What Artists Want Most at Shows
The artists who submit show reviews to Sunshine Artist for publication in print and online are honest about their experiences at the events.
They share such things as how load-in/-out went, whether parking was close to their booth, what type of artist amenities there were, and how much money they made at the show. And artists often comment on the weather — and how it affected attendance and sales.
During the past few months, there have been some common themes in the reviews — about what bothers artists the most when they are participating in shows, as well as what they appreciate the most. Here are some of things artists have brought up in their reviews:
- Load-in/-out is easy when artists can pull their vehicles right up to their space, unload (or pack up), and drive away. Nearby parking for artists is always appreciated — especially for those who have larger items. If close, dedicated parking for artists is not an option, shuttles or golf carts are often suggested by artists as ways to transport them to and from their booths.
- A balance of mediums is important at shows. A photographer does not want to see another photographer next door or across the aisle.
- Artists enjoy talking to their potential customers. Keep that in mind if music is part of your event. Loud music next to artists’ tents is not conducive to conversations.
- If changing or expanding the show’s footprint, think about the traffic flow. Artists who pay the same booth fee as artists on main streets pay want the same opportunities to make sales. When placing artists on side streets, direct attendees there with signage — or charge a lower booth fee if these artists are not going to receive the same amount of traffic.
- Artist amenities like booth sitters, water, snacks, and food vouchers are important. Some artists are at shows alone and rely on booth sitters, so they can take restroom breaks. The shows with restrooms and hospitality areas specifically for artists are noticed by the artists. They feel appreciated.
- Shows with awards and special dinners or breakfasts to announce them also rank high with artists. And when awards are part of a show, be sure the judges visit and talk to each of the artists, so there are no hard feelings when the winners are announced.
Communication is key. Do so in a variety of ways — via email, text, and in person at shows— to keep artists in the know about any changes and to let them know you want to do everything you can to help them succeed.