian on June 24, 2013 at 10:18pm

I admit that I could have done more homework.

Here is a formula I have used in the past.

Disclaimer-I'm not certain of these numbers:

Number of artists: 320

Number of patrons/visitors to show: 20,000.

Assume everyone came with someone, so divide 20,000 by 2 = 10,000.

10,000 people visiting 320 booths, each makes one sale.

That is 10,000 divided by 320 booths, = 31 sales for each of us exhibitors.

I always do better than whatever that number is. This time I did, too.

But satisfactory for me would be 75-100 sales. 

I'm sure someone at Manayunk did that well. But if it was on a $20 item, that would still only be $2000 for 100 sales.

Comment by Nels Johnson on June 25, 2013 at 12:58pm

Leo, this is one of your best ever "Tongue in Cheek" reviews.

I give you top kudos and bow down to you.

So if I see frozen yogurt walking around at Boston Mills this weekend, should I ......oh, you can figure that one out.

Comment by Connie Mettler on June 25, 2013 at 5:42pm

Great story, Leo.

Here's another article I just found. Sounds like they work hard on the event and do a lot of the right things, but is it an "art festival?"


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