Nowadays, there are so many platforms for artists to display their work in. There are social media pages, websites, and communities where you can post your art for the world to see. However, if you want your work to be seen by potential buyers, then a trade show is the most impactful way to do it. Still unsure if you should join one? This article will help you decide if trade shows are right for you as an artist.
Are Trade Shows Right for You?
Joining a trade show is a big deal, especially if it’s your first time. It requires thorough planning, preparation, and commitment. To determine if you’re ready to join your first trade show, ask yourself these questions:
Does your work fall under a niche?
Trade shows are great for artists whose works fall under a niche. For example, you might specifically create artworks under a category, such as pop art, portraits, watercolor, or calligraphy. Joining a trade show will allow buyers and gallery owners to find new offerings from you especially if your niche is unique.
Do you have the budget and resources?
Let’s face it, preparing for a trade show requires money and resources. You’ll have to shell out cash for exhibitor fees, booth displays, marketing materials, travel and logistics, and many more. If you have the budget for all these expenses, then don’t hesitate to join a trade show.
Fortunately, there are trade show display rentals in Las Vegas that offer all-in-one services, like Aplus Expo. They will take care of everything from setting up your booth and printing your posters to transporting your materials directly to your location. The best part? They cater to different budget ranges too.
Do you love interacting with people?
Trade shows allow you to meet various types of people—buyers, gallery owners, art dealers, interior designers, and more. You need to be friendly, approachable, and responsive to questions in order to have a successful show. If you thrive in interacting with people, then you’re more than ready to join a trade show.
Don’t worry if the thought of meeting strangers terrifies you. You shouldn’t completely dismiss the idea of joining a trade show yet. You can hire an assistant or bring a close friend with you to give you a hand. Soon, you’ll be a pro at talking to people.
Benefits of Joining Trade Shows for Artists
When done right, a trade show can propel your career and turn your art into a money-generating business. Here are the benefits of joining trade shows for artists:
Provides you with maximum exposure
Trade shows allow you to build and expand your audience and clientele on a bigger level. If you’ve only been catering to commissions locally, then a trade show will give you maximum exposure on a national level. Even if you join just one trade show, there’s a chance you’ll receive commissions and custom requests for an entire year.
It also helps if you partner with an art consultant from a gallery. They will promote your artwork in their blogs, emails, social media accounts, and more. Galleries also feature their artists’ pieces in their show guides, giving you pre-market exposure.
More affordable than solo shows
Not all artists can afford to stage a solo exhibit. When you’re just starting to build your career, every penny counts. Joining trade shows is an affordable option if you want to expand your network without breaking the bank.
There are a lot of art trade shows that you can attend, such as Art on Paper, Art on the Square, and Plaza Art Fair. You don’t even have to have your booth custom-made; you can simply rent a pre-made booth. It’s a fast and inexpensive way of growing your audience and getting more art commissions.
Lets you build a committed audience
The more you give your artwork some exposure, the more opportunities you’re giving your buyers to find you. Showing up to a trade show consistently every year will help you build a committed audience. Sooner or later, buyers will know that they can depend on you to display and they’ll know where to find you.
Pushes you out of your comfort zone
Putting yourself out there can be daunting, but you’ll never know what will happen unless you just try it. If you’re serious about growing your career as an artist, then start by joining one trade show and see where everything goes from there. It will take some time to reap huge benefits, but the important thing is the marginal progress that you had.
Things to Prepare for Your Trade Show
- Your artworks: If you’re specifically creating artworks for a particular trade show, make sure that they are finished on time. They should also have one theme so it all looks cohesive. Pay attention to the final touches and have them professionally framed.
- Photos of your artwork: The show organizers will likely ask for high-quality photos of your pieces, so it’s best to be prepared. These photos will be used when promoting and marketing the event. You should also keep a few copies of your art portfolio.
- Pricing: Naming a price for your precious pieces can be challenging for any artist. Make sure that you’re not underpricing or overpricing your works. Having various sizes of your artworks with different prices is ideal.
- Booth: Your booth is where you’ll be displaying your artworks, so see to it that it’s clean and sturdy. A simple booth is ideal to prevent your audience from being distracted and keep their focus on your art.
- Transportation: Consider the mode of transportation for your artworks from your place to the venue. Make sure that it’s properly packed to avoid any damage.
For artists, a good way to build their network, grow their audience, and give their art exposure is by joining trade shows. It can seem overwhelming for someone who is just starting their career, but it’s definitely doable. This article should help you see the pros of joining trade shows in order to propel your career.