Personally I have done the acc show in Baltimore for 25 years, I have never been able to pull right up to my booth, into the building yes, but you still need a dolly.

Also, a 2 day set up is a luxury, maybe at an ACC show but not most others. If we can't set up the booth in 3-4 hrs...it needs to be re-thought.

I also agree that there's is more to the show then just sales. Plenty of connections are to be made. Most other show promoters do walk the show and check out work and display...many will send out "invitations" after seeing work "live". Keep in mind that artist in the show may end up being jurors for other shows. Also, magazine editors use to be all over that show....if you are ready with a CD ROM of your work and some fluff to go with it..you may end up with some free advertising.

All in all the Baltimore acc show is way down compared to how it was in the 80s and 90s....now a days I clod more sales after the show then at the show itself....and I find the wholesale to be pathetic....it's not the craft councils fault...it's just how or is.

I am from the greater Baltimore area, i am proud to say I have helped plenty of exibitors figure it all out....if anyone has a question feel free to ask....I know where all the hardware stores are and all the challenges that come with getting into "the big show"

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Hi Wayne,

Thank you for sharing your experienced perspective!

It might be a vehicle size issue or the rules have changed? This year there were cars and large vans driving right up the the booths during set up during retail.

Yes this seems to be the feeling across the board that craft market is down. And I agree that it is not the ACC's fault, we just have to adapt the the changing market. For wholesale I have found that I am able to connect with stores and galleries via Instagram. There is no subsitute for seeing the work in person but my feeling is that there is a large portion of the wholesale market that has shifted online.

Well given that the show is down, it does make it tough for those coming in from long distances. I got in off the wait list and wasn't convinced that I could come out ahead, so I passed on it. Flying in from California would be expensive along with the 2k booth fee. Obviously if you are nearby the risk is easier to take. With so many booth fees and airbnb fees out in the first quarter, I didn't feel that I could take the risk on being in negative financial territory. ...and breaking even isn't enticing. I know it's a gorgeous show, I wish there was a way to bring booth fees down for the risk involved. 

Wayne,

Thanks for your comments It is always good to hear from a seasoned perspective.

It continues to be a concern that  I hear repeated over and over that the "art/craft market" is
"way down compared to how it was in the 80's and 90's."    Can it really be that people aren't spending the same way....or is it something else?  

Harriete

 

Laura, I am not saying that some people did not drive right up to there booth this year. It really depends on what other shows are i, the convention center and what the lay out is...also generally there are assigned times to load in...furniture and heavy stuff usually requests an early load in. People also need to understand vehicle type and the union rules for loading into a show..(that's another story). Like I said, I have worked that space since 1987 and for some reason never been able to drive right up to my booth.
Harriete..like you, I am more than willing to help people, give advice ECT...I have nothing but respect for creative people trying to make a living...I DO NOT know it all....and anyone willing to do it will figure it out...at this point I have done well over 200 shows....they are not getting easier...the best for me are large outdoor festivals with a ton of people....people shop differently now and the show demographic is getting older...don't get me wrong IT still happens.

Allison...yes, flying across country is risky, and staying in hotels and buying airfare is expensive, however it is still PART of the game. A flyable booth set up is important and sharing a room comes in handy. You WILL get a lot of milege doing Baltimore...it may be street credit or just advertising but in some way it will be worth it...if you want to talk numbers contact me off line...I have always loved you and your work...

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