Pop-ups, marketplaces, and art fairs are frequent venues for artists to sell art. But every month has a different art fair in the summer and every winter weekend has a different brewery pop up or holiday specialty pop up. We are over-saturated with marketplaces and art venues which is leading to lower attendance, slowing momentum, and sometimes low sales.
What You Can Do About It:
- Spend time researching pop-up events before applying. This can include online research but this also means going to them. You can ‘secret shop’ and see what other vendors are doing as well as get the overall vibe. Notice the number of visitors, if people are buying anything and if vendors are engaging the audience or bored on their phone.
- Stop participating in art events that are easy to get into but have a low success rate. Participation in failing art events perpetuates the issues with these types of opportunities.
- If others ask you about your experiences with certain art venues, be honest and share which venues worked for you and which ones didn’t work with a fair but critical eye. If you had a bad experience, participated in an uncoordinated event, chances are other vendors and artists felt the same. This isn’t about gossip and trash-talking, it’s about business.
- If you are an organizer and you’re considering starting a new pop-up, I would take some time to really think about that decision. As mentioned above, the marketplace and pop-up-style events are over-saturated. Consider joining a team to help an already existing pop-up before trying something new. Try making an already existing event more successful than creating something new.
- It’s time to start thinking about the next trend in small business retail, the art marketplace is overdone. While brick and mortar locations are done, marketplaces are past their peak, artists and creatives can begin thinking of the next solution. Special brand-based events or brand collaborations, private release parties for your new product, perhaps micro-malls with small businesses? You can help bring in the next trend or exciting way to present and sell art