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art fair source book

updated sun 16 nov 97


Ron or Sue Corl on thu 13 nov 97

a reply to a recent posting of mine prompted me to include these for
sources of show ratings for us less than experienced show goers. If you
use and can help which one of these is best let us know

Sunshine Artist magazine has a great web site

It looks like they publish every month at $30 a year for a subscr.

Art Fair Source book has another nice web site

They are about $125 for a one year review. I have heard that this one
is far more comprehensive.

I am embarassed to admit that I have seen neither! I am doing as much
research as possible into this business before I start up next year.

Big Baby Head Studio

>Could you give me an address or phone number for the Art Fair source >book? W
> rating for shows...

Wendy Rosen on fri 14 nov 97

There is only one way to research a show. Ask the promoter for a list of
exhibiting artists in your category AND CALL them! Or attend the show in
person and ask exhibitors these questions...

What type of customer attends this show.
Is the show producer a good marketer?
Is the show producer responsive to exhibitor needs?
How many artists apply year after year?
Have you exhibited here before?
What's the "trend" for this show over the last few years?
Would you do this show again?

Asking an artist whether THEY are selling lots of work is a loaded
question. Some people will say yes just because they want to appear to be
succesful, others will say no just because they haven't seen anyone this
morning... ask questions that don't require very personal responses.

Regarding Show Audit Books...
our experience is that none of the audit book editors or publishers has
ever attended our show for the purpose of auditing it.

Of the 1,500+ exhibiting artists in the Philadelphia Buyers Market, about
85% return year after year and yet one audit book continues to "blast" our
show for political reasons only.

These books don't even TRY to report the truth. Several print the SAME
copy and complaints year after year!

Although The SourceBook states clearly that shows are RATED by reported
dollar volume from their own ballots, they drop our FEB show down to below
#100 when it should be rated in the top 10 according to their own research.

Why pay $125 for something you can get with a phone call or two?

Wendy Rosen
The Rosen Group
Niche & AmericanStyle Magazines

3000 Chestnut Ave #304 Baltimore, MD 21211
Voice: 410/889-3093 Fax: 410/243-7089

Ron or Sue Corl on sat 15 nov 97


I find your post about Art Fair books very helpful. Thank you. I do
however have a few questions and comments.

Many of us are just 'breaking into' the business. We need to know where
shows even exist. You can't call a show promoter and ask for phone
numbers if you are unaware of the show.

Not all artists are happy to give up time to talk to a 'novice'. Some
will, but by calling them you are asking them to stop whatever they are
doing and tell you information that they may not be so willing to give.
After all, you may make something similar to them and you will be in
competition, at least, in the larger field of pottery.

So far, my experience has shown that the general attitude among artists
is "try the show and find out", "you have to make some mistakes so you
can learn". I agree with them. How do they know if the show will be good
for you.

The questions that you mentioned to ask them were very good and I agree
with you about not asking personal things. Unfortunately, most of us
can't go to shows other than local offerings and long distance bills
would add up quickly. I would not trust talking to just one or two other

Your show has presented itself as nothing but professional in every
aspect. I sent for info from an add in CM and was very impressed. I
don't think that you have to worry about being 'blasted' in one of these
books. You are not losing applicants because of a source book.

One last thing to mention is, even if we know where the shows are, how
can we believe that a show promoter will be honest with us. None of them
are going to say "Our show is really on the decline and we only get 5%
of our artists back for the next year"?

This sounds like a big old complaint but it is not. I am just not sure
that newbies have a choice if they are serious about getting into the
show circuit. I think that there will be politics in the source books,
by the promoters, and the artists.

I look very forward to a day in the near future when I will be ready to
apply to the Philidelphia Show. Also, thank you for your post on
'Wholesale Market Tips'. We all should save that one!

Sincerely and with humility,

Big Baby Head Studio