Resources for Craft Show Evaluation
What's the Artist's Job for a Show?

Responsibilities of Craft Show Organizers

In this post, Alison Antelman  offers her opinion on the role and responsibility of craft show organizers. She has been participating in retail juried craft shows for 12 years. She participates in 6 to 8 national juried shows per year, in addition to two open studio events.

Note: The opinions expressed by the author, Alison Antelman, in this post are hers and hers alone, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ASKHarriete or Harriete Estel Berman. No endorsement or refutation is implied.
Alison Antelman in BOOTH with CUSTOMERS
Alison Antelman at the Bellevue Museum of Art Arts Fair. This show is actually held inside the parking garage. The show has very long hours (till 9:00 p.m.) because the garage is open that late! Make sure you investigate these issues in advance.

Craftfair by Alison AntelmanThe art festival/craft show sponsor establishes the flow and organization of a huge multi-level event. Many shows are run by non-profits, some by a city’s chamber of commerce, other civic groups, or even artists who want to create the "perfect" show. These events operate in a kind of partnership with the artists. They provide the venue, publicity and crowds. The artists provide high quality work to attract and satisfy the visitors.


The two previous posts on ASK Harriete recommended that artists and makers do their research
before committing to a craft show/art festival. Below is a list of responsibilites for the craft show organizers.  

Most important a craft show or art festival should promote the event and individual artists including an image and link to each artist's website on their website. Advertising should promote the artists through print, television, web site, Facebook and other social media.

Additional Event responsibilities:
  • Clear written instructions for artists before arriving with booth location, logistics, details, schedule and useful tips
  • Organize and plan the move in and move out
  • Provide security before, during and after the show
  • Clean bathrooms
  • Bring in the audience of potential buyers  
  • Provide the space and atmosphere that enhances artwork sales
  • Deal with problems immediately
  • Provide an artist listing and map of layout for visitors to navigate
  • Make sure exhibitors are displaying the work represented in their jury images
  • In case of extreme weather, have a system in place for warnings. An example would be automatic phone calls with updates about storms.
  • Provide a survey at the end of the show for artist input

Some shows also provide:
  • Hospitality services for artists including daily lunch
  • Free beverage coupons
  • Booth delivery of water and snacks
  • Booth sitters (important if any artists are doing the show alone)
  • Hospitality location where artists can relax and have some snacks/food
  • Special events: This might include galas for patrons where artists are invited and expected to schmooze.
  • Awards, cash prices or acceptance into the next year's show.
  • Breakfasts, dinners or receptions.
  • Links to lodging and special artist pricing for hotels
  • Parking during the show
  • Fashion shows, music, kids events and other amusements
  • Incentives for patrons to become collectors and commit to purchase a certain dollar amount at the show.
  • Artist Demo’s and/or lectures
  • Brochures with artist listing, images, featured artists, sponsors, map of show layout, and information about the show promoter/organization

AlisonAntelmanNECKLACEHanging Garden Necklace
Hanging Garden Necklace by Alison Antelman
S. silver, 18 + 22k gold, tourmaline, rose cut diamonds.

Thank you Alison for your words of experience. If the readers of ASK Harriete have any suggestions for the responsibilities of craft show organizers, please consider adding them as a comment. It is always good to hear from a range of experience.

NEXT POST:
What is the Artist's Job Before a Art /Craft Event?


RELATED POSTS by Alison Antelman:

6 STEPS to Craft Show Research

Resources for Craft Show Evaluation

Harriete

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