Sunday, April 26, 2009

Promotion and Rolling With The Punches

This weekend I did a Saturday first-time show. My sales covered all of my expenses and fees, but were otherwise uninspiring.

My initial thoughts? "First-time show... The economy... Fort Worth..." etc. But I generally aknowledge that success is sometimes purely a crap-shoot. Mood or whim or location or whatever can contribute to an 'off day'..and I had one.

Imagine my surprise when another vendor and friend at the same exact show commented that it had been her single most successful show ever!

Who knows why, but two things stood out for me:

1) She had fresh work, just produced/finished that week and;

2) She'd invited tons of folks she knew, had sold to before, were family and friends, etc.

Maybe just excitement, fresh work and promotion did it. Or maybe not...but it doesn't hurt!


Friday, April 3, 2009

Special Event Insurance for Art Shows

This may be considered off-topic for a blog that guides new artists and crafters about showing and other business topics, but having gone through what is retrospectively an arduous process, I'm going to at least speak to the issues. Just remember where you saw this and come back when the info is needed.

Recently I agreed to investigate Special Event insurance for an art event I'm helping to put on; an indoor art show. The venue required this as part of our doing the event there.

The first questions we had to find out, and submit to the various insurance carriers were these:

  • What is the date and location of the event?
  • How many people will attend?
  • What is the required amount of coverage?
  • Will you serve alcohol and require that to be covered by liability insurance?

Armed with this info, and a few other facts; the name of the event, etc, I proceeded to get quotes. I went to both to a local insurer and to several internet companies. I got quotes ranging from $275 for a one-day festival to $2000!

My experience is that it is critical to have the right date range and attendee amounts. Both significantly affect the price.

I went to the internet insurer first and accepted a Thursday-Sunday date range, despite our event being only on a Saturday, thinking "how much can it matter". I also put in 2000-3000 attendees, again thinking "how much can this matter"?

The quote came back as around $900 if we served alcohol and about $500 if we didn't; way too much for our meager budget.

I then went back to the same insurer and limited the coverage to just the day of the show and entered in 1000 attendees (since this was closer to what we expected anyway). The quote dropped from $500-ish to $265-ish; still more than expected but closer to what we could afford.

I went back one more time and put in 800 attendees; our best guesstimate. This made no difference. It appears that Event Insurance applies some kind of minimum liability and that 1000 attendees is the lower limit of this particular carrier.

In the meantime, my brick-and-mortar insurer came back with a quote of about $500.for the $1M, etc, etc. I sent her the name of the internet insurer and asked about the delta between her quote and theirs. Her response?

Internet companies have lower fees, as one might expect BUT she also advised that one should make sure to use an insurance company that is rated A- or better. Apparently this rating tells the consumer how capable an entity is of actually paying a claim, should one arise....knock on wood.

Good luck!