Art/Craft Show Sales and Marketing 101


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Posted by George Bruno on February 23, 2003 at 16:20:57:

Hello everybody...wish I could've made the Buyer's Show in Philly last week, but my new son, Adam, born the day before, was priority. I have to take a raincheck. I hope it went well for everyone involved. But today, I just got back from the Pennsylvania National Art and Craft Show in Allentown. Met the show coordinator,(I believe her name is Kay) and had a great time. She runs a tight ship, has a great attitude,and her clientele love her. Many have displaying with her for twenty plus years! I highly recommend this show. The location is good, easy to get to, and is going to be a hot one in the years to come. I need to share one observation about the most successful artisans and craftspeople at the show today. I attended to make some new friends, encourage artisans, and do a personal "Business of Art" survey. Apart from the basics of having an attractive booth with a tasteful "medium-specific" display, and a quality product, the absolute number one quality of a successful show is the artisan's ability to engage with ALL people who pass by. Talk about your art. Expound about the process, ask questions, and thank people for stopping in. My favorite three did just these things and showed incredible enthusiasm. They weren't sitting in a low chair chomping away on food or chatting with other vendors about their day. They were customer- centered. They cared about me. They asked me if I buy art and about the last piece of art I purchased. They asked if I had ever seen any art like theirs. They asked me if I was an artist or had any artistic ability. They engaged ME! They didn't care that I didn't shave for two days and looked like a bum. They drew me in and I will now talk about them in my seminars as examples of the right way to sell and market themselves at a show. In a nutshell, engage with ALL people, do not judge whether they will buy before they show interest. Show interest in them first and you may be surprised.


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