Promoting Your Booth
To promote your booth or room, you can employ traditional as well as nontraditional tactics. Traditional tactics mean advertising, which can range from using your Facebook page to tell friends, to local print and web advertising. If you don’t have a budget for promotion, you can think about performances or other guerilla tactics. If you are sharing the booth with a friend, one of you can go out and promote in person while the other remains inside. Handing out postcards is a good method, but make sure they have an eye-catching design or promotional hook. Have a picture on the front, and invite them to an after party on the back. People will be more likely to come if there is a social element to the event. Try to think of other gimmicks, such as free giveaways to the first 10 people who visit, or adding a performance by a band or well-known artist.
Do a Performance or Hire Someone
Another way to draw a crowd is to have a performer put on a demonstration outside your booth. You know how stores sometimes have people dressed up in silly costumes to draw attention? That can work for you too, but since you are an artist, the performance should be more interesting. Most art fairs have a good amount of traffic anyway, but this is not always the case. I have seen artists invest a lot of money into a booth only to find out that the organizers didn’t promote the fair enough, and by then it is too late. So if you are in a fair that is run by artists, it is wise to find past participants and ask them what they think about the fair in question.
Brand New Fairs
Some independent fairs are run better than others of the same size, and they change from year to year, so be sure to learn a little about their histories by searching on the web and finding people who have been associated with the fairs in the past but are no longer running them. Most fairs have lists of participating artists online, and you can easily write to the artists and ask what their experience at the fairs were. The easiest way to get their email addresses is to look up their art website or Facebook page. I have found that Facebook is the easiest way to contact people you do not know, because unlike regular email, their inboxes are not filled with junk or spam.
To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here. To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.