Saturday, April 20, 2013

ART SHOWS 101: Survival Tips for Show Artists and Crafters Vol. 5


                               Volume 5: Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Outdoors?

Have you read Al's post this week? It’s all about accepting the scrapes and bruises we get on the road to success and not being afraid to fail -- because without initial failure, we often times do not succeed:

I smiled when I read his post -- in part because it was well written and inspiring, but also because I’d like to talk about one of those topics too: fear.

It’s occurred to me that, in an effort to prepare new show exhibitors for possible weather related issues, I’ve scared the hell out of them! I’d like to say right now, LOUDLY, that that was NOT my intent! 

In truth, outdoor shows may not be for everyone. They really are a lot of work -- and our inability to control the weather does put us at risk. But let’s face it, there is risk in everything we do! 

So -- instead of talking about the “what ifs” of outdoors shows, I’d like to point out some of the well known positives of exhibiting al fresco.

I’d also like to correct the comment I made last week about $200 canopies not being a good option for outdoor festival shelter. I’ve since learned that one of our team members, and a rather successful one at that, has been exhibiting at outdoor shows with a canopy she purchased at BJ’s Wholesale for, you guessed it, $200! I’m so happy to eat my words about this that I'm going to purchase one for myself as a back-up canopy. But I’m NOT going to budge an inch on weights! Be sure to weight/anchor this and ANY canopy as if your art and craft work safety depends on it, because it does.

Here’s a link to BJ's canopy info:

                  TOP Reasons to Exhibit at Outdoor Art and Craft Shows:

• Outdoor shows are community events so they are well advertised

• Most outdoor shows have MUCH higher attendance than indoor shows.

• Most outdoor shows attract a MUCH more diverse audience than indoor shows.

• Outdoor booth spaces are bigger than most indoor show spaces. A LOT bigger!

• A well advertised show that draws a large, diverse crowd to view your large display of work 
  can often time lead to more sales

So -- before you make a final decision against outdoor exhibiting, visit a few shows, ask some questions, and do a little research. You may find that the great outdoors is the perfect setting for your work.

Until next time -- keep creating!



  1. Thanks for the link to the tent at BJ's Alison!! It's good to hear that it is possible to get a god one for that price!! I haven't done an outdoor show yet. I have cringed though knowing I would have to get a tent before I could even consider it - this helps!

    1. Al -- talk to Nicole Johnson about the BJs tent. She can tell you the good and bad of it.