Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Year #2 - a bad start continues a bad trend

So far this year, I've done 2 shows, and I'm off to a very bad start. At both shows, after accounting for booth fees and travel expenses, I actually lost money. In fact, these 2 shows have continued a disturbing trend thats been going on since my very first show: each show has been less profitable than the last.

My first show ever (last year's Livonia show) was a very good show for me, but the next 2 shows showed a considerable drop in sales. By the 4th show, I lost a tiny bit of money. The 5th show, and my last show of 2006) saw about a $50-$75 loss. However, I tried not to let that bother me because A) I'm still getting started and have a lot to learn, and a lot of improvements to make, and B) I got some very good photographs on that trip, so it wasn't a total loss...more of an investment.

Determined to turn things around for 2007, I created some new works and put together a more impressive display. Being that Livonia did so well for me in 2006, I had high hopes for 2007. However, in the end, I ended up losing somewhere between $75 and $100. My second show was scheduled to be in Saint Clair. I had heard many positive things about this show from many people, and once again had high hopes. However, I ended up losing between $150-$175.

However, in spite of all the negatives, I try to look on the bright side. The first and most obvious bright spot: My next show is local, which means no hotel fees, and the booth fee was only $190. That means in order to break my current trend of smaller profits (and now bigger losses), all I need to do is sell 1 or 2 prints and not spend any money on food (which is easy...I bring lunch and snacks from home). That may be a little victory, but I'm actually much more hopeful than that. This is a big show (and long...four 11 hour days) and theres been some advertising done already. I'm hopeful that it wont just be a smaller loss, but actually return me to some degree of profitability.

My other positive outlook on the matter is that I wasn't the only one doing poorly. At each show, a large majority of other artists were doing just as terrible. This means it isn't just me. Perhaps I can figure out something to make me stand out and become one of the few who do succeed, but at least its not a case of just me doing something blatantly wrong.

In the next couple of days I'll post some more detailed reports on these first 2 shows.

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