Have you ever dreamed of making a handsome profit at craft shows? It’s very possible if you take a strategic approach to your selling.

Though it’s impossible to know how many artists and craftspeople sell their wares full or part-time at shows and festivals, their numbers appear to be growing as crowds turn out by the thousands to buy paintings, sculptures, woodwork, metalwork, glasswork and jewelry and to meet the artists and craftsmen who make them. For home-based artists and craftsmen, selling at fairs and shows provides an opportunity to ring up sales and find new customers at little cost and no overhead. Typically, shows charge just a few hundred dollars for a booth and allow artists to enjoy big markups on the work they create–profits they don’t have to share with a gallery or store owner.

Keep reading for our best tips at having a successful art festival.

Do your homework on local craft shows

It isn’t always easy to tell which shows will translate into sales success for you and your product. Big, well-known shows with $5,000 entry fees may not be worth the hype, and shows that seem small-time may actually be very profitable for you.

Talk with artists at shows near you

There are tons and tons of shows in every city all over this country on any given weekend. There are local craft shows, fine art shows, and arts and crafts fairs—and when I first started, I didn’t know the difference. So I began by researching my options. And, frankly, any artist that wants to sell their art at these types of events would do well to start with research themselves.

The best way to do that is to go to some shows and talk to the artists. Artists are always glad to help and give advice. One of the very first things I learned is that there is a jury (judging panel) at most of your better events, and the caliber of show (and jury) really drives the amount of people who are applying for the shows.

Practice good festival etiquette

How you present yourself and your display is more important than you would think. You want your booth to look like a mini art gallery. Most fine arts festivals have rules in regards to tent color, size, display racks, etc. As tempting as it is, don’t bring everything you’ve ever painted!

Joplin Arts Fest brings in artists from Joplin, Springfield, Dallas, Tulsa, Kansas City, and beyond! Learn more about our outdoor summer art festival in Joplin MO by visiting us at joplinartsfest.com!