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Buyers Market of American Craft - Summer 2010 E-mail

 

 

SHOW: BUYERS MARKET OF AMERICAN CRAFT (Baltimore, MD)

DATES: August 23-25, 2010

ART/CRAFT EXHIBITORS: 360

EST. ATTENDANCE: 3,500

BOOTH COST (10x10): $1,515

 

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First the good news: Baltimore is a great city with a lot of charm and the work exhibited at the Buyers Market of American Craft represents, closer than any other wholesale craft show, what you see in most craft galleries/gift shops in America.

 

Now the bad news: I visited Wednesday (the last day of the show) and the attendance was as dismal as BMAC-Summer1anything I’ve seen at any wholesale show that I’ve ever been to.

 

The aisles were so empty it reminded me of the summer wholesale show the ACC used to put forward until they realized it was a dud and discontinued it.

 

From the artists I spoke with – and they had plenty of time to speak – the attendance wasn’t any better the previous two days of the show.


I hate to convey such bad news about this show, especially after it looked like the Rosen Group’s recent Niche Show in Las Vegas was a success.


After years of being housed in Philadelphia the summer show was moved to Baltimore, where the Rosen Group corporate office is located. This year’s show also happened in late August - following the New York Int’l. Gift Fair - after historically taking place prior to the NYIGF.


I somewhat buy the notion that some artists put forward that attendance was partially affected because of the change in location and timing, but this show has been on the decline for a number of years.BMAC-Summer2


Although advertised to buyers that there would be 500 exhibitors, the actual count was closer to 360. (I can’t find on the Rosen Group website what attendance was promised to the exhibitors.)


This includes some exhibitors with the quality of work Wendy Rosen never would have accepted in the past and a handful of Regional Etsy groups.


I have nothing against Etsy groups, but isn’t the whole notion of Etsy to be a direct link from the artist to the consumer and basically cut out the middleman/gallery?


If the artists that were part of an Etsy – or for that matter regional crafts group – are writing orders with galleries, shouldn’t they have to take the same financial risk the rest of the artists are taking?BMAC-Summer3


With the exception of the summer NYIGF, it’s become evident that for the past number of years, most buyers for galleries and gift shops are focused on attending just the winter wholesale shows.


As much as I know that the staff at the Rosen Group wants the summer version of the BMAC to be a success - and they work hard to make it one – I believe the buyers have made their decision.

 

CSN

082310

 

 

 

 

 

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