The official site for the Detroit Art & Business Institute and Andrea Rosenfeld, professional artist and business consultant to the creative community in metro Detroit and beyond.

How to Make the Most of Art Shows

Brilliant Ways to Make the Most of Art Shows

Art Fair DisplaysIn person art business sales opportunities, especially with wholesale buyers, are best because you REALLY get to know your buyer but they’re A LOT of work and can be overwhelming if you haven’t been educated.

Here’s a short list to make the most out of any retail or wholesale sales show. For a more extensive explanation plus a detailed check list follow this linkPREPARE: If you don’t do the work before for a big show (or anything else of importance), you’ll waste time and money.

Below are PLENTY of important tips and strategies…

1. Make sure you have an idea of how much of your work can fit into your space.

2. The show should be doing PR but you have to create a marketing campaign to focus people on YOUR booth.

3. Do yourself a favor and invest in quality packing materials.  You don’t want breakage.

4. Easy-to-read signage is important. Know the layout of the exhibit/show so you have an idea of the type of signs you’ll need and what the show is providing.

5. Bring the all important utilities to set up and break down like; tape, markers, scissors, promotional materials, extra tags… want the entire list click the RETAIL SUCCESS banner below.

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6. To be honest, you shouldn’t even be DOING a show if you don’t know your client thoroughly.  If you don’t know who your client is, what they’re looking for and how much they’re willing to pay for your art, you’re waisting your time. [Do you know your client?  No? I can help you….]

7. Set up your display space in your studio before hand.  Map it out so you’re happy BEFORE you get there.  Saves time and energy.

Thinkific MYABGC card

8. Ask the event company if they provide booth sitters so you can go to the bathroom and eat.

9. Price your work so you’re profiting. You can sell until the cows come home but if you’re not profiting, you’re giving your work away. [Are you making money from your art? Not sure? email me.]

THE SHOW: During the festival or wholesale show, you have more than one goal: Sales + Relationships!

1. Smile.  Pay attention to people near or in your booth. Get off of your phone!

2. Share your story, or the story behind the pieces.

3. Speak the value of not just your art, but you and your company. [Do you know EXACTLY what value you bring to buyers and why you’re better than your competition? Not really? You know what to do…Schedule a session with me.]

4. Coopetition. You’re in the show with many vendors. Be a good neighbor and help others out.

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5. Have branded ordering paperwork for the buyers to use.

6. Don’t talk so much that you’re not listening. Get people’s name/email.

7. Let go of your sales expectations. They will just overburden you. You’re there to sell but it’s also a relationship building opportunity.

8. You’re allowed to play with your display especially if you find that people aren’t engaging enough. Minimal is best.  Overpack your booth and confusion ensues.

9. Converse. Listen. Don’t hover.

POST SHOW: During the festival or wholesale show, you have more than one goal.

1. Re-inventory your work.

2. Put all trip receipts in folder for accounting.

Basic Copyright Information for Artists

3. Place all show photos in folder on computer to use in marketing materials.

4. Place new names/contact information into your online or physical contact list.

5. Send follow up emails and thank you notes to buyers and potential buyers.

6. Include a post-show special, if appropriate.

7. Write notes to yourself about the show: good and bad, wrong and right.

8. Learn from the experience.

Are you unsure if you’re profiting from your art? Would you like help moving closer to commercial buyers? I invite you to join me in my affordable, Mind Your Art Business Growth Course subscription. I’ve developed this accelerator for artists who are ready to expand their reach and increase their sales. My intense but easy to understand course covers every aspect of your art business  and it’s available 24/7!

Andrea Rosenfeld


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