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Comments

Connie Mettler

Such a good question, Gregg. I have never participated in this show, although I have attended several times. It has very good attendance. Chicagoans love to shop here. It is not a place to sell trinkets. The customers are knowledgeable and are buying. Of all the holiday shows I know about I think it is the best.

I know your deadline is very near -- please visit ArtFairInsiders.com and ask your question in the jewelry group, or to the general members there.

Gregg Burgard

I posted a question at the top of the page a couple of months ago, now the second half of the booth fee will be charged very soon. I really can't afford to have a bad show but I do need the business? I still could probably grt into the new ACRE Philly show?
I really don't know what to do, I have $300. Jewelry items that really do sell well in galleries, because they are very different and highly attractive. They do allow me to get into any show I apply for.
Is this show a LOW end show only, or do people sell, nicer slightly higher end work?

PLEASE. PLEASE, HELP ME DECIDE,

Thanks, Gregory

Gregg Burgard

I am also signed up to do this show for the first time. I have jewelry that sells in the 300. Dollar range. I haven't been asked to pick a spot yet. This will be my first big show, I hope I'm not making a mistake, I would hate to lose money, as I have to save all year for it.

I would appreciate any advice.

Emanuela Aureli

thanks connie for your comment.... should you be attending again this coming december let me know, would be nice to meet you!

emanuela

Connie Mettler

Emanuela, I have attended the OOAK a couple of times. As you can imagine there is all kinds of styles of jewelry. I think I'd go for the fashion district because this show is so large and people can get distracted. It is attended by lots of fashion-wise people and they are like moths to the flame in this section. The other areas are fine also, but think it would be to your advantage as a newcomer to the show to be in the heart of it.

Emanuela Aureli

greetings and thank you for all the useful comments here!

will be doing this show for the first time this coming december (4-7, 2014) and have to make a decision whether to be in the 'fashion district' or elsewhere; i have always 'disliked' the fashion areas, but am not sure for this one.... my work is not your platinum-and-pearls kind of deal, but very contemporary, all metal and minimal bold shapes...

wondering if anybody has advice or comments on this?

thank you!
emanuela

Alison Fox

Show Name: One of a Kind Show and Sale
City and State: Chicago, IL
Your Medium: Glass
Year you most recently exhibited at this Show: 2012
Your Estimated Sales at this Show: $5001-$10,000
Number of Years You have Exhibited in this Show: 5-10 times
Attendance: (1 is poor, 5 is great) 5 (great)
Location: 5 (great)
Facilities: 5 (great)
Ease of Participating: 5 (great)
Sales: 5 (great)
Overall: 5 (great)
Booth Fee vs. Your Sales Ratio: Good
Estimated Attendance: 50,001+ people

Good Things about this Art Fair:Everyone is always afraid to do this show when they see the booth fee. However, you get what you pay for. Fantastic advertising and services. The staff can not do enought for you. Beautiful bldg and location. And the attendance is non-stop. Great atmosphere. Everyone should try it and not necessarily once. Sometimes it takes a few years to get the feel of this show.

Bad Things about this Art Fair: Well, the space fee is high and you do have alot of expense just walking in the door. However, the sales are there. After the show as well.
Advice to Other Artists Considering this Show:DO IT. Treat yourself at the end of the year! Stay at the Mart Holiday Inn. Show hours can be long but you can just walk upstairs and you're in your room.

Additional Commentary on this Show:Great site, Connie!

Michelle McCune

Show Name: One of a Kind Chicago
City and State: Chicago, IL
Your Medium: Painting
Year you most recently exhibited at this Show: 2012
Your Estimated Sales at this Show: < $500
Number of Years You have Exhibited in this Show: 1st time
Attendance: (1 is poor, 5 is great) 3
Location:3
Facilities: 3
Ease of Participating: 3
Sales: 1 (poor)
Overall: 2
Booth Fee vs. Your Sales Ratio: Poor
Estimated Attendance: 501-10,000 people

Good Things about this Art Fair: A lot of people come through. Load in was actually quick and efficient. Load out - had to wait 3 hours to get carts but we were all hanging out so it wasn't too bad. At least we didn't have to worry about weather.

