Become an Artist >> Browse Articles >> Art Licensing


5 "Shoulds" for Exhibiting at Art Trade Shows

5 "Shoulds" for Exhibiting at Art Trade Shows

Tara Reed |

If you are exhibiting at an art licensing trade show, here are some tips from an artist who has exhibited at more than ten shows in the past six years. Whether you have booked a booth at CHA, AmericasMart, Surtex or the Licensing Expo, here are some basic things to consider before you pack your bags and travel around the country.

1. Know why you are going to the trade show you have chosen.

What types of manufacturers do you expect to meet? What type of art will they be looking for? Are you prepared to talk about how and why your art would be a good fit for their products?

2. Make sure your booth is reflective of you.

Have you put your best work forward? Is your name or company name easy to see? Can a manufacturer tell what type of art you have at a glance? If the answers are not a firm “YES!” then rethink your booth design. There will be so much competing for the attention of manufacturers walking any trade show that they need to have a compelling reason to stop and learn more about you and your work.

3. Have good materials for manufacturers to walk away with.

As well as a business card with your website, phone number and email address, it is a good idea to have something they can take with examples of your art on it. It can be as simple as a postcard, but something to jog their memory about the type of art you have when they leave the show is always a good idea.

4. Gather information.

You are investing a lot of time and energy, not to mention money, exhibiting at a trade show. So make sure you have a plan for collecting and organizing the contacts you make, what art they were interested in and any other details from your conversation. Why go if you don’t leave with leads that aren’t available online?

5. Follow up.

After the show is over, your work has just begun. Yes, you will be tired and feel like a weight has been lifted because you are done, home, back in your own bed. But following up with the manufacturers you met is the key to success in licensing. Make a plan and stick to it, never assume that they will call you first.

Find the right campus or online art or design program for you!