We finished up our outdoor season with the best show of the year. On the first day we sold a lot of beaded home pieces (canape knives, wine stoppers...) and on the second day we sold a good mix. What changed? This time I have a clue!
I came into this show with a lot of new pieces, created in groups. Each group had at least 3 pieces and most of them had 3 serving dishes with a set of 4 appetizer plates. (Pictures will be up on our site soon...) I was so excited about the new pieces that I put them out prominently and kept much of my more individual pieces off the shelves entirely. On Sunday morning when we considered what had sold on Saturday we realized that the sets look nice together, but they reduce the visible variety. For Sunday I stacked the sets to make room for other pieces and filled in. About 20% of the pieces that were out on Sunday were not out at all on Saturday. And it worked! The sales on Sunday were balanced between the two genres and totaled nearly 50% more (dollar wise) than Saturday.
So after 6 outdoor shows we may have found the display format, mix of items and general approach that works in a 10x10 tent... so now how do we adapt this to the indoor season. We hope to do 3 juried shows for the winter. Given that for personal reasons we stay close to the Chicago area the selection of shows isn't huge and 3 seems like a good target. However, now we have to adapt again. Booths range from 6x6 to 9x6, and some spaces are really just tables. Sometimes I think that the displays stretch our creativity more than the actual artwork does!
I guess we know what our next challenge is!