Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Five (More) Things I Have Learned Participating in Art Shows

So, it's been a bit too long since I have blogged. Sorry, I have no profound reason, just busy, I guess.
My most popular post ever was the one I did about the Ten Lessons I learned at Art Shows and Festivals, so I've been thinking maybe I should expand on that.

Here are Five More Things I Have Learned Participating in Art Shows and Festivals.

1. Avoid shows that are not well established in their area. If it's a first or second year, especially, most of the people there will be surprised to find the show, and you'll hear a lot of comments like, "Wow, I didn't even know this was going on! Is it just today?"

2. People will ask you all sorts of questions. They will want to know how you made your craft, how long it takes for you to make a piece, how long you have been creating art in your medium of choice, why you started in the first place, what kind of training you have or haven't had, and so many more things. They aren't necisarily looking for a particular answer, they're just curious to learn more about you and your craft, so don't get too nervous about things like whether or not you've had training, just be prepared with an intelligent answer and you'll be fine. What I hate is when I fumble for an answer to a question I hadn't thought of. That's the worst.

3. People love to tell little stories about their own experiences. So listen to their stories. Listen for clues about what they like, so you can use that info to help them find something you are selling that they would like to purchase.

4. Just because someone has looked at your display does not mean that they have understood everything they have seen. It is very likely that they did not even read that lovely sign that you made telling them about your prices or policies or drawing attention to a special deal you are offering. You might want to point it out to them verbally. Obviously you can't point out everything to everyone, but you can start with one thing and work from there.

And last, but far from least:

5. How you arrange your products has everything to do with how many people stop to look at them. People are especially attracted to items that are grouped into like colors, as color is a major factor for most people when they are deciding whether or not an item matches their taste and decor or wardrobe. It is important to put as much effort as you can into arranging your display. Set it up at home if you can and re-arrange until you are satisfied it is the best you can do. Think of how a successful retail store arranges their products. Study them, because they know what they are doing.