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show trends (was re: winterfair)

updated sun 2 may 99


Carolynn Palmer on sat 1 may 99

This thread is of utmost interest to me as I have made my living primarily
from retail shows for well over 20 years. At first the proliferation of
shows was wonderful, giving me all kinds of sales alternatives for each
weekend. Then, the number of shows reached the point of diminishing returns.
There were only so many buyers in each area. Pretty soon the buyers were
burned out and stopped coming to the every single show; or if they came, they
had already spent all they had at the other show that was in this same
location last week, or they are saving it for the show that will be in this
same location next week.

So,my show, in order to compete with all these other shows decides to
'upgrade' and now it's filled with really cutting edge work that is very
pricey and my buyer of functional pottery takes one look and is never seen
again. That is, if I can even pass the new stringent jury standards and am
even in the show! This has happened to me more times than I care to think

I wish I had some answers to this dilema - I certainly hope that the solution
isn't the decline and ultimate disappearance of almost all retail shows. I
believe the trend seems to be moving in this direction and I am being forced
to find new sales venues for my functional pottery. Because, unlike Mel, I
cannot make a living selling only to those who live within a fifty mile
radius of my studio.

Carolynn Palmer, Somerset Center, Michigan