Articles

How to Get Jurors to Like Your Work at Arts and Crafts Fairs

March 2014

Image Courtsey: stsnck / Flickr.com Image Courtsey: stsnck / Flickr.com

Not all arts and crafts shows are open to all vendors. There are some that require you and your work to be put in front of a jury to decide which ones will get accepted and receive a booth space. It could be due to limited space or simply a desire to remain exclusive. These types of shows have a tendency to improve your visibility in a more professional aspect and are an excellent reference when embarking on a journey to opening your own business. Juried craft shows can be incredibly competitive, so you want to do everything you can to improve your chances of being selected. 

Since the process usually involves the vendor sending in an application along with pictures of the products you are hoping to display, a lot of care and effort should go into your documentation and photography. You don’t want to wait until the last minute and just send in a hastily filled out application with spelling and grammatical errors along with a photo that could have been taken with a camera from the 1980s. You want to make a good first impression on the judges that will be reviewing your information. Take the time to fill out the application as neatly as you can. If your handwriting is less than exemplary, have someone fill it out for you. Additionally, you want to make sure everything is filled out completely so you don’t miss an important section of the form

The most important part of the entire process is your pictures. They give the jurors a small taste of the merchandise you have to offer. If you just throw it down on the floor or a cluttered countertop for your picture, your application will likely be thrown in the trash. Put some serious effort into the quality of your photos. Use a camera with a higher resolution so the images come out crisp and clear. Take the color and size of your product into consideration when finding a way to display it. You don’t want to put a red art piece on a red background, it would get lost and the judges might not even see what it is you are selling. If the item you are showing has a lot of intricate detail, be sure to take some close up photos with the macro setting on your camera to get the best possible shot. 

Your business could benefit greatly from being accepted into a juried exhibition or arts and crafts show. Keep this in mind when filling out the application and sending in your photos. You want to give them every reason why they should accept you, not a reason or two on why they shouldn’t. 

Comments

I am getting ready to hit the craft show circuit myself. I have a thought or two on juried shows, first you off I make cutting boards, nice ones I might add but I want to sell all kinds of boxes everything form jewelry boxes to music boxes but they are a bit expensive $150 - $700 whereas the cutting boards are in the $60 range. In my box making I do a lot of inlay and marquetry I was thinking I would bring my CHEVALET (machine invented by the French in just after the French revolution) to the show showing how the designs are cut out and some history on the art. I thought that may give me an edge for getting accepted to a big show?

By Bob Egbert on March 9, 2014

BOB, CAN YOU TELL ME IF YOU ARE SHOWING YOUR TALENT AT THE STANWOOD FESTIVAL AND ALSO ARE THE VENDORS OPEN DURING THE DAY OR JUST AT NIGHT.  THANK YOU FOR YOUR INPUT.

BONNIE

By BONNIE on December 10, 2014

How do i get an application?
Thank you

By Levi11 on April 8, 2015

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