I really want to do at least one brick & mortar show this year. Almost all the shows I have attended in the past have been back East (USA). But now the airfares are very high this year; example, I can't find an airfare under $450 for a Seattle-Washington D.C. flight/plus I would have to take the shuttle to the hotel. Then I would have to pay to ship everything to the hotel also much more expensive since the USPS rates have gone up. Does anyone have a suggestion for a West Coast Show? At least the airfare would be more reasonable. How is everybody handling the costs of shows? I would even be satisfied if I could call it even, but that means I would need to make at least $1,800-$2,000 in sales for an East Coast show. Sad, because I really love meeting collectors and fellow artists and we always have a great time at the shows. Plus, the show organizers work so hard to keep the shows going and I feel bad that I can't attend the 3-4 shows that I used to attend in past years. Any ideas
Karen, I have been evaluating something similar to what you discussed in your post. I, too, have a good time at shows, networking with collectors and other artists. When I had a supply business, I took supplies and bears to shows around the country, and logged many airline miles. I now have a job at a small nonprofit and am living in Los Angeles County, California. I still like doing shows, albeit as an artist, but find myself considering the cost of doing shows versus the amount of sales required to break even. Of course, it's not just the cost of the table, it's transportation, shipping, hotel rooms, eating out, and incidentals that all add up. Dorothy Drake of Crossroads Doll and Teddy Bear Shows does two shows a year in San Diego, a one day show in August and a two day show in January. The shows are well organized and pleasant, but the venue, a Shriners meeting center, is located inland, far from the San Diego airport, a consideration if one is flying in to San Diego. There are no other such shows in Los Angeles County or neighboring Orange County of which I am aware. The increased cost of doing "brick-and-mortar" shows makes me look at online venues like Bearpile. Yet I miss face-to-face contact with collectors and other artists at shows. What's the solution?
I guess what I like about shows is the networking with the other artists and the rapt expressions on the faces of collectors as they fall in love with that special bear or critter. Those are things one cannot get from the computer screen and the internet.
I have not done the SanDiego show, but I went in January just for the fun of it. It was a large, very nice show, and seemed to be well attended.
Phoenix has a show now, this was the second year. I did not participate this past year, but I did the first year and did well. This past year there were not many artists, but there was a very good turnout from collectors, and I understand that the artists there did well. That show is not till March though.
One more thing concerning shipping your stock. The last show I did I flew SouthWest. I packed the largest suitcase I had, it contained my clothes, my set up, and a couple of bears. The rest of the bears I packed into a carry on bag. They were snug, but safe with me. Cost me nothing to get them there.