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Time To Plan for Fall Art Shows!

Freshen up your inventory.
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We want to help you achieve Art Festival success with expert advice, best quality Giclee prints, excellent customer service, and reliable drop shipping services!

Our Guide to Preparing for Outdoor Art Festivals

Whether you are a rookie or a pro, it's never too early to start prepping for spring and fall outdoor art festivals. Here's our in-depth guide to help you get ready!

Selling your art at outdoor art festivals is fun, but more importantly, it's an invaluable opportunity to showcase your talent, network with potential customers and other artists, and sell your art.

Like most things in life, the more prepared you are, the more fun you'll have and the more successful you'll be!

Our Guide to Preparing for Outdoor Art Festivals - The Stackhouse Printery

Prepare Your Inventory

Art festivals are great opportunities to showcase your new work and to liquidate your outdated inventory. 

It’s important to create fresh pieces for art festival to draw attention to your work and demonstrate your growth as an artist. If the art show has a specific theme, try to align your new work with the theme to make your pieces more appealing to the audience and judges.

You can also repurpose your old inventory, with creative ideas like turning your outdated inventory into stationery, postcards, inexpensive gifts, contest giveaways, and booth decor.

Determine which pieces you want to be the focal point of your display and how you want to frame them.

Pro tip: Thrift stores are an excellent option for finding affordable funky frames.

Plan for a Diverse Audience

Art festival attendees are diverse, ranging from serious collectors to those who come only to enjoy the atmosphere and food but might pick up an affordable print if something grabs their eye. Therefore, offering products in varying sizes and price ranges is essential. 

The best strategy is to prepare a balanced inventory featuring your original artwork and high-quality prints in various sizes and displays. 

A good rule of thumb is to have an inventory of 10-20 prints for each original piece, although this may vary depending on the size of your space and expected foot traffic. You also have a selection of 100-200 smaller prints in grab-and-go packaging or accessible formats like postcards or poster prints.

Consider printing some statement pieces in ready-to-hang Gallery Wrapped canvas prints. These bold prints will add an affordable yet elegant and professional touch to your festival booth display.

Our Guide to Preparing for Outdoor Art Festivals - The Stackhouse Printery

Collaborate With a Professional Printer

An experienced professional printer can assist you select the best sizes, products, mediums, and display options for your prints. They can guide you through the available choices, including Retail-Ready options and eye-catching Gallery Wrapped Prints.

Prepare an Equipment Checklist

Creating a detailed and well-planned equipment checklist is highly recommended to ensure that you have all the necessary items when the big day arrives.

Ensure your list includes essential such as an easy-up square tent, display stands or panels, packaging for sold items, signage and cards with your name and contact information, artist bios and marketing materials, and a point-of-sale system. Don't forget personal items that will enable you to sell sell sell all day like snacks, drinks, comfortable clothing, a chair, sunscreen, and so on.

Partner With a Drop Shipper

Consider partnering with a drop shipping provider so your customers can order unavailable products or sizes during the show. This way, you can avoid missing out on sales due to inventory constraints. 

A drop shipper can handle the shipping and delivery directly to your customers, making the process hassle-free and efficient.

Our Guide to Preparing for Outdoor Art Festivals - The Stackhouse Printery

Promote Yourself Before, After, and During the Festival

Be sure to announce your attendance at an art festival on your website, social media, and email newsletter long before you go, perhaps offering incentives to visit your booth to your followers.

While at the show, take photos and videos of your booth and the event to share on your website and social media later on. You can also post live videos and stories on social media to promote your booth in real time. 

It is also a great idea to collect email addresses for your newsletter. You can offer a small sign-up incentive, such as a chance to win a piece art or a small discount. 

A calling card with an easy-to-create QR code will allow your customers to connect with you online when they get home.

Ensure your website is update to date with your latest work to put your best foot forward when potential new customers you meet at the show later look you up online.

Plan Your Booth Set Up

Art festivals present visitors with hundreds of options, so creating a vendor booth that stands out in the crowd is essential. Your booth also should reflect your artistic vision and be inviting.

Artists continually innovate with booth layouts at art festivals, showcasing diverse works, from 3D sculptures to immersive sound installations. In short, there are limitless possibilities to make your booth stand out.

Start by planning how you want to arrange your artwork logically and attractively. Then, consider how lighting and backdrops might encourage engagement in your work in a small space.

Well placed lighting will help focus the viewer's attention on your art's finer details, while a well-designed backdrop will remove distractions outside the booth. Both allow you to direct viewers to the your desired focal points enabling you to showcase and draw attention to your best work.

The color you choose for your vendor booth canopy is also important because it sets the mood, makes your space aesthetically pleasing, and distinguishes your exhibit from other booths.

A white booth is usually the best choice as they look clean and professional. White canopies better reflect light in outdoor settings, leveraging natural light to enhance the appeal of your art while a black or dark-colored canopy might cast a gloomy shade.

Further, be sure to pay attention to seemingly insignificant details like the length of your tablecloths. Full-length tablecloths provide hidden storage areas for extra inventory and personal belongings, enabling you to keep necessary supplies out of sight but within easy reach. A clean, well-draped tablecloth also enhances the overall aesthetic of your booth, creating an inviting and organized space for visitors.

Finally, remember to consider the weather - heat, wind, and rain are often factors at outdoor art festivals. Think about how to secure your booth legs to the ground and weigh down the sides of your booth to prevent movement. Consider investing in weather-resistant materials and covers to protect your displays from a sudden rainstorm or intense sunlight.

Our Guide to Preparing for Outdoor Art Festivals - The Stackhouse Printery

Test Your Point of Sale System Before the Show

A smooth transaction process is crucial. Make sure your POS system is set up and tested before the show. Using a reliable and portable POS system like Square to accept credit card transactions is key.

Setting up your POS system to collect email addresses for your email newsletter is a fabulous bonus.

Refine Your Pricing Strategy

Determining the perfect price for your artwork can be challenging.

The first step is understanding your production costs, such as materials like paper, ink, and packaging, as well as other expenses like shipping and labor. Factoring in these costs into your final price will give you a clear picture of your break-even point and help you decide on an an appropriate markup.

Another important aspect of pricing your art prints is researching the market and evaluating similar artwork. Look for artists with similar styles, techniques, and subject matter to gauge your average price range. You can use online resources to gather this information.

Your reputation and experience as an artist also play a vital role in determining the value of your art prints. If you're an established artist with a solid following, you can charge higher prices for your work. Conversely, if you're a newcomer to the art world, it might be best to start with more accessible prices to attract potential buyers.

Follow-up After the Art Festival

Be sure to send thank-you notes or emails to new contacts, leads, and customers. Personal touches go a long way into creating loyal customers.

Write blog posts and social media updates about your experience, what you learned, and highlight the successes you enjoyed. 

Finally take some time to reflect on what worked, what didn't, and how you can improve for next time. Consider feedback from visitors and any patterns in sales.