centerlogobigAAD logo

enarzh-CNnlfrdehiplrues
American

INTRODUCTION

Art and Antique Shows held in smaller metropolitan areas with a population of affluent buyers play a significant role for the trade. Most all dealers have exhibited at these shows making contacts in different markets which have been the key to success for dealers who live in more isolated areas.

The booth rents to do these shows are far less than the events held in New York, London or Paris but when one accounts for the cost of transport and lodging the expenses can add up. These shows are usually three to four day events with a Preview Party launching the show. Most all are fund raisers for a charity and may or may not work with a promoter.

The charity raises money through the dealer fees, the Preview Party, events with speakers, book signings, lunches and so on. The number of these shows has been declining long before the Great Recession as the interest and taste of the audiences has changed with the times. In order for these remaining events to survive it is more important than ever for the dealers, promoter, the charity volunteers and staff to work together and formulate success for all involved.

A. The charity needs to set realistic financial goals for fundraising by doing the math of all the costs involved. Listen to the promoter, past chairmen and read any and all reports available.

DO NOT BECOME OBSESSED WITH BEATING THE YEAR BEFORE’S NUMBERS.

A truly successful show is one where the dealers will return time and time again because they made money.

DO NOT ASSUME THAT THE DEALER IS THERE FOR YOUR ENTERTAINMENT - get out there and BUY something.

B. Promoter: have a clear understanding what the duties will be and remember you get what you pay for in a promoter. Be certain he/she can pull in an audience at the right level and tap the right dealers for the show.

DO NOT ALLOW SUB PAR DEALERS IN A SHOW. THIS CONFUSES THE AUDIENCE AND WILL HURT THE QUALITY OF THE SHOW IN THE LONG TERM.

C. The promoter and or committee must have knowledge of good dealers at the same level of quality in a variety of fields which should include Mid Century Modern.

DO NOT ALLOW AUCTION FIRMS TO SET UP BOOTHS.

D. Length of show should preferably be three to four days not including the Preview Night in these markets and should always include a weekend.

E. Location should be easy to access, safe, attractive and a close proximity to lodging for dealers.

F. Publicity, Publicity, Publicity! There is nothing better than free publicity. Some Charities have a staff member who handles publicity or the Chairman may appoint a volunteer for this job.

DO NOT PICK ANYONE WHO IS NOT WELL CONNECTED WITH THE MEDIA. THIS PERSON HAS TO BE SOMEONE WHO HAS INFLUENCE AND IS NOT A PROCRASTINATOR. TIMING IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR PRE-SHOW PRESS.

It is also very important that the public knows that every item is for sale and the show is not a Museum.

G. Tickets to the show should be given to the dealers for mail out well in advance. DO NOT WAIT TOO LATE TO HAVE THESE AVAILABLE AND BY ALL MEANS GET THEM DONATED. THEY ALSO NEED TO HAVE LOCATION AND TIME INFORMATION ON THE TICKET.

H. Walls: Always provide solid walls no shorter than nine feet high.

DO NOT USE PAPER WHICH FALLS OFF THE WALLS NOR ALLOW WALLPAPER BORDERS. THIS IS OUT OF FASHION AND IT IS TIME TO MAKE THE ROOM SETTINGS MORE INVITING NOT LIKE GRANDMA’S HOUSE. HAVE WALLS WHICH CAN BE PAINTED.

I. Electrical fees: Decide if this amount will be included in the booth rent.

IF SOME OR ALL LIGHTING IS INCLUDED THE DEALERS NEED TO BE PATIENT AT SET UP. DO NOT HAVE YOUR LIGHTING TOO DULL OR TOO BRIGHT. THERE SHOULD BE A MOOD TO THE LIGHTING OF THE SHOW.

J. Porters: Committee Chairs need to be sure to provide men for move in and pack out. Figure this into your costs.

DO NOT PROVIDE YOUNG TEENS WHO CANNOT LIFT. PROFESSIONAL MOVERS WILL EXPEDITE MOVE IN AND DEALERS NEED TO TIP THE PORTERS.

K. Preview event: Have a nice cocktail “supper” party with food constantly passed and small food stations which are not in front of the dealer’s booths. Have adequate full bars, wine and beer. Make an attempt to have the food, beverage, invitations and decorations underwritten.

DO NOT HAVE A SEATED DINNER OR AN EVENT WHICH TAKES THE BUYERS FROM THE FLOOR! COMMITTEE MEMBERS SHOULD GIVE COMPLIMENTARY TICKETS TO THE DESIGNERS IF THERE ARE DESIGNER BOOTHS.

L. Preview Night incentive between the dealers and the charity are always a great way to get the buying started. This brings in to play the committee and their willingness to spend in order to have a show which continues. Dealers should be willing to give five to ten percent of their sales to the charity.

