Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Essential TIPS for First Timers at an Art Fair

I asked a question in the Art Fair Buddies Facebook Group on Sunday and had some amazing feedback - which I'd like to share.

Old Town Art Fair, Chicago rated as one of the top art fairs in the USA
The question was
I'm doing a lecture tomorrow and was wondering if people would care to share YOUR ONE IMPORTANT TIP for those who have never ever done an art fair before.
Sorry for the late notice - I want one slide of "voices of those who have been there/done that" - you say it so much better!
My lecture yesterday at the Heatherley School of Art was on How to make money from your art and it focused on the various ways you can make money from art - via either third parties or by being independent and doing things for yourself and trading independently eg online, in a pop-up exhibition you've organised - or at an art fair.

I wanted to create a two sides of A4 handout for those who had never ever done an art fair before.

Just before the start of my lecture last night at The Heatherley School of Art

The wonderful Art Fair Buddies came up with LOTS of tips which I then recorded in a two sides of A4 Word document and grouped according to the different themes which emerged which are:
  • Logistics Preparation and Set-up - covering: design of your stand, making/painting on your stand; location issues; keeping track of everything and comfort factors
  • The Do's and Don'ts of how to present yourself and behave 
  • Your Art Business - covering Learn how to sell; Pricing and Contacts
That Word document has now been converted to a PDF file which has now been uploaded to:
Alternatively, the direct link to the PDF file - which you can download for free - is embedded in the title of the document Essential TIPS for First Timers at an Art Fair

What are the essential tips for first timers at an art fair?

In summary, these are the tips from the Art Fair Buddies:
  • BEHAVIOUR: the major theme which got the most comments related to how to behave. You must be 
    • friendly and positive, 
    • smile until your smile muscles ache, and 
    • stay upbeat no matter what happens. 
    • BUT don't pounce as soon as people come on your stand)!
  • SET-UP: Various aspects relating to logistics and getting your set-up right also generated an awful lot of comments. Key points were
    • have a checklist
    • have a box of things you need which you never ever unpack!
    • plan the layout of your stand and where to hang/place whatever before you get there
    • think of ways to maximise the use of space within a very small space
    • bring the comfort factor to your stand - whether it's a favourite mug for your cup of tea to flat shoes because you'll be on your feet all day
  • YOUR ART BUSINESS: Finally, people highlighted the need think about your art business:
    • the most important one was to learn how to sell - and close a sale
    • get your prices right for that art fair - and make them visible
    • remember that lots of sales at low prices add up and can cover your costs
    • keep a record of people's contact details (and think about how these now need to be varied for GDPR e.g. no more visitor books!)
I'm wondering what your tips would be.

You can find more advice and information about Art Fairs 
on the Art Fairs page on my Art Business Info. for Artists website

1 comment:

Onwe Kingsley Ndubuisi said...

This is a nice recommendation for artists holding art fairs or desiring to do so. Keep it coming.

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