The Top 10 Tips for Art Fair Success

Artists all over the world rely on art fairs and festivals to promote their brand and sell their products. Many artists depend on these events for their livelihood, and many do very well.

According to the TEFAF Art Marketing Report for 2018, over one million people attended the world’s top 20 art fairs last year. And projected sales for this year hover around the $45 billion mark.
That’s 45 BILLION dollars!

So when I tell you that art fairs are the best way I know to sell art, the numbers back me up.

Art fairs and festivals can also help you build audience, create community, and command the attention of gallerists and curators.

If you’re an artist who’s interested in using this powerful opportunity to build your career, I’ve created these Top 10 Tips for artists wanting to access the powerful reach of art fairs:

  1. Put the research first. Preparation is your best friend because when it comes to art fairs, you can’t plan too much.
  2. Follow instructions. Artists are known for breaking the rules, but the place to break them is in your work, not in your professional submissions.
  3. Get super-organized and create a system to make sure all the details are covered. This will make the difference between a fair experience that’s fluid and focused, and a fair experience that’s frantic and confusing.
  4. Pay attention to your brand when you exhibit. All of your materials should be created with your brand in mind, even down to the details. It’s all about consistency and authenticity.
  5. Don’t overhang your booth! Art fairs are overwhelming enough. The booths that stand out and are the most inviting are the booths that allow viewers — and the artwork — the space to breathe.
  6. Art fairs are an excellent investment, but think long term. Don’t invest everything you have in one art fair, there are too many variables outside of your control. So plan for success, but keep your feet on the ground and manage your expectations.
  7. Promote your booth before and during the fair. Be sure to let people know exactly where to find you. Share your excitement with your audience!
  8. Be sure to follow up on your leads because the best sales often happen after the fair.
  9. Stay positive, even when things don’t appear to be going your way. Your energy affects everything.
  10. Remember that art fairs are a powerful way to build relationships – both with an audience and with other artists. Be sure to put your best smile on and engage!

You don’t have to be an exhibitor to get the benefits of a fair. It’s also important to see what other artists are doing, what galleries are showing, and finding work that inspires you.

So even if you don’t have any plans to exhibit in an art fair yourself, I urge you to visit art fairs whenever you get the opportunity. You’ll always find something to learn, someone to meet, and something to see.

Learn more about art fairs and festivals at The Working Artist website. The Art Fair Essentials program is an online workshop that will fast track your success. Honestly, there is nothing else like it on the market. For more information: click here.

Crista Cloutier is a Professional Arts Career Advisor who has worked in and around the art business throughout her career. She’s been honored as an “Influencer in the Contemporary Art World” by LinkedIn. She spent a decade as the director of an influential gallery, is recognized internationally as a curator, has contributed articles and books about art to major publications worldwide, and she’s an artist herself.


Crista is also the founder of The Working Artist, an online professional practices resource for artists who want to get their work seen and sold.


How To Sell Your Art

Packed with helpful information to help you accelerate success. When you sign up for this free eBook, you’ll also receive a complimentary micro-workshop, Jump: Go Deeper Into Your Artist Practice.

You can claim your copy here >


The Working Artist Masterclass

For artists who are ready to go deeper into their professional development; over the span of 8 weeks, you’ll be walked step-by-step through this unique program on a journey that you’ll never forget.

  • • Explore who you are as an artist, so your branding and marketing message are completely authentic.
  • • Understand how to price your art, create compelling promotional materials, and navigate the art world.
  • * Learn how to connect with collectors and art world-decision makers.

This is an online, on-demand comprehensive workshop that also includes Art Fair Essentials, an intensive program that will help you to achieve more sales during a fair. In addition, you’ll be invited to Crista’s monthly Coaching Calls that will continue to support you even after you finish the course.

You can receive a special discounted offer upon joining the mailing list. To learn more, visit


Private Mentorship Program

If you’re a mid-career artist with an exhibition record, Crista Cloutier offers the opportunity for private one-on-one Skype consultations. Every artist’s journey is unique so Crista will work with you in terms of your specific needs so you feel completely prepared for the art fair world.


You can receive a special discounted offer upon joining the mailing list. To learn more, visit

"Crista Cloutier is an extraordinary facilitator for change, creativity and prosperity.” Griselda Cann Mussett


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