2009 Art Fair and Festival Season in Illinois

March 2009

The art fair and festival season in Illinois will be busy in 2009. Though the economy is down, customers are still buying items that provide small escapes and personal joy. Handmade arts and crafts are generally considered personal, local and green…all elements that still sell. To prepare for the art fair and festival season in Illinois, you’ll want to follow these tips. Write down your goals. You are 7 times more likely to achieve your goal if you write it down. Update your business plan. Given the current climate, what adjustments do you need to make to accomplish your goals? Write your plan down. Studies have proven, even plans that are only one page significantly increase your chances for success. Match product price points with distribution channels. Because of the economic climate it will be important to provide the right products at the right price in the right venues. A $300+ item for sale a juried fine art show might still sell, but it is less likely to sell at a local arts and crafts show this year. Either bring products with lower price points to these types of shows or find other venues through which to sell. Etsy is an online store for handmade items. For $7/month you can get your products in front of a much larger audience. The cost of this for the year is less than what most booths costs for a one-day show. Researching different distribution channels and matching your products and price points to these channels will be a key component maximizing your return on investment this year. Perfect your pictures and display. Sometimes we get so caught up in details we can miss the obvious. A beautiful display of lesser quality work will get more attention than a ragged display of gorgeous work. Make sure your pictures and display honor your work. Experiment with various photos and displays. Use non-family feedback to create displays and photos that give you a competitive advantage. Attitude determines you altitude. When you’re at a show, you are as much on display as your work. An energetic and positive attitude makes it easier for visitors to buy from you. Keeping a smile on your face helps sales and might even make you feels as good as Bears winning the Super Bowl.

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