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

We just finished doing Septemberfest in Schaumberg IL. We do black and white photography and must say that this was a great show for us. There was a lot of traffic and the people were shopping.

The show organizers have a unique way of doing the set up, but it works just fine. It does get a little hectic, but what show does not get that way when you are trying to set up.

Overall we were pleased with the show and the week end.

Bill and Cindy

Images by David Kay, Ltd

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Comment by Linda Rose on September 17, 2010 at 3:21am
Yes, there were lots of people there. But many were there for the carnival midway rides, food, entertainment, etc. Many came to shop. This is an Arts & Crafts fair - very heavy on the crafts. Many were the wooden painted yard art type and dried flower wreaths, and from what I could tell by talking to them, they have been there for many, many years. Several told me they had been in the same spot for over 15 years! (The booths around us had been there for 3 to 6 years...A lot of returning vendors...) And they were all doing a brisk business, as far as I could tell... So I guess that the customers knew what to expect. (Although one couple must have been having a heavy discussion about this show and art vs. craft, because she "told" him "Now, THIS is art!" when they came into our booth. My daughter hand dyes and hand paints silk clothing and scarves. Her work straddles the art/fine craft line.)

We had a central spot on a hilly incline, which threw many potential customers "off" because it was kind of disconcerting to walk down and into our booth set-up. (Which was even more accentuated by the fact that our set-up includes many grid panels.) To be fair, I think we had one of the very few really "bad" spots. We were hoping for a booth closer to a paved road because I'm in a wheelchair. (If we go next year, we'll be more firm in our request for a more handicapped friendly spot. One of the wheels on my chair broke. Fortunately, it was just before we got in the car to go home.)

The set-up was interesting. Everyone had to go to "register" several blocks from the venue. We were given specific times to report there. They funneled the cars & trucks into a long meandering line in a parking lot, gave us our booth numbers and parking permit, and let us go to the site in groups of 10 or so. At the site they told us specifically where to unload. We had to unload and move the car, then move the loaded stuff to our assigned spot. Quite an operation for over 250 artists spread over a large area. And leaving went in reverse. There were volunteers to help move your stuff to the curb (we had some nice girls from the swim team) and then you got permission to move your car there to pack up and leave.

The show was three days long - Saturday 10-5, Sunday 9-5, Monday 9-5. Monday morning there was a parade, which made parking more fun and sales very slow. There was a food tent on the grounds that had a wide variety of food to purchase - from pizza, burgers, perogis, Chinese food, Mexican food. On Monday the food tent was staffed by local volunteer organizations for fundraisers. The promos for Septemberfest said that they had 250,000 attendance over the three days. Considering that the fair grounds were open until late at night, and the art show closed at 5, the attendance figures were probably right.

We had fairly good sales for a show we'd never been in before. It helped that we were able to stay with a relative, rather than pay motel expenses. We might do this show again.
Comment by B. David Kay on September 14, 2010 at 2:18pm
About 263 artists. Good crowds, and they were shopping.
Comment by Tom Steele on September 13, 2010 at 1:02pm
would like more info on this fest, never heard of it looks a little bit like AB&E of Chicagoland.. how many artists, quality of artists?... what is considered a great show...? Website does not have an artist listing....

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