Monday, March 28, 2011

Castleberry Spring Craft Show at Rockingham Park (Salem, NH)

This last weekend, I had a booth setup at the Rockingham Park in Salem, NH. This was the first time that I’ve attended the Spring Craft show, but I had done the Winter one several years ago. This is not my show. Although there were a number of people that attended (receipt sales show 4500 people), I really sold only a handful of prints and one small painting. The standard comment was “I love your work and the prices are extremely reasonable, but, unfortunately, I can’t afford it.” I felt like my booth was more of a gallery showing than a sales booth. There were lots of people standing around just checking out the paintings, but no sales (outside of prints).

This Castleberry show, as usual, was incredibly well organized. I love Terry’s shows. I was given plenty of information prior to the show about set up time, hotel stays, etc. During the setup and the show, she could easily be found, if there were issues (I had none, but I noticed her walking around at various locations). Also, break down was quickly done. The only issue that I had with the show was that the Rockingham Park is extremely drafty. So, if you were near the outside of the building, you quickly learned to have multiple layers on.

The show itself was the standard price for a mid-size show. The flow of the show was a basic circular pattern, kind of like a racetrack, with vendors on both sides. When Saturday morning started, there were a significant number of people waiting in line and the crowds were pretty brisk in the morning. The nice part was that the crowd was generally pretty steady the entire two days. There were no parts where you saw nobody. At least, you would see about 5 or 10 people at some vendor’s booth.

Now, even though the crowds were good, my sales weren’t. That’s not to say that people weren’t buying. The table across from me had a solar lamp on some decorated wooden blocks. These lamps would be placed at next to your door at a permanent summer camp. Those were selling like hotcakes. The family kept running out of product and by the second day, they had sold almost 100 of them.

Me? I sold some prints. The other photographers and painters were in the same situation. I didn’t really see anyone carrying paintings or prints (there were a total of 8 photographers and painters). I did see a lot of woodwork signs, rustic signs, pillows, and jewelry being sold. After talking with the promoter a bit, she confirmed that this is a tough show for Fine Artists and Photographers. So, this definitely is not a show for me. Other’s? Absolutely… just not me.

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