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Tips to Maximize Your Sales at the Show!

 

During our 19+ years of producing art festivals, we have learned many key factors that, when implemented, will help maximize your show sales. We invite you to review the following recommendations and put those points you like into action.

Before The Show -Top Ten
1.  2-3 months in advance: If you have a website, post your show schedule.
2.  2-3 weeks in advance: Postcard/Invitation mailing to previous customers in and near the show.
3.  2 weeks before: Check your business cards/brochures supply, replenish if necessary.
4.  1 day to one week before: Get a haircut if you need it.
5.  1 week before: Plan show clothes and have them cleaned for the show.
6.  Day before: Review map of route to festival. The website Mapquest.com is used by many.
7.  Days before: Pack carefully.  At every festival, someone has forgotten a vital piece of their display.
8.  Week before: Photo document your newest work for next season’s jury.
9.  Week before: Pack camera/film so you can photograph your booth.  
10.Week before: Check your vehicle: tire, fluids, belts, etc.

Your Booth - A Dozen to Consider   
1. Before the show: Details count. Review every element of your booth, just as you review your work. I strongly recommend a fabric panel wall system. Open grid systems do not look as professional, and tend to distract the viewer from seeing your art.
2. Before the show, and at the show: Have professional price tags. Ideally, price tags are typed or laser printed on heavy weight paper, or glued to mat board. Price tags authenticate the price, reducing the “haggle.”
3. At the show: Use a floor covering. It completes your booth and covers up ugly directional traffic markings and muddy ground.
4. At the show: Hang 2D work level, and adjust often during the show. Shelf work should be arranged neatly. Keep glass clean, and bring touch up paint/markers for those unexpected nicks.
5. At the show: Don’t over fill your both. More is not always better.  Have more stock in back, so that you can pull out that special piece for the right person.
6. At the show: 3d artists: think about multiple levels, and great bases that are the same. Don’t make bases so interesting that they detract from your work.
7. At the show: Have plenty of business cards and if you are redoing them, include an image of your art.  It greatly helps people remember who you are.
8. At the show: Keep a guest book, and maintain a database for future mailings.
9. At the show: If you love how your booth looks, take a photo for next season’s juries. The biggest weakness we see in the juries, are dark booth slides. Try to take a booth shot when the booth is bright and full of light. If you don’t love your booth, evaluate how it could be improved.
10. At the show: Keep your booth tidy so that the visitor at 4 pm on Sunday has the same positive experience that the visitor Saturday morning had.
11. At the show: maximize your experience, and take a look around for great booth ideas from other artists.
12. Wear your name badge during the show. This lets the public know who you are right away.

Your Work - 5 to Ponder
1. Have various price points so that you have broad appeal to the masses.
2. Have work of various sizes.
3. Show your body of work. A tighter body of work increases sales by making it easier for the public to make the buy decision.
4. Frame your work well. If at all possible, avoid using cheap metal or wood frames. Frame with a limited number of frame styles so that the frames do not take over your work.  I recommend one or two frame styles only in a booth.
5. Be true to yourself. Time and time again, I see that it is the artists who really have something to say that sell the best, regardless of price.

You - Top Ten
1. Be clean and smell good. Basic, but true. People do not want to talk to, let alone buy from, someone who smells. Don’t eat onions and tuna fish and expect to sell.
2. Be well dressed. People buy more from people who dress (shoes too) like them.
3. Interact with the public.  If you can’t, then hire someone who can. (You must still be present at the show)
4. People are not just buying art, they are buying an experience, your story, you. Tell them about yourself; what inspired you to do the piece. 
5. Don’t smoke or drink alcohol in your booth. This is a turn-off and many people will stay away.  
6. Don’t sit behind your booth reading a book or the newspaper and expect to sell. You’ve got to interact with the public.
7. Don’t leave your booth for long periods of time, or with a booth sitter for more than 20 minutes. People will give up on an artist they can’t find after a few tries.
8. Inform and educate. The more people know about you and your technique, the more they will buy.
9. If you do commission work, let people know about it and explain what that means.
10.If you can’t make the sale, give them a show schedule and suggest they visit you again.  

Security - Eight to Contemplate
1. Keep your money on your person. Don’t have a money box, or bag you “hide” in your booth.
2 .Be especially alert at set-up and break-down when there is a lot of commotion.
3 .Jewelers with gold and precious stones: You should have at least one or more additional people with you at shows. If you feel you are being cased during a show, alert the staff. Trust your instincts. Consider using dummy bags. Don’t register in your hotel under your show name. Don’t take a first floor hotel room, or a room near the elevator or stairs. Fill up with gas the last morning of the show so that when you leave, you will go far before having to stop. Keep a disposal camera in your booth, and take a picture of someone you think is casing your booth. Bad guys don’t want to be seen and remembered. During daily set-up and take-down, always keep your merchandise on your person or securely locked to an immovable object.  Don’t give anyone an opportunity. 
4. Accept Credit Cards, thereby reducing carrying a lot of cash.
5. Be careful about hiring non-show people who happen to be around at set-up and offer to help you for a twenty.  
6. We always recommend removing your work from your booth at night even though most shows provide overnight security.
7. Don’t leave tempting items in your booth overnight: cameras, radios, briefcases, etc.  
8. Lock your vehicle! Remember to lock the back and side doors of your parked trucks and vans.

Article provided by:
AMDUR PRODUCTIOS - Founded in 1983, Amdur Productions is a nationally recognized arts festival producer that directs nine of the Chicago area’s most successful summer art fairs and festivals. Amdur Productions also consults with the Merchandise Mart to produce the One of A Kind Show and Sale in December.  For additional information: (847) 444-9600 or www.amdurproductions.com.

 

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