What Makes An Art Festival Right for You?

What kinds of things do you consider as you plan for your upcoming year?

What Makes A Festival Great for You ArtFest Fort Myers

Few artists have the “exact formula” for which festivals will produce the perfect crowds who will purchase their artwork, but here are nine key questions to help you narrow the field:

  1. Does the size of the community dovetail with the number of participating artists?
  2. Is the festival focused on producing an art-buyer crowd for you?
  3. Does the community show evidence of supporting the arts, visual and performing, throughout the year?
  4. Does the event marketing plan span all media (print, radio, TV, website, social) to reach a broad range of buyers?
  5. Is there an option for artists to join the event advertising program to promote themselves?
  6. Can you create a comfortable circuit, including several weekend festivals, to accommodate your travel plans?
  7. Check out the festival “Artist Gallery” page, if available. Is there a good balance between mediums of invited artists and does the previous years artists’ work fit with yours?
  8. Do the artist amenities (layout/set up/hotel rates/reserved parking/ hospitality) best suit your needs?
  9. Have you inquired among your artist friends for recommendations?

Put Technology In Your Corner


“I don’t have time for it”

Sure all this new technology is sometimes a challenge. And we “don’t have time for it”. But really the financial rewards of keeping up are impressive.

There are many products and services that can make the business side of selling your artwork a little less complicated and a lot more productive:

  • Consider enlisting a friend to use their smart phone and record an informal video of yourself as you work? Or make a “selfie”. The creation of a piece of work and the story behind it can be compelling – especially when the artist narrates it! Upload the video to your YouTube page and then embed it in your web page to share. Post it on Facebook too. Send it to art festivals to add to their Facebook page.
  • Keep a current email list of your patrons and use Constant Contact, Mail Chimp or others to quickly and easily keep those buyers and potential buyers informed of your show schedule and latest creations.
  • Have an iPad or tablet mounted in your booth with a video about you and your work. It’s all about the visual in getting patrons interested in making that purchase! That iPad could also allow attendees to update your email list. And you can use it with a Square or similar to process credit cards.
  • Did you know that Crowdfunding is a way to raise money, on line, to pursue your latest idea? That is another way that technology is helping creators to reach patrons and there are a number of web sites dedicated to this process!
  • Use a Square of similar as a credit card reader with your smart phone or iPad. Instant processing and email collection. And the info posts directly to your QuickBooks or other financial software. It’s all about saving your valuable time.
  • If you don’t already have a Facebook page, create one and “chat” there about your work and where you’re exhibiting.  Square up the images of your work that you are posting, for the best impact, and build a carousel of several pieces in one post.  Set up a Store Page on Facebook for potential customers’ shopping ease. Consider ”boosting” a post to a specific zip code (your next show location, perhaps) to reach the art lovers where you’re heading next. “Like” your friends, patrons & art festival Facebook pages to increase your reach.
  • Are you updating your web site on a regular basis? Your gallery page is the perfect vehicle for intriguing a browsing patron into attending your next festival or making an on-line sale.
  • As you travel, take advantage of your smart phone to Google such things as best gas prices, weather forecasts and best routes (not while driving, please).

More »

How to Build Sales Before and After an Art Festival

You are the perfect person to build your business and wonderful art “brand” by using Marketing & Promotion all year long and here are some helpful tips to get you started:

The Internet has given everyone (especially artists with artwork for sale) great and free tools to increase sales.More »

Be Available! Buyers Love to Talk to Artists

Be Ready … Be Engaging and Smile … They’re Here To See You!

We live in an instant information and instant gratification world. Artists need to be available to talk to attendees (buyers) quickly and easily.

Be present and easily approachable in your booth. As prospective customers come into your booth, you need to have a winning message to catch your buyers attention.

Develop routine comments about your artwork that are quick, interesting, and to the point.

“Why” you create can often show your passion but your technique may be the hook that gets patrons interested in learning more. Starting a conversation can often end with a sale! You know your artwork better than anyone. And it’s up to you to learn to speak about it in a manner that is contagious and arresting to the patrons who enter your booth.

Every businessperson should have an “elevator speech” — a quick and attention-getting summation of what you make or do — especially if you are in sales!

The reason an “elevator speech” is called an “elevator speech” is because it should take no more time than one might have with someone in an elevator. If it takes much more than 30 seconds, your pitch is too long and you may lose your chance.

Remember that you want to stand out and generate excitement about your work! Your elevator speech should reflect who you are and why your work is special. A good place to start is by making a bullet point style list of what you want to convey and then make that list “conversational.”

I once heard an artist comment on an image that a woman was admiring by stating that it took him 25 years to paint it. (That was 25 years, in the business, honing his technique.) So began a conversation, with a smile, that ended in a successful sale.

A Couple other Thoughts

Don’t sit in the back or your booth or across the street from your booth with your iPad, smartphone or book. Attendees won’t take the time to find you and will feel like they are bothering you. Make eye contact with those who come into your booth, even when you are with another guest. That makes people feel welcome.

Can you demonstrate your pieces? If so, then you should be demonstrating them on a regular basis and get the patrons involved — make it FUN! Demonstrating on-site or having an illustrative Artist Statement lets people get to know you and your work. And that means more sales!

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Help the Buyer See Your Artwork in Their Home

Is your artwork displayed in your booth the way you feel it should be displayed in the buyer’s home?

Is the framing/glass/mat the most appropriate for the artwork? Does it do your artwork justice or cheapen it? Is it the style most buyers would hang in their home?

Does the artwork need a pedestal to sit on? Do you have one for the buyer?

Is your artwork ready to install in the buyer’s home with no effort on their part? If not, do you openly offer that you will come install it?

Your Booth is Your Gallery

Welcome To Your Gallery ….

Consider the display and arrangement of your artwork. More »

How to Create a Selling Atmosphere

Capturing More Sales Is A Team Effort

At ArtFest Fort Myers, the staff spends the vast majority of their time creating a setting and audience conducive for you to sell your artwork. More »

Study Those Busy Booths

Be aware … of what busy artists around you are doing.

What is that artist doing that you aren’t?

Maybe nothing and it’s just the luck of the day.

Or maybe there is something to be learned from that busy booth.

Jury Success: How to Put Your Best Foot Forward

Thoughts about the jury process … the competition is fierce

Artists often ask for our thoughts about their jury images — sometimes before they apply and sometimes after the jury results are announced. Based on viewing thousands of images and talking to many artists we thought it might also be helpful to share some of our thoughts here.More »

2020 Gold Awards:
Crisis Communication Plan,
Green Program,
Social Media Advertising Campaign
Gold Award:
Best Program to Benefit a Cause
#1 Favorite Small Town Art Fairs
RANKED #22 in the nation
200 Best Logo 2020


Saturday and Sunday, February 5 & 6, 2022
Opening Night Friday, February 4
On the waterfront in historic downtown Fort Myers

Phone: 239-768-3602

Email: info@artfestfortmyers.com