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Two things:

1. Beautiful show, great work, great presentation, great food, great looking crowd,

in a sophisticated area (DC). Perfect. Show committee did a wonderful job here. Everything was great.

2. Sales. Not. 

The customers that I had all told me the same thing---they WALKED from their condo to the show!

This show was too good to not be visited by people from the greater DC area- where were they?

 For a $500 booth fee, $50 jury fee, hotel costs, etc, for a beautiful show in a densely populated area- where was everyone?  Other shows draw customers from a distance, easily. I am used to seeing customers at shows who drove 1-2-hours to get there.

Exhibiting artists were from several states. The work was tops. For all of the energy that went into presenting this show, what happened to getting the attendance?


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Comment by Erin Farmer on June 2, 2015 at 10:31am

I didn't take anything you said to be condescending nor was I trying to be. I'm an artist and a vendor too. There are lots of different shows and each one fits each artist differently. I was seriously trying to be helpful based on the data you gave. I lived in DC/Metro for 8 years and vended for 4 so I am familiar with the area and most of the shows there. Hopefully the information I have given is helpful to you or others.  

Comment by Kathleen Caid on June 1, 2015 at 5:14pm
Erin, I didn't mean to come off as condescending but I detect that you do mean to. I am sorry for ruffling your feathers with my comments. But, my viewpoint is a reasonable one even if politically incorrect to say so.
And, most certainly the Reston show has to compete for business with the other outstanding shows held in DC and surrounding areas.
Comment by Erin Farmer on June 1, 2015 at 4:20pm

I think you would be way better off doing the Smithsonian Art Show. It's very very high end and the people who live in DC will have no problem affording your items.

Comment by Kathleen Caid on June 1, 2015 at 12:56pm
Thank you for this data, Erin. We can't know these little things, coming from different locales, all over the country, and your added data is much appreciated
However, I need customers who will go to some trouble to arrive at an art show, and, for whom the price of tolls, Metros, parking or whatever poses zero problem. Only fairly affluent art lovers can afford my prices anyway.
I did a show at Javits in NYC once and for anyone driving in from outside of Manhattan, the cost of the tolls, bridges/tunnel, parking and admission was close to $80 before they were inside the show! I was astounded by the numbers that show generated, both in attendance and sales!
Comment by Erin Farmer on June 1, 2015 at 11:43am

As a former DC Metro resident I can tell you it's a big pain to get to Reston. Reston is a beautiful planned community but you have to pay the toll road to get there or take the metro way way out if you live in DC or MD. It's still a far out suburb and DC has a plethora of shows during the year.

Comment by Judy Christian on May 30, 2015 at 7:21pm

Thank you, Kathleen for commenting.

To be fair, I did sell some, enough to cover all of my expenses plus some. But it was not my expected sales, either.

Comment by Kathleen Caid on May 30, 2015 at 11:27am
I did Reston as a first-timer and was placed at the very end of the street, in front of the art center, 706. I did have a lot of traffic through my booth but sales were slim. Coming out from California was expensive, and thank goddess, I made enough to cover expenses and a little more, but not my expected income. As others have stated above, lovely show, wonderful and competent people running it, I do want to come back and try my luck again.
A-RTS show, outside of Bethesda, was just 2 weeks earlier, less than 30 miles away. Did anyone do both of those? What comparison can be made between those two shows?
Comment by Judy Christian on May 21, 2015 at 11:15am

NO, actually it is a craft fair and homes tour, in historical Waterford, close to Leesburg. It was strongly suggested to me by a customer at an Ohio show, and it took me a few years to try it.I make pottery, and I have been able to sell at both art, and - craft shows.

It's funny how you can find shows from people just passing though your booth. The Reston show was suggested to me by someone, who is involved with the Reston show.

Comment by Connie Mettler on May 21, 2015 at 10:41am

I know that the DC region has lots of affluent areas -- is this show generally considered the best for sales for the region? I'm thinking Bethesda Arts, Bethesda Row, and some in Fairfax. 

Comment by Judy Christian on May 21, 2015 at 9:40am

Thank you, Connie. 

I have been doing another show for some years about 20 miles from Reston, in Loudoun County, which is just as affluent. A completely different type of show, and people travel to come to it. So I was not prepared for such a small attendance in Reston.

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