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donations at shows

updated wed 11 aug 04


Laurie Kneppel on tue 10 aug 04

Antoinette's message made me think of this question that I thought I'd
pose to a large group of people with widely varying experiences.

Disclaimer - I don't do a lot of art and craft shows, so my experience
of this is limited.

Most shows I have done we vendors pay our fees, set up our booths and
(hopefully) make enough sales to make the whole thing worthwhile. A
couple of the shows I have done there has been a staff person sent
around to all the booths collecting a donation of one of your pieces
for raffle purposes. Vendors are expected to participate but nothing is
mentioned in the show's application or anywhere else about this
"donation" ahead of time. Now naturally I have a variety of pieces and
prices to choose from and can generally come up with a small donation.
But shouldn't they let vendors know ahead of time that they will be
expected to participate in a raffle the day of the show? I mean,
suppose all you had were $100 vases or something. Would it be fair to
expect one vendor to donate a $5 lace doily and their neighbor a $100
vase? Of course by this time it would be apparent that perhaps the
potter with the $100 vases is in the wrong show! But I'm sure we
have all been in the "wrong show" at least once.

I've only faced this donation thing a couple of times and even though
it seems to be voluntary, I remember one show they checked off who
hadn't donated yet and kept coming back until you did - so that one was
obviously not "voluntary" participation. If this is the case, it seems
the organizers should mention it ahead of time in their literature. I
never remember to ask if there will be a "donation" from the vendors
required. After all, we have all ponied up a booth fee to get into most
of these things.

Anyway, I just thought I would pose this scenario to see what others
generally do or don't do. I'm just curious. I always feel like they
should have that in writing somewhere on the entry form. And it bugs me
when they hover - especially if it's a show where I am already not
making much in the way of sales. :-P

Sacramento, CA - where it's supposed to top 100 today and all the shady
spots were taken in the parking lot by 8AM
Potters Council, member
Sacramento Potters Group, member