Monday, April 11, 2011

Castleberry Spring Craft Show at Hartford, CT

The Castleberry Spring Craft Show in Hartford, Connecticut was a total washout for me. I did not sell any paintings or prints. As usual, the show was extremely well run and no problems with the promoter or the location. Prior to the show, I was given plenty of information about the check-in procedure, deals for hotels in the local area, and when we could setup. One of the nice things about this show was that, if you arrived on Thursday afternoon, you could actually drive up to your booth location and immediately unload (During certain pre-scheduled times). So, I was able to leave on Thursday morning and arrive by 2:00 for setup. The trip takes about 3-1/2 hours and consists of strictly highway driving.

After evaluating my booth, pricing structure, and layouts, I’ve determined that there was nothing that I could have done better. The fact of the matter is that the foot-traffic was non-existent. I believe that it relates to two situations. First of all, two weeks ago, there was another large craft show that is a local tradition. This is the Sugarloaf Spring Craft Show. It’s been held there for a number of years, and apparently, the place was mobbed with people. The second reason was that the weather was almost 70 degrees. Therefore, there were a lot of people taking advantage of some extremely nice weather for the entire weekend. In the end, hardly anybody showed up.

In terms of my artwork, the paintings were very well received. Nobody commented that the prices were too high or that they could not afford them. In fact, there were a number of people who seemed very interested. Unfortunately, no one decided to go that final step. As usual, there were also a number of people who took my card and asked about shipping. They may or may not purchase a painting at a later date. The most popular pieces still tend to be the mixing of the landscape with the abstract shapes. I will need to generate more of those types of paintings. There were some interest in potentially doing some commission work for another vendor and some sales to people, after the show. However, they don't count until I actually see a deposit.

Breakdown went pretty fast. With the new display setting, it takes about 2-1/2 hours to set up and 1-1/2 hours to break down. Unfortunately, the Rav4 is completely filled. I will need to explore renting a van when I have more invent tory or when Melissa (my wife) decides to join me for shows.

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