Are Arts & Crafts Festivals good for Business?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by Capturemecute, Aug 15, 2006.

  1. Capturemecute

    Capturemecute TPF Noob!

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    Hi guys,
    My community is having an Arts and Crafts Festival, and I am thinking about setting up a booth. It is a 10x10 space and the cost is only $75. They are expecting around 5000 people. What do I need to set up? What should I display? Any ideas? Also, have any of you tried this approach? Did you get any business from it? Did you offer a special? Any advice or comments are welcome!! Thanks in advance!!!
    Amy
     
  2. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I don't see that it could hurt, if you already have an established business and want the chance to set up a nice display and hand out tons of cards or brochures. What type of photography do you do - portraits, weddings, special events?

    I love the arts festivals I attend every year, but I am a hobbyist and it's not make or break for me. I do wander around and see studio owners there, with very professional looking displays, sometimes running a promotion or giving away the sitting fee, etc., to whoever calls after visiting their booth.

    I also see independent photographers who sell a variety of work - landscapes & such. These displays have several framed pieces on display, and most of their stuff is matted & bagged and in a bin for a reduced price. They also have business cards to give out or to promote their web site.

    So, whatever category you might fall in, think about the investment of time and setup as you make your decision. Good luck with it! :)
     
  3. JamesD

    JamesD Between darkrooms

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    Fill the booth. I wouldn't take anything smaller than 8X10, and preferrably at least several of your best photographs in a larger size. At least mat the photographs, and perhaps frame some of them (or all of them).

    Is this going to be outside? Consider that the wind blows and the rain falls--and there's always going to be dust--and it'll be hot, or cold.

    If you're planning to sell, don't take too many prints. I'd personally think that it's better to take one or two, sell out, and have to take orders, than to print too many and waste the money. Take a bunch of small bills, a calculator, and a receipt book.

    Hanging them up is ideal, perhaps with a counter at waist level where you can set more on stands (or in frames). Nobody likes to have to bend down to look at something close to the floor. If you use tables, take nice tablecloths with you, plain black, or white, or blue, or whatever. Take a comfortable chair, and some munchies.

    Whatever you do, attract attention. Make sure you've got a good location that will get a lot of traffic. If you don't (or you're downwind of the pony ride--long story there) ask to move. If you've got a lot of photographs, covering the walls and set up on your tables, people will be more likely to come by and look. Get some business cards and set them out in a holder. If someone comes over to look, engage them in a conversation, preferrably emphasizing them in the conversation, if you can. People love to talk about themselves. Have some stuff to talk about planned out in advance... not necessarily a word for word script, but something to talk about if you draw a blank.

    Most of this is adivice folks gave me when I had to do a show, along with a few of my own observations. To all them folks, thanks! And to you, good luck!
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I was walking through a show, and I noted how one booth was selling prints (of a painting but it's the same idea).

    They had three or four very large pictures in nice frames. Then they had different sizes of those four pictures for sale. The big ones attracted people to the booth, most people wouldn't want to spend the $300-$400 for the full size, but when they saw an 8x10 for $40-$50 or a 5x7 for $20...they snapped them up. That's where the money is...in selling several smaller prints...not to mention that more sales means that you are getting your name out there. I've seen other booths, with crates full of many different prints for customers to look through...it can work...but I think that having the large print in a frame and on display, is really what sells the smaller prints.
     
  5. jemmy

    jemmy TPF Noob!

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    Because you do portraits, i take it you are wanting people to see your work and not buy but book???? The portraits on your site are stunning the 2 little blondies ( maybe bro & sis?) is one that has stuck in my mind. I think have a few sizes - big - of your favourite images framed and on display ~ big pics of gorgeous little faces is enough to entice most mums ( & probably some dads!) to have a look! That with possibly a discount or if you can 'free' sitting voucher, stacks of business cards and i think a price list ~ staple them all together for them to take.... brain wave... perhaps it would be better to have discount vouchers in the 'take home' goodies but offer a 'free sitting' if they book on the day??! I suppose sometimes they will take stuff home & forget about it? Hope this helps and looking forward to seeing more posts from you x jemma
     
  6. srobb

    srobb TPF Noob!

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    I am glad I found this subject. I have an opportunity next month to set up a booth for a festival at a local state park. I noticed some of you suggested having larger, framed prints. What sizes would you recommend for that? How many prints would be good to have with you?
     

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