by Monika Blichar
Each year, we get numerous questions about the overall experience of participating as a vendor in our event but also in other events in the area. Though there are many reasons we highly recommend participating in a variety of shows, it is up to each artist and vendor to really think about how each show will be the most useful for his or her business that fiscal year. Whether you are looking for new networking connections, selling more of your work, or simply adding to your CV of shows, everyone’s needs will be different but equally important.
When thinking about participating in an event, we came up with our top three tips for why it’s important to participate in trade shows! Have a look and if you have a suggestion, be sure to leave a comment!
While the Internet and Social Media are wonderful tools, there is only so much you can do from behind a computer. As an artist and business owner, it is crucial to your success that you mingle with potential customers and fans. Artists who have the luxury of staying behind computers or in their studios have really good sales agents, affiliate dealers and promoters who are paid either hourly, on contract or commission. Even then, they still have to make appearances, do book signings, speaking engagements and show up to events. If you don’t have a budget to hire on contract, hourly or give up a percentage of your sales to an agent, you need to be at a variety of shows to expose your work to new markets. This will help you build a following in new markets and help build your brand identity and recognition.
2-Getting Out of Your Studio
The worst thing you can do is stay in your studio hoping that buyers will come knocking! How will they know you are there if you don’t invite them in? Sure you have event pages, Instagram #HASHTAGS and probably (or hopefully) an email marketing newsletter, but getting out to meet people in person is so much more effective it is ridiculous. Getting out of your studio doesn’t just mean that you need to go to trade shows and set up an expensive booth; you can get out of your studio an market in creative ways without spending a fortune. Here are some of our favourite ways to share work:
-Live painting at an event
-Giving a talk or demo at a workshop or trade show
-Partnering up with a local charity and giving back
-Donating to Swag Bags
-LIVE Streaming from events you are attending
-Offering Classes or Workshops at your studio
-Being a guest facilitator for a corporate client
3-Location, Location, Location
Where do you want your work to be seen? If you have a higher priced product, will you sell it at a school craft fair? If you have a less expensive mass produced product, will you sell at a luxury boutique? Likely, you need to sit down and make sure to show and sell your work (and its varying degrees) in the right places. If you are participating in shows that don’t offer you what you are looking for not only in terms of sales, but of networking, affiliate marketing, and growth opportunities, why bother? Before you sign up for any show, make sure you ask yourself the questions: “Why am I doing this event?” and “What are my goals for this particular event?” Be sure to gain as much insight into your own responses as possible and work with the coordinator(s) of each event you participate in closely to help you achieve your goals.
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This year, we are participating in the West Coast Women’s Show again and we’d love to see you. Enter to win 2 tickets to the show by heading to our Facebook page and finding the photo below with the contest details! Contest closes October 15! Good luck!