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neilestrick

Covid Art Fair

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One of the art fair promoters in my area is starting to do outdoor shows again, but with a whole new system and requirements for safety:

- Unidirectional travel in the show (one way traffic)

- Booths spaced at least 6 feet apart

- One one person or family group in the booth at a time

- No trying on of jewelry or clothing

- No touching of art

- Cashless payments as much as possible

- No flip bins

- Shoppers must sign up online for scheduled entry

- $400 booth fee

Your thoughts? With that many restrictions, especially the entry signup, I can't see how there would be enough shoppers for it to be profitable, let alone recoup the booth fee.

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I would imagine setting things up this way is going to cost the sponsors. I think you may find more of this going on in the future, and it will be tough, but if your livelihood depends on sales. . . What to do?

 

best,

Pres 

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That's a tough one. I think the only way to know would be to try it so you have something to base further decisions on. If there is more than one show I'ld be tempted to not do the first one and try and find out what the response to it was before signing up for a following one. Is 400 the usual booth fee?

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so many factors

first how you personally feel about your own risk factor-getting sick-or bringing it home?

second is the guenia pig factor-you want to be first to see if its a flop?-maybe go see one of these shows 1st

third-selling pottery without touching it-seems ludicrous to me

I do not think there will be enough shoppers for a spell unless it catches on.The sign up online is a deal breaker really .

The fee for me is  non issue as its just pie in the sky deal to see if it all works and they need to recap all costs (porta potties street closures or city fees)

I'm out of all 2020 shows (my largest income producer) of the three streams.

I have other income options unlike many.

for me I'd pass-maybe go look see what its like midday Saturday (peak attendance)

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$400 seems high for all of the restrictions that customers will be under. Is this event being run by a for-profit operation? If yes, then I would pass. For-profit shows need to prioritize their own bottom line first. There are plenty of non-profit and local government shows that don't need to turn a profit. I would trust them more to look after everyone's best interests. 

Some of the for-profit operations have been doing some really shady things this summer. I guess they feel like they need to, but we artists don't need to help them. 

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30 minutes ago, GEP said:

$400 seems high for all of the restrictions that customers will be under. Is this event being run by a for-profit operation? If yes, then I would pass. For-profit shows need to prioritize their own bottom line first. There are plenty of non-profit and local government shows that don't need to turn a profit. I would trust them more to look after everyone's best interests. 

Some of the for-profit operations have been doing some really shady things this summer. I guess they feel like they need to, but we artists don't need to help them. 

I stopoped doing  shows  with promoters for profit long long ago.(I missed adding that point) .I feel GEP is spot on with this. Promoters looking for payday are not where you should put your energy or trust in doing the right thing.

 

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We're going to have to see I reckon. It could be better or worse. Solves a lot of problems we've read about in other recent threads.

Bring gloves so they CAN touch in your booth, they MUST! And a bin to throw them away when they're done! Lol, one of those locking biohazard boxes!

I know one thing for sure, the ingenuity of potters should make us more successful.

 

Own it!

 

I also think I'm this climate where community is becoming more important, the holder should agree to only a % of individuals profits, not set dollar amounts, to serve them more than us. It will remove the need for this thread, our doubts.

Sorce

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8 hours ago, Mark C. said:

I stopoped doing  shows  with promoters for profit long long ago.(I missed adding that point) .I feel GEP is spot on with this. Promoters looking for payday are not where you should put your energy or trust in doing the right thing.

 

Why is a "for profit" show or promoter a bad thing? Not trying to start an argument, just don't understand the thought behind this. Show promotion is just another way for a person to make a living. And not for profit or non profit does not guarantee a quality show. 

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31 minutes ago, Bam2015 said:

Why is a "for profit" show or promoter a bad thing? Not trying to start an argument, just don't understand the thought behind this. Show promotion is just another way for a person to make a living. And not for profit or non profit does not guarantee a quality show. 

Because the main point of a "for profit" show is for the organizer to make as much money as possible from vendors.   The main point of a "non profit" one is as as service to the community.  So when it's covid time and "for profit" needs to make some profit, they're going to do whatever is most profitable.  

Doesn't mean that they're going to shaft you by default, but it means they're looking out for number 1 first and foremost if you catch the drift.

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After doing shows for 45 years the ones I still do are ones that are not private for profit shows by promoters. Why is this-well they are  not necessarily cheaper or make more money. Its that they are fund raising  for purpose or just breaking even or benefiting something I agree with. They are also run to keep vendors (artists coming back I feel) They are community oriented not profit driven.I have nothiong against most promoters ,in my 57 years I have seen the good bad and ugly and really this is also true of non profits as well. Anyone can be clueless.

I used to do 12 shows a year a mix of both single promoters or a few promoters as a group and the non profit ones as well. The ones I dropped where the promotor run ones. They where more my way or the highway or harder to do (in and outs) or I just grew tired of them. I did make lots of $$ at both types no question.I should also say I'm on a board (non-profit ) that runs a show that I have done now for 46 years. I know both sides of shows-I also have jury experience with shows (not our local one as well)

I did quit some of my most profitable shows so its not a money driven decision . Its whats easy and what I want to support.