DO NOT BE SCROOGES. THAT WORKS BOTH WAYS.

M. Speaker’s fees and expenses: have the speaker stay in the home of one of the charity mavens.

DO NOT HAVE A DESIGNER AS YOUR SPEAKER WHO USES REPRODUCTIONS OR IS THERE TO PROMOTE THEIR OWN LINE OF FURNITURE. DO NOT HAVE A SPEAKER FROM AN AUCTION HOUSE.

N. Speaker and other event times:

DO NOT HAVE SPEAKER/LUNCH EVENTS. SET THE TIME FOR THE SPEAKER AT 9:30 or 10:00.

O. Cafe: Hours should be 10:00 to the close of the show with plenty of tables and chairs. Lunch should begin to be served at 11:30 to 2:00.

DO NOT RUN OUT OF COFFEE, TEA, WATER, JUICES OR SOFT DRINKS. HAVE WINE AVAILABLE IN THE LATE AFTERNOON. THE KEY IS TO KEEP THE SHOW FRIENDLY AND COMFORTABLE.

P. Decoration: Keep to a minimum and put the funds into advertising for the show. Use the talents of committee to do the flowers.

THIS DOES NOT MEAN BE “CHEAP”.

Q. Catalog expenses: sell ads in the catalog to local supporters and have the production of the catalog underwritten.

DO NOT PAY FOR IT

R. Catalog contents for dealers: Each dealer should have a page with all contact information. If space allows a few well written articles from a few of the dealers would be interesting. The following years change the contributors.

S. Have an easy to navigate and professional web site with all the pertinent information and links to the dealers’ web sites as well as Facebook, Linked in, Twitter etc.

T. Theme of the event is the art and antiques. Have an exhibition if space allows from a local Museum or Historic House if you are in an area where this can be done.

DO NOT SPEND YOUR MONEY ON OTHER THEMES.

U. Be realistic with the time of year the event is held and pay attention to what is happening on the show circuits as well as other events which could hinder the attendance.

V. Select your Chair persons wisely. The charity should have paid staff and/or a Development Director who can find the right fit for this position. The honorary chair/chairs should be known contributors to the community and the charity.

DO NOT HAVE A PROMINENT YET KNOWN “TIGHT WAD”AS THE HONORARY CHAIR/CHAIRS. THEY NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT THEY SHOULD BUY FROM THE DEALERS FOR FUTURE SUCCESS. HAVING THE CHAIRS UNDER THE AGE OF 55 WILL AMOST GUARANTEE THEY ARE STILL BUYING!

There are people in the community who know who the “cheapies” are, so ask around.

W. The Chairs who will be in charge of the overall show need to select committee members who will spend money at the show. They should all know the “Rules of Engagement” of these events.

DO NOT SELECT THOSE WHO ARE THERE FOR PUBLICITY AND ONLY WISH TO BE SEEN.

X. Designer booths have become popular at some shows using top designers in the community. These designers must use items from the dealers’ booths. Select these designers well in advance and give their contact information to the dealers. All dealers should send photos of their items in advance to the designers and set a deadline on both the designer and the dealer.

DO NOT WAIT TO THE LAST MINUTE TO SEND YOUR PICTURES. DO NOT ALLOW THE DESIGNER TO PROCRASTINATE. USE THESE ROOMS/ROOM AS PUBLICITY. DO NOT ALLOW THE DESIGNER TO USE ANY MATERIAL WHICH HAS NOT COME FROM A DEALER IN THE SHOW.

Y. Young Collector’s Night: Make this an exciting event. Keep the price of the ticket lower than the Preview Night. Provide good beer, wine and snacks which have been underwritten. Feature the Designer Booths and have the Designers there that evening as a draw.

DEALERS DO NOT BRING ONLY HIGH PRICED MERCHANDISE. TRY TO BRING A FEW THINGS THAT THE YOUNG COLLECTOR CAN BUY AND HAVE A WAY TO FEATURE THAT ITEM FOR YOUNG COLLECTOR’S NIGHT. DEALERS SHOULD TURN IN PHOTOS, DESCRIPTIONS AND PRICE POINTS TO THE PUBLICITY STAFF OR CHAIR. THIS IS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR A FEATURE ARTICLE ABOUT THIS EVENT.

Z. Committee Chairmen should make a point to meet each and every dealer to make them feel welcome in their community. Most important they need to listen to their suggestions, write them down and provide an excellent report for the following year.

About the Author

Mary Helen McCoy

Mary Helen McCoy

Mary Helen McCoy is a woman with a mission – that is, to deliver to her clients the ultimate in period furniture and decorative arts. Her firm is considered one of the nation’s premier sou...
DMC Firewall is developed by Dean Marshall Consultancy Ltd