Articles

Juried vs. Non-Juried Events

March 2009

I get a lot of questions about the difference between Juried vs. Non-Juried. My first recommendation is: If you are just starting out… go to non-juried shows, to gain your confidence and to learn about how to present your product and displays. Once you’ve done that, you are ready to move on to juried shows.

Non-Juried Shows:

A non-juried show is one that you can apply to without having to present your work in advance. You basically pay the fee and get your spot at the show. It’s great for first timers and newbie craft show participants as the costs are typically reasonable and the hours aren’t too bad. You’ll typically pay $100 or less to exhibit at non-juried shows. The shows are usually smaller community shows, like Christmas bazaars at churches, community parks, schools etc.

I started by showing at a non-juried Christmas bazaar at a local elementary school. I had a blast! For my first show, it was perfect, I had a small table and could experiment with presentation ideas and it only cost me $35 for the table. The show was also an annual one so it had a good following in the community. I made $600 on that show (which is very good for a small local show). But don’t expect to make a ton at these, they are kind of a needle in a haystack approach, try them out if they work great if not try a different one.

If the show has a history and has been done successfully in the past, you should have a good experience. If it’s a first year show, it’s a gamble, and you basically will be the vendor trying it out to see if it works. Some great questions to ask the organizers:

  • How many exhibitor spaces do you have and how many are filled (with what types of products)
  • How are you marketing your show.
  • How many years have you done the show and what is your typical attendance.
  • In addition to the space fee do I need to pay a percentage of sales (some shows have this and it’s always good to ask!)
  • If it is a first year show, It can be extra challenging for a first year show to promote, find out what extra steps they are taking.
  • What is included in the fee? (table, drape, chairs, electrical etc.)

Ultimately, non-juried shows are a great way to start your business, learn what works and what doesn’t and gains confidence at shows. Once you have this basis move onto Juried shows! You can always keep going to the non-juried shows that have been successful for you as they cost significantly less than juried.

Juried events have a selection committee for art & craft exhibitors, and require that you submit slides or photos of your work or products. The selection committee (the jury) reviews all applications before choosing exhibitors for the event. Sometimes there is a non-refundable jury fee for these events.

Jury standards (and jury fees) will vary a lot -- some are very selective, and others simply want to prevent too much repetition in event exhibitors. You can read more at the following links:

http://www.fairsandfestivals.net/articles/view/applying-for-your-first-juried-craft-show-in-utah/179

Comments

What is a juried event?  What is the difference?  Price, regulations, etc????

By Diane on March 9, 2010

How should your jewelry be presented when you are presenting it for a Jury Show. How should the pictures look and what items should you put in the pictures. Medium priced items and higher priced items? Than you for your input.
Margie

By margie Peck on February 21, 2012

What does a juried event entail?

By Chris terrell on November 2, 2013

Been doing juried shows only for 15years and now in most there import and or commercial art/craft.  The juried shows give the promoter some extra cash.  We call those venues ” Juried by check”

By ernie on November 23, 2013

What is a juried show?

By Kathy Thatcher on February 5, 2014

I started out doing small shows and with comments I was getting customers and vendors, I did try a few jury shows(country fairs and good shows) which I didn’t mind.
I wanted to them to see how good my craft is. ( I make crochet items.) Sometimes I would add higher prices to my items and got the price.
I have noticed since I moved to Tn, only items that are not moving are my baby sets
but my kitchen towels took off like hot cakes.

By Pat on November 21, 2014

I am an entertainer wishing to book festivals.  By your definition of Juried/Non-Juried events I am coming to the conclusion that this is nothing for a musician who is being hired as an entertainer to consider when viewing festivals.  Do I have this correct?
Also, if you don’t mind I see various websites proclaiming that they are best to find festivals or events through.  What is your opinion of which one would be the best site for an entertainer?
Thanks
timothymichaels.net

By timothy Michaels on June 9, 2015

Good questions, no answers to some writers’ questions. Thanks to some who shared their experiences.

By Dianne M. on September 22, 2015

Could you explain more about “Juried” shows please ?

By Mary 🐝 on November 9, 2015

I design/create many unique terrarium designs. I use various types of vessels (glass/ceramic-unique containers).  I use as much organic/natural products.  I personally do not like silk/faux plants.  Therefore I only use live plants/cacti.  I make many of my accessories in my terrariums. No two are alike. Majority of my terrariums are personalized by request.  I plan on early retirement from my present career.  Therefore, I will have all the “time in the world” to devote my passion and participate in craft shows.  I have applied to two craft show events in the past few months.  I send in application w/fees and pictures.  I receive my reply only to be told the following: “We already have 1 Terrarium Designer in our event.  Therefore we encourage you to apply next year for our event”.  My thought and response to host(s) who select participants is “do you only allow 1 artists for each category - e.g., 1 soap-maker, 1 jewelry artist, 1 candle-maker, or 1 person allowed as a participant for any art category of their specialty”? I can understand allowing too many of the same, would be too much.  However, the shows I have applied are large.  I even have a website featuring my designs and bio.  All my plant enthusiast once they see my work and designs they place an order. Large majority requests several orders thereafter, because the quality of my work and designs.  Again, all artists view their specialty craft of art as “beautiful”.  All of my clientele ask me if I participate in any art shows?  When I reply and tell them the response I receive they respond and say “they cannot believe I was not selected to participate”?  Any suggestions would be helpful to gain more exposure to participate in shows. 

By Yolie on February 7, 2016

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