So, you’re just starting out sharing your talent with the world by displaying your beautiful work at art fairs. So many thoughts are going through your mind: Will people like my work? Will they be interested in purchasing any of it? Will I even receive enough purchases to cover the cost of my fee to have a booth at this art fair? Well, after now having had four art exhibits, I’d like to share some helpful advise with you, as well as some things that I have learned from some of my mistakes. I will then end this post by sharing what I have learned that truly makes for a successful art show, and it’s much more than getting a lot of sales:
- Make sure that you create some business cards and have them displayed in clear acrylic business card holders on your tables so that people can clearly see them. You may not make a sale from a particular customer on that particular day, but they may contact you at some point in the future
- Do a lot of research before you purchase a tent, making sure that you read a lot of reviews. The saying, “You get what you pay for,” is oftentimes very true!
- Take the time to search YouTube for some videos on art fairs. I found many with a lot of helpful information.
- Take time to attend some local art fairs and ask some vendors if they have had good experiences with those who run those particular art fairs.
- Do some research to see which art fairs in your area are highly publicized so that you have a better chance of
- Find out if the event where you will be displaying your art at requires you to have a fire retardant tent so that you can be sure that the tent you are considering purchasing meets that requirement before purchasing a tent.
- Make certain that the tent you are considering purchasing is also waterproof in case you end up having a lot of rain on one of your art event days!
- Do NOT make the mistake that I made by purchasing a tent in a vibrant color thinking that this will attract people to your tent!! This may initially get people’s attention, but it makes it very dark inside and throws off the colors of your products! I ended up purchasing a new tent in white this year, and it made an immense difference in how the colors of my paintings looked!
- Do a trial setup of your new tent to make sure it works properly and it is not damaged. Also set up all of your items on your tables either in your front room, yard, deck, etc., so that you have a good idea on how you want things to look. This will help you immensely when the actual day of your art fair comes so that you know how much time you need to set up your booth before the art fair begins.
- Have everything packed up and ready-to- go well in advance so that you get a good night’s sleep the night before your art fairs.
- Clearly and precisely mark your boxes with what you pack inside so that your setup process will go as quickly as possible.
- Focus on the setup of your merchandise on your tables in such a way so that people can see it as they walk by. This may mean that your products are set up on an angle to catch their eye as they approach your booth. A nicely displayed setup will look very inviting and you have a better chance of more people coming in to see all the lovely things that you have to offer.
- Make your booth setup look as professional as possible, making sure that there is no clutter of boxes or bags in sight.
- Take the time to observe how others have set up their booths. You may find some very good ideas on how you can improve on your own set up the next time you have an art fair.
- Say, “Hi” or “Good Morning,” etc., to all the people that you make eye contact with as they pass by your booth.
- Engage with the people by starting off with a warm smile and greeting, but don’t pressure them; give them room to walk around your booth as they look at your lovely products.
- If people come into your area and begin looking with interest at one of your items, share something personal with them about it. Examples: How you created it, where a particular photo that they may be intently looking at was taken, meaningful inspiration behind the creation of your work, etc.
- Thank each person for stopping by even if they didn’t make a purchase and offer them a business card by simply pointing to where you have them on your tables, adding something like, “If you’re interested, I have business cards in case you would like me to create something for you or as a gift for someone.”
In closing, I would now like to share with you some of the things that I have learned from having four art fairs so far with the hope that these things will encourage you and give you a better mindset as you begin your new adventure of having art shows.
I have learned that getting a lot of sales at art fairs is neither the most important thing nor is it the most rewarding thing. Instead, I have learned to trust God regarding the amount of sales that I make at each art event and to try and glorify Him through my art and through the way that I treat each person. Instead of focusing on how much money I have made at the end of each art fair, I have come to truly appreciate the many kind and encouraging words that people who attended the art fairs have said to me as they took the time to stop at my booth and look at my paintings, photography, and crystal teardrop sun-catchers. Although getting a lot of sales is important when it comes to paying one’s bills, I have discovered that kind and encouraging words are much more satisfying and meaningful.
- Don’t set your expectations too high regarding how much you hope to sell so that you won’t end up being disappointed when the day comes to an end. Just enjoy interacting with all of the people who express an interest in all of the lovely things that you have created.
- Try to learn something new from each art show that you take part in so that you can improve the next time.
- If you didn’t make as many sales as you had hoped for, take some time to reflect on some of the good things that happened at each art event that you take part in. (Examples: The new connections with other vendors that you made, improvements that you need to make at your next art exhibit, the encouraging words that people said to you about your work, etc.
- If you like the location they gave you for your booth and if you liked how everything went at that particular art fair, talk with the art director afterwards and request the same booth for next year. Oftentimes they will reserve that same spot for you if you let them know far enough in advance.
Well, that’s it for this post. I hope you found some of these things helpful as you begin your art journey!
Thank you for stopping by today!
Mary K Dalke – Reflecting His Glory Fine Arts – Photography and Acrylic Art; Fluid and Modern Abstract
Reflecting the beauty of God’s creation through natural & creative photography styles and acrylic artwork; fluid, modern abstract, & artwork using a catalyst wedge&other art tools to create sheer, dreamy, vibrant, layers of color.
“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)
“…whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:41)