Reflections on Shows Year to Date

October 12, 2023

I was listening to a podcast on a long drive and it made me wonder what the ratio of show cost to sales is for my shows. Last year was my first year doing shows and I've done many more shows this year than I did last year. This is just some basic math which takes the cost for the show divided by the sales I had for that show.

Most of the shows I've done are in the 10-15% range. I've done two shows this year that cost significantly more. Both of those shows I felt like I wasn't getting my moneys worth. The first one was a 5 day show (over 2 weekends) that had a ton of foot traffic, that just wasn't buying. I've been told that show was good in the past, but all the vendors were saying that sales were way down. The second was a 3 day show that I had to travel for. It was significantly better last year, but this year they had a tent sale that competed with the vendors. These shows were well run, but ultimately I was struggling with the return. They are the highest % below too - 28% and 19%. The 28% doesn't account for the fact that it was 5 very long days and the 19% doesn't account for my travel fees. I'm going to add up the travel fees and add that in.

I see a lot on various threads that your sales should be 10x your booth fee. If I take out those two shows then I am getting that on average. I still have more shows to do this year and I'll keep looking at the numbers as I do. It's going to shape how I approach shows next year. I also want to figure out a way to figure out time as a factor into this measurement. My local market is 6 times a year and is only 5 hours. Other shows are much longer and it can feel like they drag.

I feel like artists often don't want to think about the business side of things, but having metrics and using them to improve is really important to growing your business. Reflections on Shows Year to Date

You Might Also Like


Popular Posts

About me

Contact Form


Email *

Message *



Weekly updates on blog posts, where to find me at fairs, and other pertinent info. I will not sell your information.