 

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- Shoppers must sign up online for scheduled entry

^This especially seems too restricted.  Overall, I see a lot of things that will deter shoppers.    In my experience (which is in the millions for these 2 categories), customers like to try on both jewelry or clothes.  That would be a complete no go for me if I had those categories.    So ... people can't touch the pottery?   Haven't they shown that almost no cases are transmitted  by touching objects?    I think hand sanitizer is way more important and they don't show that.

My take is that only person that will make $ is the promoter.   I know 3 Junior League shows that all selling virtual market space for $250.     These show organizers don't want to give up the money.   Hopefully, a vaccine is around the corner.

 

 

 

 

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15 hours ago, DirtRoads said:

- Shoppers must sign up online for scheduled entry

^This especially seems too restricted.  Overall, I see a lot of things that will deter shoppers.    In my experience (which is in the millions for these 2 categories), customers like to try on both jewelry or clothes.  That would be a complete no go for me if I had those categories.    So ... people can't touch the pottery?   Haven't they shown that almost no cases are transmitted  by touching objects?    I think hand sanitizer is way more important and they don't show that.

My take is that only person that will make $ is the promoter.   I know 3 Junior League shows that all selling virtual market space for $250.     These show organizers don't want to give up the money.   Hopefully, a vaccine is around the corner.

I totally agree. I just can't see that enough people are going to sign up online to go to a show, or want to buy something they can't touch. I know someone who's doing the show, so I'll hopefully find out from them how it went.

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I’d balk at the price. 
 

That said, this is actually more or less how my weekly farmers market is operating, with the exception of sign up times: instead they count heads going in and out to keep it under a certain occupancy level at all times. For a festival in an urban centre, they’d have to fence it or something, but it’s doable. 


It’s actually working pretty good you guys! 

People have been coming out and actually purchasing because they’re conscious of supporting local businesses. Customers relax considerably once they’re in, because it’s not crowded, and it feels like they’re doing something normal. It winds up being an enjoyable shopping experience. My sales last month were excellent!
 

I’m not able to problem solve for clothing or print vendors, but here’s how I get around the no touching part: 

1) Gloves are not the greatest solution unless people are changing them between tasks. If they’re wearing them from booth to booth, they’re still spreading germs. I provide a pump of hand sanitizer, and in my greeting, encourage people to use it before touching, should they choose to do so. Choose your phrasing so that you’re emphasizing your concern about their welfare. It’s much harder to argue with that sentiment.  “Good morning! I have some hand sanitizer available for you, if you’d like to take a closer look,” works. 
 

2) Wipe down everything with bleach spray and cloths you treat as single use for those who get ahead of you, or are just plain rude about it. I haven’t had anyone be weird about it, but it’s kind of regulation for going into most stores now anyways. I went to Canadian Tire (I’m sure there’s a US equivalent) and got a bag of car wash rags for $15 that I cut to size. I got probably 50 cloths the size of a big facecloth out of it, which is LOTS. I keep these in a basket behind my table with a spray bottle of 1:50 bleach solution, which is what the provincial health authority recommends. You need to make fresh bleach solution every day, as it does degrade. I have an old pillowcase that the cloths go into if they’ve been used even once, and the whole thing gets thrown in the washer as soon as I get home. Clorox wipes are difficult to find, and I’ve never loved using single use anyways.  Because of the calm crowds, this is a workable thing to do. 
 

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We officially canceled our holiday show. Sad but necessary.  

 I talked to an organizer in a city 3 hours away just to get a feel for what they were doing. They are going forth with their show in November.  It is at a private school, and I didn't realize it was a fundraising opportunity for the school. They are going to do a ticketed, timed entry ticket in order to manage their crowds.  Because it is a fundraiser she was very unconcerned about the vendors, their safety, and providing a good sales venue for them.  I finished the conversation with her rather disappointed.  Her job is to make money for the school.  And that was her focus.  But I would not want to be a vendor at that show.  Oh wait....at any show....until the vaccine!!!

I really had not thought about a non profit, for profit, or not for profit event until now......Thanks all for the info.

Roberta

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I got an update on the fair discussed above from some folks I know who actually sold at it. The first day was slow, but the second day they did twice as much. They probably sold half or less what they usually sell, but I would have been quite happy with the sales they made. They said that due to the signup schedule there was a steady flow of people all day, and it was very well organized. I have to admit I was shocked that it worked out that well. That said, if I had sold half what I normally do, it would not have been worth it for me with a $400 booth fee. I would rather put that money into some other endeavor. And for me personally I think it's not worth the health risk.

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I read a blog post by potters who did a show last weekend, including some video of the event. I’m guessing it’s the same show that @neilestrick is talking about. It looks very organized and safe from a public health standpoint. It also looks like a ghost town. 

All things considered, I wouldn’t spend $400 on these events right now either.

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2 hours ago, terrim8 said:

Callie - did they raise the booth fee?

No. They actually reduced it this year on account of the pandemic, and it was cheap to start with. They charge a tiered rate based on the number of days you sign up for. The tier I sign up for usually works out to about $48/day. This year it’s only $38. 

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