Increase Your Profits
Sell Your Art or Crafts at
Juried Shows

copyright by Rena Klingenberg

If you sell your art or crafts at shows, fairs, and festivals, you can increase your profits by focusing on selling at juried shows. Although juried shows are harder to be accepted into, and the booth fees and other expenses tend to be higher, they are often much more profitable for artists than the shows that are less expensive and easier to get into.

Some juried shows have strict requirements about how your booth is set up and what you can sell – which, although this can feel limiting, can also help "keep the riff-raff out" and maintain a high quality show.

The appeal of being in juried shows is that they are generally run well, with a good mix of higher caliber vendors, and they tend to attract a larger crowd – often bigger-spending shoppers who like to purchase quality handcrafted items. (Our favorite kind of customers!)

Although a juried show's restrictions and higher fees may be more challenging for the vendors, many artists and crafters find that the more profitable returns make it worth jumping through all the hoops to get accepted and participate.

What Makes a Show "Juried"?

A juried show is one where your acceptance is based on the approval of a "jury" that screens the applications and slides, looking for quality vendors and products.

Some juries consist only of the show promoter and a staff member or two. Others consist of an elaborately selected group of art educators, artists, art patrons, or gallery owners.

The jury usually accepts only a limited number of artists from each medium to the show, so your art or crafts (and application package) are competing against those of other artists in your medium.

That's why careful attention to your application and professional-quality slides are vital if you want to get into juried shows – particularly if you're in a relatively crowded medium like jewelry.

Applying for Juried Shows

To apply for a juried show, request an application package from the show promoter. Read everything very carefully before filling anything out, and follow the application requirements to the letter.

Along with your application package, send in your jury fee and application fee (sometimes they're combined as one fee, and sometimes they're separate).

If you wind up not being accepted into a juried show, you rarely receive a refund for your jury fee; it's paid to the jury members to compensate them for their time and expertise. You may or may not be refunded for your accompanying show application fee, depending on the show's refund policy. It’s important to be aware of the particular show's refund policies before applying, to be sure you know what to expect if you're not accepted.

If you aren't accepted into a juried show the first time you apply, don't lose heart or give up. Just keep working toward making your crafts more unique and well-made, your displays more professional, and your slides truly outstanding.

Apply again the next time the show puts out a call for artists. As your work evolves and the board of jurors changes, you'll have plenty of opportunities to be accepted to future editions of the show.

If you want any of your application materials (such as your slides) returned to you after the jurying process, include a self-addressed, stamped envelope attached to a politely written request to have them sent back to you.

Learn how to find good shows for selling your work, plus hundreds of other success secrets for selling your jewelry and other handcrafts at shows, in Rena Klingenberg's ebook, "Ultimate Guide to Your Profitable Jewelry Booth".

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