How to Choose an Art Fair

How to choose an art fairArt fairs provide an excellent arena in which to showcase your art, establish a strong network in the art world, and get yourself noticed. With a good fair attracting anywhere from 20,000 to 40,000 visitors, art fairs offer a great chance for exposure, as you may be able to see more clients in a couple of days than you would in a year within a gallery setting. However, it’s important to keep in mind that art fairs can be expensive, as you will need to pay an entrance fee, put together a booth, and cover travel expenses, so it’s important to be strategic in choosing the type of fair you want to show at. Here are some things to consider when it comes to choosing an art fair.

Major Factors to Consider When Choosing an Art Fair

  • Who is your target audience? It isn’t enough to get people in front of your art; you want to put your work before an audience which is going to take an interest in it. It’s a good idea to look at the demographic of the projected show attendees and the area the fair is going to be held in to determine whether this is the type of client your art appeals to and whether they will be able to afford to buy your work.
  • Will you make enough money? When it comes to art fairs, the general rule of thumb is that you need to make revenue at least equal to four times the show fee. Thus, you need to have a good idea of what you’ll need to sell to be successful and whether that’s a feasible goal for you. It’s also smart to add up any associated costs so that you know your bottom line well ahead of time.


Strategies to Help You Make Your Decision

  • Do your research: While there is no way to know for sure how a particular show is going to turn out, it’s recommended that you do your research first. Primarily, you need to look attendance numbers, as the last thing you want to do is spend time and money setting up a booth only to have a low turnout. It’s also a good idea to talk to some of the artists who have worked the fair in years past, as you may be able to learn a thing or two from their experience.
  • Assess your inventory: When scheduling art fairs, you need to be practical, and it’s critical that you have a large enough inventory to sell and/or enough time to produce more in between shows. Keep in mind your revenue goals, and then make sure that you have more than enough when it comes to inventory on hand to achieve that.
  • Ask the right questions: As an exhibitor, you have the right to query the show organizers on whatever issues might concern you. You should definitely inquire as to how the show is promoted to ensure a good turnout. It’s also a good idea to find out how much competition they have within categories so you know what you might be up against.

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