There are so many factors involved in getting into shows. Jury
members change, directors decide to increase the number of
pre-invited artists, great numbers of jewelers get hungry and decide
to get back into shows, news of a good show gets out and more people
decide to enter, the list goes on and on. Of course you could be in
the position of having shows to do but be losing money at each and
every one. That’s the frustration I’m dealing with. I finally
started getting into enough shows that I feel like I have some
momentum going and now I’m hemorrhaging cash. I just sent out 6
applications for fall shows and seriously wonder if I’ll have the
money to pay booth fees if I get in!
To sympathize with you I’ll tell you this story. I did a couple of
shows last year with the Artrider group. They produce shows in the
NYC area. Last year I had no problem getting into every show I
applied for. This year there were over 1000 jewelers applying for 40
spots in their Park Avenue show, according to the promoters. This
year the only show I got into (of the 4 I applied for) was the fall
show. On the bright side, my other shows have been going so badly
that I am glad that I didn’t get into the spring show they do. It is
a very expensive show and if things continue to go as they have, I
probably wouldn’t have made expenses.
That is the other point I wanted to make. Right now it’s hard to
sell jewelry; no matter where you sell it. The competition is fierce
and the dollars are scarce. The upside is that people still seem to
be coming to shows and are interested. They just aren’t willing to
open their wallets (at least for higher end gold work).
To make a long story a little longer; we need to work out survival
skills for the next while. I for one am biting the bullet and doing
consignment. All my big sales are coming from sales in retail
Also, while I am asking questions can anyone give me some
feedback on the Chicago One of a Kind Show.
The One-of-A-Kind show has been discussed in some of the following
art/craft forums. Go to the sites and check out the archives.
Artfair Sourcebook gives it a rating of 8 (out of 10). It is not
ranked in the top 100 shows in the country even though they report
exhibitor sales at $4,296 per artist.
Here is the editor’s critique of the show:
“This show was beautifully produced and presented in a classy, plush
setting. It’s a very smooth-running show! The event was extremely
well advertised. But sales and attendance were off significantly
from last year. This is a great show for selling Christmas gift, low
priced ($50 and under) items; not especially good for the high-end.
Functional did better than decorative. At 4 days (plus preview
night) this show is way too long and expensive for the crowd it
attracts. With hotels, restaurants and parking for six days and
nights, plus the hefty booth fee, expenses can easily run $3,500+
before you’ve even made a sale. Of course, many exhibitors didn’t
make their expenses. Sub-optimal food options for vendors. Preview
party was not thought to have generated many sales by most reporting.
And the evening hours devoted primarily to “special group” events
were not working for most exhibitors. The biggest complaint was the
exorbitant booth fee. Hours: Thur-Sun10am-6pm”
And, one more question. Trying to locate a company I was told
about for display items called Bufcor, but can't find anything on
the Net. Out of Florida, I think. Anyone heard of them?
Bufkor is probably the company you are looking for. Try bufkor.com.
hope this is helpful, Larry