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Chau Nguyen

Medium: Jewelry
Year you most recently exhibited at this Show:
Your Estimated Sales at this Show: $501 - $2,000
Price Range of your Work: $30 - $135
Number of Years You have Exhibited in this Show:
1st time
Number of Years You have been doing Art Fairs overall: 3-5 years
Attendance: (1 is poor, 5 is great) 4
Location: 3
Facilities: 3
Ease of Participating: 4
Sales: 4
Overall: 4
Booth Fee vs. Your Sales Ratio: Good
Estimated Attendance: 501 - 10,000 people

Good Things about this Art Fair:
Easy to apply to show; friendly volunteers; provides booth sitters; good foot traffic and crowd for a small resort town.

What could this Art Fair have done better?:
Not hold the festival on the streets of Bigfork! Find a location where artists can set up and stay set up until the end of the show.

Negotiate & provide lower lodging cost options for vendors.

Advice to Other Artists Considering this Show:
Lodging is very expensive during show dates since it's high season. We lucked out on a reasonably priced AirBnB.

Must set up and take down each day which was a KILLER. Can be very hot in the afternoon so ask for the street side that the sun won't shine directly into your booth in the afternoon.

The street I was on sloped downhill so bring things to level your display/tables.

Don't be in a hurry to break down. We witnessed an accident where an artist was in a hurry to leave & drove a huge delivery truck around the street corner too fast and hit another artist display!

Additional Commentary on this Show:
We live in MT but it was still a 5 hr drive one way for us. The setup & breakdown was a show killer for us. My husband refuses to go with me again to this show since it was so much work and energy sapping on one's body after a full day of selling.

This and our lodging and food expenses have kept me from applying to it again. We basically broke even for this show, not counting the hours driving to/from and at the show.

Kim Shirley

Show Name: Bigfork Festival of the Arts
City and State: Bigfork, MT
Your Medium: Painting
Year you most recently exhibited at this Show: 2013
Your Estimated Sales at this Show: $2001-$5000
Number of Years You have Exhibited in this Show: 2-3 times
Attendance: (1 is poor, 5 is great) 5 (great)
Location: 4
Facilities: 4
Ease of Participating: 3
Sales: 5 (great)
Overall: 5 (great)
Booth Fee vs. Your Sales Ratio: Great
Estimated Attendance: 501-10,000 people

Good Things about this Art Fair:
Great location in the Flathead Valley. Right next to Flathead Lake in Downtown Bigfork, which means a lot of tourists. The promoters bring by water every few hours, which is great because SO many people go by that you don't have a chance to sneak away from your booth. It's a smaller show in terms of how many people visit the show (about 6-8,000 is my guess) but they ARE THERE TO BUY. Very few looky-loos as compared to other shows I have done.
Almost everyone gets a corner booth!

Bad Things about this Art Fair:
The show is usually really heavy on the jewelers, but I guess that kinda helps artists in other categories...
You can't leave your booth up for the whole show. You have to take down Saturday Night and set up again on Sunday Morning. The area can get pretty congested with people trying to take down. Be sure to get your stuff off the street and on the sidewalk as soon as possible. I watched some guy in a huge truck run right over another artists work and tent that was still sitting in the road during takedown time.

Advice to Other Artists Considering this Show:
Bring extra water bottles. While volunteers do go by every couple of hours with water, it can get hot during the day and you'll get parched quickly from talking with so many potential buyers/clients.
All of the food tents are in the middle of the show. If you're on the outer edge it makes it HARD to get food quickly because you'll have to make your way through the crowds and then stand in line. Bring a cooler with food/snacks if you get a booth far away from the food.

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