Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
Here you go Connie, a short blog on Tempe Fall Festival of the Arts.
This was our second year participating and it truly felt like an entirely different show, different crowd, etc. Last year we had a booth location that was close to the end of the show on a side street, plus we had to deal with the Pac 12 Championship Game on Saturday of the show and it seemed most of the attendees were not there for the art show, they were there for the game and didn’t want to buy anything that they would have to carry into the stadium. We were less than pleased with last year’s sales but wanted to try it again, this time with a better booth location, knowing the Pac 12 Championship game was scheduled for a neutral location, etc. we went into this year’s show with higher expectations.
This year the load in started an hour earlier than previous years, at 8 PM instead of 9 PM. We had an 8:30 time assigned, finally got to our booth around 8:50, unloaded, set up and on our way back to the RV by 10:30, much better than last year’s 12:30 AM departure from the show site. So, Friday we started with a little more sleep, better energy and were hoping for a better start to the show than the previous year. At the end of the show, load out was also much easier than last year, we got the truck in much sooner, loaded and headed off the show site by 1 ½ hours after the end of the show.
Overall our sales were up 40% over last year, crowds seemed much smaller and weather was so much better. Last year was cold, in the 50’s, which for AZ is cold. This year we were in the 70’s all weekend, it was perfect art fair weather. I don’t know how much of the decrease in crowd size was due to the fact that last year had a lot of attendees that were there for the Pac 12 Championship. However, even Friday and Sunday’s crowds seemed smaller than what I remembered last year and given our location on Mill Street this year, I was expecting a larger crowd. A basic booth (no corner, double, etc) cost $560 and for a 3 day show, sales didn’t quite meet our hopes, but were good enough that we will try the fall show again.
The organization of this show if good, lots of volunteers, booth sitters, etc. Hospitality booth had limited choices, was centrally located in the show so last year we never even made it to the hospitality booth, it was just too far away from our booth location. There was an artist party Saturday evening but we elected to skip it, go home and just chill for the night.
I did get to meet other AFI’ers Pauline Haas-Vaughn and Brian Billings for the first time, got to see Mindy Kocchi, Kevin Frosch, and saw Kay Cummins & Dennis Brady several times as their booths were very close to our location. I know others were there but I didn’t get a chance to wander much, especially on Saturday.
We’ll be back in Tempe for the Spring show in 2014 which will be our first participation in the spring show.