Thursday, September 24, 2009

Evaluating your target audience at the show

When working a craft show, you need to remember that, although it is fun to interact with the other vendors, your primary purpose at the show is to sell your artwork. So, the focus has to be on your presentation and your audience. This includes setting up your presentation for your target audience. The question is: Who is the target audience.

At a craft fair, the types of people divide pretty well into several groups: 1) people who just want something to do, 2) people who are just hanging out with friends, 3) people who are looking for presents, 4) people who are looking for artwork for themselves.

The chance of selling to the first two groups is pretty minimal. Most likely, these sales will be based on the idea that they just happen to be walking by your booth and, lo and behold, they HAVE to have something. Some painting/print/card struck their fancy. In this situation, the price of the original doesn't mean much to them. All they know is that the painting would look perfect in their living room/library/office, etc. Sales are extremely random and, if one is made, it's a nice happy situation.

The third and fourth groups are the ones that you want to target. These are the people who have actively decided that they WANT to spend money and it's your job to get them to spend it on your product. So, your presentation and discussions are geared to those people.

With the group who is spending money, it is extremely important to evaluate the time of year.

During the Fall/Christmas season, you can almost guarantee that most of the purchases will be as unique presents for friends/family. For this situation, the primary amount that people tend to spend is around $25 to $50 per person (that they are buying for). This is a good time to have a lot of cards and prints made. Framed prints are even better. You also may sell some originals at this time, but that is due to the fact that 1) they absolutely love the painting and the painting is for themselves or 2) they don't mind spending hundreds of dollars for a special gift for someone special.

During the Spring/Summer season, most of the purchases are going to be for themselves. This is the time that you have the best chance of selling the really expensive paintings. So, the best thing to do is to present your absolutely best work and most expensive paintings that the market will support.

Remember the key word, here: "market will support". If you are doing a small craft fair that costs $50 to set up a booth, the probability is pretty small that you will find someone who will pay $500 for a painting. The type of person who goes to those shows will typically not spend that amount. For the larger shows, you definitely can show those more expensive paintings. The chances are good that they will sell.

For me, I have on my display panels, paintings that range from $100 - $500. Based on the shows that I do, this is my target audience price range. To ensure that I get other sales, I also provide prints at $20 and cards at $3. Although I'm targeting the more expensive purchasers, I'm covering my bases by enticing people, who do not have/wish to spend a lot of money, to come into my booth. They may tell someone else about it.

Next topic: What to sell

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