American Craft Council - Baltimore Public Show E-mail



SHOW: American Craft Council Public Show (Baltimore, MD)

DATES: February 22-24, 2013



BOOTH COST (10x10): $1,360 (retail only)





Like every other show CSN reviews, we only get to experience the front-end. What we see and experience as a shopper is pretty much what we go on in our reports. It’s not until the exhibitor surveys are in and the exhibitor comments are read that we can really get a feel for an entire show.

If you are a craft collector or just someone who wants to pick up a gift of handmade craft, then this show is probably the best place to go. It’s not just that the overall quality of the work is great, it’s also that there is just so much great work from which to choose.

Sure, there might be a few little annoyances that you have to deal with when shopping this show - like crowded aisles and a concrete floor that eventually makes your feet cry for relief - but if you want choice, choice is in abundance.

If you are an artist, however, some of those things that make the show so great for a shopper can be a show stopper for you.

While having neighbors that produce high quality work is nice, competing against over 600 of them for business can be daunting. Even with a weekend attendance of 18,000+ visitors, there just isn’t enough money to go around for that many exhibitors.

accretailbalt13-2According to the results of the CSN exhibitor survey, close to 40% of those artists that responded came away from the show with less than $2,500 in sales. When you factor in booth and travel costs those artists lost money.

We aren’t talking about artists who make tchotchkes or imports disguised as handmade. This is all good work.

And while a shopper might only have to deal with the non-aesthetic concrete floors for a few hours, many of the artists - especially those that stand in front of the booth greeting customers - leave the show each evening with aching legs.

While the cost of the booth may seem excessive to some artists, the fact that this show attracts so many visitors makes the space worth the money spent. I wouldn’t hold my breath expecting the ACC to make the show smaller, with fewer artists, without increasing the cost of the booths.

Besides, this show has been very popular for years and has pretty much always had a very high number of booths; so if you are an artist and decide to apply to this show, you should know right away what you are up against.

accretailbalt13-3That being said, it’s pretty certain that the wish list for almost every artist that gets into the ACC Baltimore Public show would start out like this:

1.  Fewer booths
2. Carpet the floors

My list would also include 3.) widen the aisles and 4.) invite small, thin people who know not to stop and chit-chat in the middle of them . . .



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