Sunday, November 28, 2010

Greater Barre Craft Show

For this weekend (Thanksgiving), I participated in the Greater Barre Craft Show. This is the third time that I have participated in the show and did nominally well. Rather than the traditional three-day show that is seen for this weekend, this craft show is only two days (Saturday and Sunday).

For setting up/break-down, the parking is right next to the building and there is plenty of parking. It was very easy to get in/out of the show.

The show itself is not very expensive to participate in, but you do have the downside that the booth is only 8' x 6'. The reason is so that they can make more room for more artists. This year the show was staffed by 132 booths. For people attending this show, there is no gate fee. So, you get a lot more people from the local area showing up. In the past, I was always had a small booth downstairs, but I was fortunate to be able to get a double-booth (they are limited) upstairs, in the main room. There are plenty of signs to let people know that there is an upstairs AND downstairs portion. So, the crowds downstairs are just as plentiful. The only downside to being downstairs is that it's a bit cooler. The show is always well attended and there are volunteers to watch your booth so that you may use the restroom or get food.

For Saturday morning, the aisles were extremely crowded such that most people had to enter booths to get around other visitors. I did a brisk business that morning and was able to make my booth fee in the first 30 minutes. After that hectic morning, the rest of the day saw a steady stream of people. There were brief moments where I was not busy but, for the most part, I spent a lot of time talking to patrons. During the afternoon, the crowds started to slow down. This was mainly due to a snowstorm.

For Sunday morning, the stream of people was pretty constant during the day. Didn't sell any paintings, but did sell a number of prints. It was surprising that there were a number of people there at the last thirty minutes of the show. Matter of fact, I was able to sell some prints within the last 20 minutes.

Most people responded very well to my paintings. Everybody thought that the pricing was reasonable and they loved the prints. The standard response to my paintings was: "These are very cool" and "I love these because they are an interesting take on the traditional oil painting landscapes". Although there was some minor interest in my still life paintings, they weren't the favorite. The colors and shapes present in my landscape/abstracts were what drew people to my booth.

There are several changes that I need to make. First of all, I need a sign to say "Doug Hoppes Studio". Secondly, I need to make sure that I have enough prints. I ran out of 4 different prints early on Saturday. Thirdly, I need to have more paintings for my booth. I couldn't put my full display height due to the fact that I was lacking enough paintings.

Overall, it was a good show and I did well. With more paintings under my belt and more prints, I can do better.

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