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Chris Campbell

The Art Festival Plan

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Thanks so much Mea!  After having read the first installment, I chose some events to visit in this next year.   After having read the 2nd installment, I am going to tighten up my inventory accounting methods. 

 

I also like what you said about finding your own price point.  Last year a potter across from me came over and without disguising her intent, checked out my prices on bowls and mugs.   Later I overheard her telling people that she had "reasonably priced bowls".    I sold out however.  So apparently my price point was correct.  I also raised my price on a couple of items at that same show.  And sold all of them as well.  Thanks for validation and honest information. 

 

Roberta

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great stuff, as always, mea.   your "upcoming shows" led me to the great listing of potters whose work will be at artwalk.  i remember last year drooling over some of the pots shown on the websites of those potters.  could not remember where i saw the list, thank you for the connection. :)

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It's great to see someone else who believes you can put your prices up and up until people stop buying, then drop enough to get the buyers back.  I've always felt that for good products in any field there will be people who are able and willing to pay a good price.  I did something similar with my cycling lessons.  I don't want to be overwhelmed and have to turn people away, so "charge more, have fewer customers", is a good business model for me.  I'm happy with the number of customers and the income generated.  Some of my friends and family have asked "how can you justify charging that much?"  Answer, I don't need to justify it to anyone, if enough people are prepared to pay it.

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Great blog post Mea.  Thanks for letting us know it was up and ready to read.  I perused the website for your next show in Alexandria.  Close enough for me to go to, but I must say I usually tend to avoid Nova (that's northern Virginia for you non-locals.  Read:  Washington DC area.  Read:  Traffic traffic traffic)  ((Can you tell I'm a bit of a country girl?))  I counted up the potters who are on the list (Bruce, I see you'll be there!) and got 26!  Wow!  The biggest shows I've ever been to had at the most 10.  Do you feel that having a lot of potters at a show affects your sales positively, negatively, or you haven't been able to discern a difference?

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doris, do you plan to go?  i do.  i did not find a location other than Alexandria.  DelRay was mentioned but no street name or anything else that i can find.  what did i overlook?

 

ah.......found Mt Vernon ave mentioned.  the festival map does not show on the page it should.  braddock road metro is mentioned.  will have to search out the rest somewhere else.

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The event in Alexandria has 300 exhibitors, so no I don't think 26 is too many. I think 10% ceramics is just right. When I do a show that is just for craft work (instead of art and craft) the percentage of clay exhibitors will be higher. But it's ok because the people who attend craft-only shows have a higher interest in clay.

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thank you, mea.  i found it on a map and remember it from when i had customers nearby.   the train tracks are long gone, i think i will park in that huge mall and taxi over.  

 

you coming, doris?  it will be great.

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Great blog post Mea.  Thanks for letting us know it was up and ready to read.  I perused the website for your next show in Alexandria.  Close enough for me to go to, but I must say I usually tend to avoid Nova (that's northern Virginia for you non-locals.  Read:  Washington DC area.  Read:  Traffic traffic traffic)  ((Can you tell I'm a bit of a country girl?))  I counted up the potters who are on the list (Bruce, I see you'll be there!) and got 26!  Wow!  The biggest shows I've ever been to had at the most 10.  Do you feel that having a lot of potters at a show affects your sales positively, negatively, or you haven't been able to discern a difference?

 

Doris,

 

If it was a problem, I would not keep coming back.  I've been there for rainy/cold; sunny/hot; mild/nice.  There will be a great variety of styles and types of pottery:  some functional, some sculptural; some raku, some electric oxidation, some wood, some salt/soda, you name it, you'll probably see it there.  And there are enough attendees to make one happy to be there. 

 

The key is your niche/style (or voice).  I sell primarily vases, ikebana, and similar items (and very seldom mugs, bowls).  Folks who stop by my booth are looking for those items (and if they ask for a mug or platter, I happily send them a bit further down the street to Mea).  One potter cannot make wares that make everyone happy or are what everyone is looking for.  I've learned to focus on flowers and vases and that sector of the buying public. 

 

Bruce

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It's finally done. The last installment of The Art Festival Plan is now on my blog. This one is about branding, marketing, and salesmanship. 

 

Warning: it is a long blog post. There was a lot to cover. So carve out some time to read it, and enjoy!

 

 

http://www.goodelephant.com/blog/the-art-festival-plan-part-4

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The quiet respect you show your customers is something I wish more vendors would do at festivals / markets. I appreciate that we all come with our own different personalities, customs and sales techniques and as I've been beside more than one vendor at a sale that go way over the top with smarmy obsequious greetings and salesmanship, (shudder), it's always a treat to be next to someone who shows your style of grace. 

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