Believe it or not, it’s time to start planning holiday art fairs, marketplaces, and pop-up shops. Even if calls-for-art haven’t quite posted yet, these opportunities will be happening soon. Preparing now will help increase your likelihood of participating in these events by being prepared. While pop-up events and art fairs happen all year round, gift-focused purchases often times start in September with fall festivals and community fairs. November and December will be the heavy holiday buying months. This blog post will help ensure successful sales when you do participate in these art fairs and pop-up shops.
Summer is a good time to go through your inventory and make sure you have good levels for sales. This is a good time to re-order merchandise that has already sold down or design a new item to debut during your next art sale to increase your variety and make customers return.
Check on your register or POS system. Do you have a mobile register device or a way to take secure credit card payments? Update your register system if you need to. If you are a user of Square, consider upgrading your device to take the chip card, which limits fraudulent activity and personal liability. Make sure your inventory numbers in your register or database match your actual inventory counts.
If you need to update signage, purchase a new table or table cloth, or art fair panel walls, now is a good time to either improve, update, or change your display. Some art fairs and holiday marketplaces have different display requirements so make sure that you can adapt your set up to each sale.
In addition to inventory levels of merchandise, check on other supplies including business cards, postcards, and other handouts, any freebies or giveaways you provide, shopping bags, receipt tape, clear bags for prints, price stickers, and any other operating supplies that you need to set up or make the sale.
What’s great about planning ahead is the ability to market your fall and holiday sales. You can post on your website or social media a “Where you can find me” style of post so people can locate you and purchase art and gifts.
Sending Out Inquiries:
If you don’t have any sales on the horizon, now is a great time to send out some inquiry emails about future pop-ups or sales. Try a variety of sales if you haven’t done any in the past. Reach out to galleries, community spaces, known marketplace vendors, and more. Local breweries are now beginning to host pop-up market places and small specialty businesses are doing these as well.
If you miss a deadline or opportunity, be a customer instead of a vendor this year. Head to the art sale to see what it’s like and add it to your list for spaces to partner with for next year if you like what you see.