How to Choose the Right Art Festival

Exhibiting at fairs and festivals can be expensive, and takes you out of the studio for days. Use these tips to select the right ones.

 

How to choose the right art fair. Read it at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

 

How many places can you sell your art or handmade work? Plenty. These days, many artists are taking advantage of e-commerce, using their websites, and online galleries and marketplaces, as well as social media to make sales. But online venues account for only about 8% of art sales. That means the vast number of purchases are made in:

  • Brick and mortar galleries
  • Art fairs and festivals
  • In other venues

Exhibiting at fairs and festivals has long been a primary way for artists and makers to get out in front of the public and sell their work, and it gives them face-to-face opportunities to meet potential customers and collectors. But these events can be expensive and time-consuming. It’s important to evaluate the fairs you wish to apply to, and make the best possible decision given your own situation.

Ideally, it’s a good idea to walk a show before you apply to it. This will allow you to observe the types of art or craft that are being displayed. You can determine whether the work exhibited is complimentary to your own work, and that you would be an appropriate fit. You can get an idea of how many people are attending, and who they are. Notice whether sales are being made. Ask yourself, “Has the promoter done a good job to bring in high quality exhibitors, publicize the event and draw a buying crowd?”

If you don’t have the opportunity to walk a show, ask for input from other artists who have exhibited there, in order to get their feedback and recommendation. Or, you may want to read art festival reviews. Art Fair Insiders is a website that offers reviews of hundreds of fairs around the U.S., and it’s free to use.

Although many artists begin exhibiting locally at fairs in order to keep expenses reasonable, you should not do shows just because they are convenient or inexpensive. You will probably want to stay away from events that are not juried, or that focus on low-end items. Bargain hunters are not your customers. We recommend exhibiting at the best fairs you can get juried into, after doing your research to locate your most lucrative opportunities.

How do you find out about fairs and festivals that are searching for exhibitors?  Here are additional free and convenient online resources, where you can find listings and further information:

Art Fair Calendar

Sunshine Artist

Festival Net

What are the parameters you use to select the right fairs or festivals for exhibiting your own work?

 

 

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