Bad Things about this Art Fair: Awful sales for higher end 2-D art - I only sold notecards, not one original and I even had some giclees. It wasn't the quality of my work. If you had things under $100-150 you did well. If your intent is to sell high quality original work - don't do this show anymore. People come to buy jewelry, clothing, and trinkets. I had $800-$10000 paintings and there was a booth around the corner selling sock monkeys - no joke. Also got my hotel through the show and the group rate - later found out this was $42 more per night than the guy who booked separately. Over $180 in parking fees (OUCH!). They also said we had to sign up for BOIGO to get WIFI - not true and BOINGO crashed and would kick you off every 15 minutes - a real pain!

Advice to Other Artists Considering this Show: Fine artists - don't do it unfortunately. Way to expensive and no longer a fine art market. They screw you with booth placement your first year which doesn't help. If you have lots of little things, you can try it but plan over $3000 with booth fee and hotel - a lot to break even much less make a profit.

Kit Paulson

I did this show two years in succession. It was not terrible but it was not worthwhile.

I think that MMPI's jurying process is faulty because there was no apparent sense of careful selection or continuity and there were quite a few booths filled with very poor quality work (think Santa dolls and gel candles with LEDs in them).

Also, it is a nightmare to load in and load out, both because of poor organization on the part of MMPI and because of union regulations.

Bruce Erdman

Show Name: One of a Kind-Chicago
City and State: Chicago, IL
Your Medium: Wood
Year you most recently exhibited at this Show: 2011
Your Estimated Sales at this Show: $501-$2000
Number of Years You have Exhibited in this Show: 1st time
Attendance: (1 is poor, 5 is great) 3
Location: 4
Facilities: 3
Ease of Participating: 3
Sales: 1 (poor)
Overall: 2
Booth Fee vs. Your Sales Ratio: Poor
Estimated Attendance: Not really sure.

Good Things about this Art Fair:Ready to go booth with lights and carpet was very nice.

Bad Things about this Art Fair: No water bubblers/fountains to be found. Food choices minimal. Load-out took me 5 hours (3 hours waiting for a union cart). My work drew very little interest at this show. This was very unusual. But then I started to notice which booths were selling, the ones with $30-50 items.

Advice to Other Artists Considering this Show: Visit the show first and talk to the exhibitors and look at what is in the bags people are carrying around. This is a cash and carry show.

Ryan Tischer

Show Name: Chicago One of a Kind Show and Sale
City and State: Chicago, IL
Your Medium: Photography
Year you most recently exhibited at this Show: 2008
Your Estimated Sales at this Show: $2001-$5000
Number of Years You have Exhibited in this Show: 1st time
Attendance: (1 is poor, 5 is great) 3
Location: 3
Facilities: 3
Ease of Participating: 1 (poor)
Sales: 2
Overall: 2
Booth Fee vs. Your Sales Ratio: Poor
Estimated Attendance: 20,001-50,000 people

Good Things about this Art Fair:
This show had a lot of opportunities to help exhibiting artists help promote themselves by inviting previous customers. Unfortunately, since this was my first show in the Chicago area, I did not have much of a mailing list at the time.

Bad Things about this Art Fair:
Ridiculous booth fee, poor placement for first year artists, torturous set-up and tear down because of union regulations, poor sales for cost of booth, hassle driving and parking if you want to avoid $200/night hotels.

Advice to Other Artists Considering this Show:
I have nature photography and found this is definitely not the show for me. Jewelers and other artists that are selling gift items can make bank here.

For all of the 2d artists I talked to, this was not a worthwhile show as it is simply too expensive. Certain fine artists already with large followings in the metro area can do well. One photographer with Italian landscapes had a quad booth here...he must gross huge numbers to make it worthwhile.

The show called me a couple days before the show to offer me a free double booth, as my neighbor had cancelled. Despite that, I only made most of my expenses for the trip, and it was just a huge hassle dealing with downtown Chicago. Also had my van broken into in the parking lot during the show.

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