Fairs and Festivals -- Try to Get into This One, Avoid That One

Fairs and festivals come in all shapes, sizes, and levels of sophistication. So do their artists and crafters, as well as their customers. A poor economy takes its toll more in some areas than in others. One of the ways that our members can most help each other, is to let each other know which ones are worth entering, and which ones tend to be huge wastes of time and effort. Not all of us are cut out for the effort and risk that goes with these events, but even a bad fair can bring out a joyful camaraderie among craftspeople, renew your determination, and give you inspiration for new kinds of work.  Face to face relationships can develop with customers that you will never experience in selling to galleries or selling online. If you don't have your own on-premises sales, then fairs and festivals are your main opportunity for person to person promotion of your unique style of work.

Use this forum to talk about fairs and festivals in general, and to review specific fairs that you have participated in, or simply attended to recon for future participation. Please post links to any useful outside resources for fair/festival information.

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Here is a link to a participant review of the East Lansing Art Festival held the weekend of May 19-20

It appears on the network http://www.artfairinsiders.com/ which I believe is another ning network that is dedicated to artists who do a lot of art fairs and festivals. 

http://www.artfairinsiders.com is the place to find about fairs and festivals from the artists point of view.  Get the latest scoop on the festivals where you are thinking of investing your dollars and time.  An invaluable resource for hedging your marketing risks. The only negative I can come up with is there is some bias against "crafters" by the "artists" -- We all know how fuzzy that line gets. I don't think that the maxim, "If you use it in daily life, it's craft. If you put it on a wall or pedestal, it's art.", is really the definitive answer.

If you are into selling on the fair/festival circuit -- membership and your input into this network could be a very central part of your business intelligence strategy.

Could you explain the USPS blanket marketing? Never heard of it.


Great discussion on the pros and cons of having business cards. This is in the context of working arts and crafts fairs, but gives anyone trying to sell art work a few things to think about.


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