Posted by: alenegeed | December 23, 2013

Exhibiting at Festivals this year.. My thoughts

I had the pleasure to exhibit at two Art Festivals this month. Since this was only my second experience with this type of marketing I knew the learning curve would be immense.

Partial booth shot

Last year I did exhibit at the smaller of the two shows with limited success.  With that experience under my belt I made the plunge this year and applied for a larger show (400+ booths) .. and was accepted!

Tempe Festival of the Arts is one of the largest and most respected shows in the country. They are diligent about accepting only artisans who create their own work. They also keep to a strict ratio of types of artisans.

This makes the show so much more fun for the people attending. They know that they will find a variety of crafted products instead of an overabundance of ceramic artists or jewelers. As an exhibitor this enhances my experience and my sales! (which is after all the ultimate goal, right?)

Mesa Arts Festival is a completely different animal. The number of booths and exhibitors  is limited to 50. Since the event takes place at the arts center, there are many demos and tours also being offered.

Right next to me the Mesa Arts Studio was demonstrating torch fire enameling. In other areas of the venue, there were demos for cutting stones (lapidary) and texturing metal. The Glass and Blacksmithing studios were open for tours, too. This event draws a decent crowd and the energy level is high.

So what did I learn to improve my next show experience?

1) Be prepared for any kind of weather. Bring layers of clothes including hats and gloves. Arizona has a mild climate but the first day of the show it was 30 degrees in the morning!! Bring visors, sunscreen and lip balm

2) Bring a stash of water and energy bars (or other easy to eat foods). When it gets busy you may not have the opportunity to eat otherwise!

3) Open up the tent on at least 2 sides! Mine was closed on 3 sides and even the lighting we used did not help as much as the openness would have.

booth shot 2013 full talbe

 4) Get a corner booth if possible.

5) Exhibit at the same show for several years if possible. The vendors around me that were 5-6 time repeaters had a following of clients that sought them out during the show. How cool is that!!

6) Greet as many people as possible. Make them want to stop by your booth… This can be overdone of course…Just be sincere and all will be well.

7) Study what other vendors around you are doing with their displays. I learned so much just observing how others were utilizing their display space. Many spent years getting to their level. I felt lucky to be able to learn so much so quickly.

Most of all HAVE FUN!!

If you liked this post you may enjoy  Jewelry Design and Social Media tips


  1. I hope your events went well and I wish you a Happy Christmas and a successful New Year Alene!

    • thanks Diana. Happy Holidays to you as well

  2. Some good observations – isn’t amazing in life one always has to learn the hard way?? Again, my suggestion is to listen to the selling Cd I recommended. Hope the shows were well worth your time and energy.

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