Art Show Series # 2

Highlands Ranch Spring Bazaar - March 24th 2018

Welcome to the second installment of my on-going series of posts where I reflect on a past art market and how it went.

This time I will discuss the Highlands Ranch Spring Bazaar that happened at the end of March this year. This is a well established, one-day show that has been going on for 20 years. It is held in a recreation center in the city of Highlands Ranch. This facility is easy to find and can hold a ton of vendors. I believe there was over 120 at this past event.

The fee for this fair was $120 for an 8x10 corner booth. An in-line 8x10 costs $90 and you can pay an extra $30 to get a corner spot and I am very glad I did! Like the last show, this was low-risk going in and a good place to test the waters with my art and my setup.

First of all, an 8x10 space gets more crowded more quickly than you would think! Having opted for a corner spot, I went with a convex display which really helped provide surface area to setup items and give people multiple places to stand and browse without feeling cramped in a booth.

I used two 6 foot table to create the corner and since the width of the booth was 8 foot, it was using every inch allotted to me. The backdrop is a photographer's backdrop that I found on Amazon for under $40. The feet on it are quite wide and cramped the space behind the table but I felt the backdrop was a nice, lightweight way to display my banner and keep eyes in my booth.

Things that worked:

  • Corner space. This was invaluable and kind of a no-brainer to pay for when it was only $30 extra. I highly recommend always doing a corner space if you can afford it. I got people people stopping in two directions so this increased traffic to my booth.

  • Framed print. I saw this work by actually stopping people in their tracks. I chose one of my best sellers as the framed print and it definitely drew people in who seemed like they would have just kept walking. It also helps give people an idea of what it would look like at home on their wall.

  • Print bins. People really like browsing through print bins (myself included). It helps the booth because it gives them a reason to linger and it helps get the items in their hands. Like I mentioned in my last post, I was looking for a way to get people to interact with my items and this is a valid solution.

Things to improve:

  • Cohesiveness. While I think my prints are displayed well and there are plenty of options for people to look at, I would love to develop a booth that is more of an experience. I'm sure you've seen those booths that look like little shops with all kinds of neat decorations that compliment the items for sale. My work is educational, natural history art. My goal is to eventually create a space that feels like a curiosity store or natural history museum. Solution: props, better backdrop, more emphasis on the educational portion of the work.

  • Mind to traffic flow and item display. What I mean by this is having both art and jewelry very visible from both sides. Looking back on the pictures, I believe it was a mistake to have the jewelry and art separate. People walking by the side with the necklaces may have written off the booth as jewelry only and vice-versa for the other side and art. Besides, I have actually had instances where someone liked the painting but opted for the jewelry version, so having them integrated could potentially lead to more sales. Solution: think about options like hanging necklaces next to the associated prints.

I will definitely apply to this show again. It wasn't a huge money-maker but I made enough to warrant the time and effort. This audience had more of a mind and taste for subjects like flowers, birds, and some insects (namely bees).

I hope this was helpful! I'd love to hear opinions about show setups in the comments. Have any of these points rung true with your experiences? Let me know!

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