Over a year later and there’s no end of sight for COVID19 and it’s variants!
Unfortunately, the activities needed to fuel the success of any art fair or show (teeming crowds, new connections between customer and vendor, in-person appearances, a place to survey the art landscape under one roof) are all at the heart of the spread of this virus and its deadly variants. In most cases, art shows and fairs are either cancelled or worse — hosted online.
The cost of participating in one of these online art shows can be low but you may as well through your money out the door. It’s a completely different type of event requiring much more time and planning. Promoters feel they can simply post event announcements on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and expect buyers find your product on that website where you are crowded with so many other vendors who are also expecting results. And what about those ‘events’ where all you get is a link to your website! How ridiculous is that? No one will waste their time to click yet another link to visit yet another website they know nothing about, because promoters did little or nothing to get your product in front of their supposed visitors. They don’t have enough time to do a proper job. You do know if they were doing that job successfully, they wouldn’t be an online show promoter.
Online art sales also require massive amounts of SEO & SEM (like ad words, organic links, yada yada) and again, all of that requires so much more lead time to acquire and work up. You could have done that better yourself – and so you should have (I’m talking to myself here). Being sold a spot in a mash-up, online venue makes it that much more difficult to convert a single visit, let alone make a profit! What’s worse -> far too many online Artisan events aren’t even juried. Much like any brick & mortar, you need window dressing to get shoppers interested. That can’t be achieved with the unknown, untested waters of unproven artists who’s entry is based on digital images which may or may not even be there own creations. So many promoters don’t deliver on their promise to promote you. 99.9% of them will take your money and expect you to promote yourself!
Where is the legitimacy or integrity of the artistic event? Vendors & visitors alike go unattended. No one follows anything up, because it’s a limited time venue (in most cases). Unless the visitor takes the initiative. And they don’t if they feel your website does not provide secure transactions. Again this indicates that promoters have not done their job! You may as well sell your stuff on Amazon. These time limited online craft shows and art fairs just don’t work. If I can’t host my goods on your site for at least 6 months, don’t waste my time and don’t waste my money! In other words, “ The juice aint worth the squeeze! “
I will wait for the time when we can all come together in a safe and relaxing ‘artistic’ environment, where I can greet customers in person, talk with them, help them try something on, or customize a piece for them at my table on the spot.