Low Key Is Good

I attended a friendly, low-key crafts fair over the weekend that our local arts alliance had convened. Besides being impressed with the motivated buyers, I was impressed with the lack of conniption fits and overt aggression on the part of self-impressed craftspeople and artists. It was a civilized affair.

I admit to not doing any other shows recently ( which is why the blog has suffered; getting ready took a bit). But the key, I think, was that the event’s promoters were careful in limiting the number of crafters and artists. There was enough to attract interest, but we were not jammed in “cheek to jowl.”

One thing I’ve learned about shows is that you pay for your space, and you expect to receive it. Impinge two inches on the wrong potter’s space, and get potsherds flung at you. A jeweler can be nasty, but fellow woodworkers are the worst – they always have sharps on hand. So it’s essential to avoid or settle disputes about space quickly.

Additionally, a wise promoter knows it’s poor policy to group similar craft types. It seems enchanting to have a Jewelers Row until the nasty competitive nature of people comes to the fore.

One thing attendees never see, but people with booths are always aware of, is how smoothly the pack in and out of the show gets coordinated. The labor and relative misery of this can almost ruin a show and make you decide never to repeat the experience. Once again, these promoters had it down pat.

I met some wonderful people in the crowd and enjoyed the day. It may just be my slant on things, but who said the opportunity to profit from your craft must be void of pleasure?

2 Replies to “Low Key Is Good”

  1. I didn’t realize how much thought went into placement of tents of the various tradesmen at a show. Almost like seating people at the dinner table!

    1. well run shows put a good amount of effort into site plans, after all, the promoter is making money on the show. A bit too much greed, however, can lead to overcrowded shows. After a point that works against the show and the promoter.

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