Tips for Your First Art Fair

Back in last November, our Vice President, Jess Mader, and our client, Brainy Ball, attended the Chicago Toy and Game Week together to help promote the new game, and from their adventure, gave us a bunch of great Do’s and Don’ts for your first trade show.

Taking that advice, our Art Director, Nina Zivkovic, recently participated in her first art fair, the 2019 Bitchcraft Fair at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center (DLCC) on September 22nd. After years of illustrating, she finally wanted to take the next step and sell her artwork – and first place she though to start? A trade show/fair! She definitely did the “Do’s” and thankfully stayed away from the “Don’ts”, and it showed in her booth traffic!

In Part II, we’ll cover even more experience from Nina’s fair, that’ll help novice potential vendors feel a little more at ease, and even inspire some veterans, too!

First, and before anything else, if you’re literally physically able to: stand as much as you can during the trade show.

In Part I, we had “Don’t: Look Unapproachable” as one of our top “Don’ts”, and it was incredibly true at the fair. Many of the booths and vendors who didn’t get as much traffic, were sitting and quiet, even some on their phones. But more on this later!

Don’t Look Unapproachable

So you want to sell your art at a fair…

But where? And how do you know what’s the best one to start at?

At first, go with what you know. Big name fairs and trade shows, like the Home and Garden Show , Steel City Comic Con, and Handmade Arcade are great ways to look for requirements, for samples and examples, and all around inspiration. Most of which are held at large Convention Center’s like David L. Lawrence Convention Center or Monroeville Convention Center – just search through their calendars for upcoming shows!

But if you’re new at it, like Nina, sometimes that can be a little intimidating. Another great place to look? Facebook Events! You can check out events in the category that you’re looking for – i.e. Arts & Entertainment. Sometimes it’s good to venture outside of your niche to open up new avenues, but for your first show, we recommend applying for one in your lane. And, that’s how Nina found Bitchcraft. After looking through many upcoming events – a lot of which were already filled and closed applications, she found the Pi