When you’re readying for an art fair, half your success depends on your preparation.
Artists typically have no problem remembering to pick out all their work, get their packaging set up, and print up some business cards and other marketing bits.
But packing supplies and planning their table are the things they usually leave undone until the day before, meaning things are forgotten and major stress ensues.
So my first tip on getting ready for an art show is simply to start packing at least 2 weeks before the event.
Put a list on your cellphone (so it’s all on one place and you don’t lose it), not just to keep track of what you’re taking this time, but so that you have a proper list already made up for the next show. As you remember things, add them to your list. And when you’re at the fair and wish you had brought something, pop it into the list so you don’t forget it next time.
SOME OF THE THINGS TO INCLUDE ON YOUR LIST ARE:
tape and a strong glue
string or twine
needle nose pliers
a change of clothes
email signup sheet
tissue paper or blank newsprint for protecting the surface of the artwork
various methods of payment
a snack or meal for every four hours you’ll be there
a cooler with lots of drinks to keep you hydrated
bug spray & sunscreen if you’ll be outside
Of course you’ll also need all the parts of your display and signage as well as your products. And if your medium is portable, you’ll want to bring a work in progress and your tools and materials.
If you’re traveling by air, make sure you know what’s allowed on the aircraft for your carry-on and what needs to be put in your checked bags so that you don’t get flagged or have any of your tools or materials confiscated.
Go ahead and plan out which things are going in which bags.
And if you’re sending some stuff by mail, put things in the right boxes so it’s all ready to go when it’s time to mail out.
If you’re sending tools, supplies, or artwork ahead of you, make sure you have someone to receive it in case it gets there early. Have everything completely packed and sealed, especially if you’re crating it, several days before it has to be shipped so you’re not frantic.
You might not need to be told this, but do make sure all your artwork is packed with extra care no matter how it’s being transported to the show. Clearly label everything on the outside so you don’t have to unwrap it to know what it is.
With some thought & time put into preparing for your first few shows, it will be easy to have a smooth experience this time and at all your future art fair experiences.
DO YOU HAVE YOUR OWN PACKING TIPS? POST THEM IN THE COMMENTS!
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