Whether new to selling art at art shows or just starting, these art booth tips will make the process easier, more productive, and more profitable.
You work on intricate paintings all year for the upcoming art fairs.
You practice setting up an art booth display at home so you can showcase all your new paintings.
The time has come, and you are excited to get to the art fair and show off your art collection.
Even if you have the best art booth set up, how can you attract buyers to your booth?
How can your art booth stand out at an art fair with many artists showcasing a similar subject matter?
Yes, your paintings are unique, but with so much art to see, how can you be sure that your art booth display will get buyers to your booth or have visitors make a purchase?
Today I will talk about some art booth tips I have learned over the years that will make your next show more profitable.
To learn how to get a booth at a fair, visit How To Get A Stall At A Craft Fair
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Art Booth Display
A first impression is important when displaying your art at an art fair, with many artists showcasing their beautiful oil paintings, watercolor paintings, and pastel paintings.
The only way you can be sure to attract people to your booth is to have an attractive professional setup.
One of the most important things to remember when you have an art booth display at an art fair is that you are not only an artist who creates the paintings but also a merchant.
Your primary goal is to present your artwork to collectors so they will want to stop at your art booth and remember you for the upcoming fairs.
Some art shows I attended only allowed me a 10×10 art booth, while others let me use a 20×10 art booth.
Every art fair is different.
I have learned that it is better to practice setting up the art display at home rather than scrambling at the show.
It is easier to adjust and rearrange your art collection at home until you are delighted with how your art is displayed.
Another art booth tip is to take a picture of your display and write detailed notes, so you know what has to be done when it is time to set up at the art fair.
Below are some tips to help make your art booth look more inviting and professional:
- Art exhibition display stands – for art prints and greeting cards
- Have a card that shows the size, medium, and price of each painting or drawing on display
- Have business cards available at different locations of your art booth
- Invest in a colorful sign of your art business logo
- Don’t overcrowd your paintings – leave a little space between each painting. Display your best pictures first and replenish them as they sell.
- Have a clipboard for people to join your email list
- Have your logo on your coffee mugs and shirt
- Display brochures that link to your online artist website
- Display awards that you have received
- Display a short bio about your art career
The good news is that you can create an art booth on a budget that does not break the bank.
Participating in an art fair is to make money, not lose money.
There are many tutorials on DIY art display stands that will help you to create a perfect display for your art that will not cost an arm and a leg.
Here are a few that I have found to help get you started:
Create A Welcoming Atmosphere
Now that you have practiced your art booth set up at home and have the perfect display let’s talk about some other key areas that will attract art collectors to your booth.
My wife and I enjoy going to art and craft fairs as much as we enjoy having an art booth at an art fair.
Walking around and seeing all the different art and crafts is inspiring and educational.
How can it be educational to go to craft fairs?
Not only do I enjoy looking at art, but I also observe:
- How the display is set up
- How the artist interacts with the customers
- How many people are visiting a booth, and if there is a large crowd, what makes that booth more appealing than the one next to it
- The signs that explain the art and the prices of the art
- How they display the signs
There is so much you can learn if you go to art fairs as a buyer, not as an artist.
Here are four examples of what I learned at different shows I visited.
The first story is from a show we went to on Cape Cod.
Every artist had a shed that displayed and protected their artwork from the outdoor elements.
If I were to guess, the shed was around 20’ x 20’.
It was almost closing time when we got there.
My wife and I were roaming around, looking at all the beautiful art hanging in the sheds.
We went into about ten displays, and not one artist approached us.
We didn’t receive a hello or even a look in our direction.
As we approached one display, an artist stood up from his chair, greeted us with a warm smile, and welcomed us into his art booth.
Our greeting inspired us to look at every piece of his work and ask many questions about his paintings and art career.
It did not take long until we had a personal connection to him as an artist and his artwork.
While leaving the show, we passed by a booth where an artist was packing up for the day.
We stopped to look at the art that was still hanging, and the artist came out and said, “I wish people came here with money in their wallets instead of just lookers.”
We could not believe what we were hearing.
This artist had no idea who we were and if we were interested in purchasing her artwork.
That one show provided us with two significantly different scenarios.
One artist made such a pleasant experience with who I am still in contact with, and another artist pushed us away.
Both experiences are rememberable, but only one artist will receive a purchase from us.
Here are two more quick stories I will never forget.
In one show, my wife saw something that she wanted to buy.
We went to the booth and looked at the product she was interested in.
She turned to me and said I am going to get this.
We started looking for the artist, and as we were looking for him, we saw him sleeping in the corner.
We left without making a purchase.
The last story I want to discuss is something we will never forget.
We stopped at an art booth to admire some beautiful oil paintings.
The paintings were stunning.
I was looking at a painting and felt a soft nudge from my wife.
She tilted her head toward the artist staring at us while flossing his teeth.
I could not make this story up even if I wanted to.
Why am I telling you these stories?
I am telling you this because I want you to know how beautiful your art display is and how welcoming your booth is.
There are so many art fair booths filled with beautiful artwork.
The artists who will walk out of the fair with a pocket filled with money are the ones who are welcoming and personable.
Craft Fair Do’s
Let’s recap some art booth tips that attract buyers at art fairs.
- Come up with as many booth ideas for fairs as you can. You can do this by attending art fairs or researching online.
- Purchase or make an art stand that will display your artwork correctly.
- Practice your festival booth set up at home, not at the show.
- Present both you as an artist and your artwork professionally.
- Greet people with a big smile.
- Ask them if they have any questions you can help them with.
- Have professional signs made for your logo.
- Have description tags for all your art displayed.
- Have business cards and brochures in several different places.
- Have proper packaging material for purchases and always include a business card in the package.
- Have a newsletter signup list.
Art Booth Don’ts
It is easy to forget things when it is time to pack the car for a show, so make a checklist of everything you need to bring to each fair.
There are some things you will not want to do at craft fairs, and here are some of them:
- Do not overcrowd your guests. Greet them and let them know that if they need any help, just to let you know. After that, let them enjoy your paintings. They will come to you if they are interested in purchasing a painting.
- Do not forget to thank them for taking the time to stop by. People might not be able to purchase a painting at the time of your show but might be interested in buying your art in the future.
- Don’t only accept cash. Most people do not carry much money on them, even if they go to an art show. It would be a shame to lose a massive sale because you do not accept credit cards. Square is popular with a free credit card reader used with smartphones. I use the Square at all of my art fairs. It is easy to set up and use.
- Don’t fall asleep at your table.
- Don’t complain that you are not landing sales to customers
- Don’t floss your teeth while staring at your potential buyers.
I have attended and worked at multiple art fairs and always try to assess what works and what doesn’t work.
The art booth tips I shared today are all life lessons I have taken home.
The bottom line is that you must remember that you are not only an artist but also a merchant representing your artist brand.
Always do your best and always try to make the next show better.
Make a list of all the art booth tips you learn at art shows you attend and sell at.