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Artists, Craftspeople, Musicians, Festivals, & Others that exhibit, perform or work in the music, art, craft, festival biz and special events industry, will find these past Newsletters of interest.

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Years 2012-2014. To access a back issue, click the Newsletter title. Use the search box above to find a topic in all years.

May 2016 Newsletters - Artists & Crafters | Musicians | Food Vendors | Promoters | MarketPlace | Affiliates

Artists and Crafters News:

Practical and Frequently Asked Questions About Art Shows

by Maria Arango

"I must create a system, or be enslaved by another man's." - William Blake

When I first started the art festival guide I had a somewhat clear organization and, once I decided on the main points to cover, I kept to my outline more or less faithfully. During the course of art festivals, I would think of bits and pieces and almost all of them fit neatly into my chapters...almost. Another phenomenon that occurs in art festivals is that some of us get a lot of visits from artists that want to entertain the idea of embarking upon the art festival adventure. Most of them ask the obvious questions but some pose a few practical and sometimes not so obvious questions. There is so much more to know!

On an average year, whatever that may be, I figure I spend about 30% of my time making art, 30% selling art, 30% on the various business tasks and 30% taking care of the home front. If you notice, that adds up to 120%, not counting sleeping and eating, which is the appropriate amount of time to dedicate to making a living as an artist. Seriously, I have never worked so hard or so long on anything, although the rewards of making a living as a living artist are without question worth every minute of every day and the minutes in between. Nobody said it was going to be easy!

While you are starting out and still not knowing who to ask, I will just answer the most frequent questions that came pouring to my booth and my website and that logically made me fashion this last chapter as a summary of Frequently Asked Questions. They are arranged in no particular order; I simply jotted them down as people asked both in person and online although I guess I tried to address them in order of importance or at least relevance to the business. You might call them tricks of the trade, nuts and bolts, tips from the experienced or frequently asked questions. I will also try to answer them succinctly since I have already explained most points in the previous chapters. Well, I might throw in a story or two, but that's to be expected by now. So here are my loose ends, whatever didn't neatly fit into the previous chapters, I kept for this last one. Now you can't say nobody told you!

Do I need a business license?
Everywhere you go! As a business you will undoubtedly need a business license to operate a business in your own state. Every state is different so the best course of action is to head on over to the website of the Department of Taxation or Department of Revenue for your own state and find out what the licensing requirements are for your particular situation. I know that sounds scary and complicated but most states will simply not let you conduct business without a license and really, aside from paying a fee and the initial application, it's not so bad.

Doing business outside of your own state will often if not always also require a temporary permit or a temporary vendor's license, often for the state, county and/or city. Many of us carry out of state business licenses for every state we work in and renew them yearly. Some are free, some require a nominal yearly fee. The bottom line is that you cannot do business anywhere without a license or permit and playing around with tax authorities is not my idea of fun.

The promoter of the show is usually the best source of information for the required licensing and tax requirements of each show. Many promoters will require a state license number with applications, some will include the county/city license fee with the application, others do not. Ultimately it may be up to you to investigate and obtain the proper permits and pay the proper taxes, which neatly leads me to the next question.

Read more!

Musicians News:

4 Simple Steps for Your Music Marketing Budget

by Dave Cool

One of the most important things you can do to prepare for the year ahead is to create a budget for your musical activities. Having a budget will give you a much clearer look at where you want to go financially, how you'll get there, and what your progress is along the way.

We've broken down the process into 4 simple steps to help you create a budget:

1. Ask Questions

To help determine what your financial goals for the year will be, first ask yourself some questions:

- Will you be releasing new music this year?

- How will you raise money to pay for the production?

- How will you distribute your music to digital stores?

- How will you promote your music?

- Do you need new promotional photos?

- Are you creating any merch?

- Are you going to buy any new equipment?

- Do you need a new website?

Try to get as clear as you can about everything you would like to do this year, and be sure to write it all down. Writing down your goals will help give you some direction and focus.

2. Determine Expenses

Once you know your goals, write down all of the expenses that you'll need to keep track of:

Cost of Music & Merch

Recording/Mixing/Mastering: Many musicians now record at home rather than go into a studio, so expenses with recording can vary greatly depending on your approach.

CD Duplication / Vinyl pressing / Download Cards: Research how much it will cost to manufacture any physical versions of your album.

Digital distribution: Although minimal, depending on which service you use, there is either an upfront cost or annual recurring cost to distribute your music to iTunes, Amazon, etc.

Merch: How much will it cost to make t-shirts and other merch items?

Read more here!

Promoters News:

How to Promote a Local Event

by Elmer Thomas

This post takes a look a both the strategy and the tactics for promoting local events: First I discuss some general conventions regarding promoting events, then I elaborate on specific tactics and tools. The goal of this post is to serve as a checklist for anyone that needs to promote a local event.


Who, What, When, Why?

Visualize what the final result of the event should look like, clarify the purpose of the event, then determine the actual tasks need to realize that vision. Remember that the actual tasks are secondary to the desired result. With that frame of mind you can maintain flexibility while keeping focused.


Use Google and the "websites where you can post your event" (listed below) to investigate events similar to yours. Google the titles of those events to determine what online marketing channels they used. Search through old emails to examine marketing copy used for other similar successful events.

Read more here!

Food Vendor News:

Planning a Food Concession - Where to Start

by Barb Fitzgerald

It's often hard for someone starting a food concession to know WHERE to start. I believe they should start with EVENTS. Before they plan and design any other part of their concession business they should research and become familiar with the type of events they plan to do business at. This is important because, operation-wise, different concessions are more practical and successful at different types of events.

A food tent at a large event

Food cart - does business from a fixed location such as at a food pod or parking lot. On a day to day basis a food cart serves a steady clientele and operates much the same as a regular storefront food business. A food cart starts by pursuing the ideal permanent location for its business. With a good location found, that job is done.

Food concession - does business at various short-term, albeit sometimes multi-day, events and venues such as special events and county fairs. Concessionaires must pursue multiple locations (events) every event season.

That's all simple enough. But for concessionaires; here's the hard part:

All events are different. Our biggest challenge is to book a season of the right caliber of events - ones that are not too big, not too small, but are just right.

Basically, food concessions designed to do business at 5 day fairs are much different than food concessions designed for 5 hour farmers markets. Though most events are neither 5 day fairs nor 5 hour markets, but rather, are something in between, it helps to picture these two extremes when planning your concession business.

A concession at a 5 day fair usually sells large volumes of product and has the staff and production capabilities to operate at high volume for multiple 12 hour days. It frequently transports its booth/equipment/stock in a large truck or trailer. It may take several hours to set-up the booth and prepare the food to be ready for business. At the end of the event it may take several hours to clean up, tear-down and load out. The enterprise is designed to maximize sales and make a profit that is proportionate to the size, duration, and cost of the event.

Whereas a concession at a single-day, 5 hour event must set-up quickly, fit within a 10 foot space, serve a menu that can be prepared and served quickly to maximize the short duration of business, be self-contained; having on-board power and water, and be quick to break down and pull out. Again, the whole enterprise is designed to maximize sales and make a profit that is proportionate to the size, duration and cost of the event.

Read more here!

Marketplace Sellers News:

Using Technology to Stay Competitive

by U.S. Small Business Administration

As a business owner, it is vital that you understand and use advanced technologies. Technology can help increase business efficiency and even expand operations.

Accounting Software

This is important, even if you have your own accountant or bookkeeper. Accounting software allows you to see your profits and losses at a glance. It can also help you design and maintain a budget for your business.

Read more!

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