Sunday, September 14, 2008

Swiss Days

Let me start off saying that I’ll be reporting on the last 5 shows I’ve done a little out of order. I want to get the posts that are the most fresh in my mind out now and I’ll fill in reports on Billings, MT. - Boseman, MT – and a second show in Whitefish, MT as time allows.

I’ve been doing this show (Swiss Days) for the past 6 years and as long as I keep getting juried in, I’ll continue to make the long drive south to attend.

Swiss Days is a great community event for the town of Midway, Utah. It’s not only an arts & crafts show (emphasis heavy on the craft side) but the residents also come out for the parade, barbeque and music. This show is always held on Labor Day weekend in the little town south east of Park City, UT. When I first did this show, I was a little concerned about it’s remote location. The booth fee was high for a two-day show and this, coupled by how far away from a major population center it was worried me. An hour into the show, all my concerns over attendance was dispelled. The directors report 75,000 in attendance, which seems very accurate.

Because this show is held on LDS church grounds, the event starts on Friday and finished up on Saturday. Unusual for a 2-day show but it works for Swiss Days. Fridays are always slammed and in fact if you aren’t ready at least and hour before the official start time of 8 AM you’ll miss a great opportunity to catch the early arrivers.

As I stated before, the festival is highly slanted towards country crafts. Out of the approximately 200 booths, there are only 12 or so flat artists. Bizarre I know but it works for the show. I’ve been lucky enough over the years to be included in this small group and my sales are buoyed by the lack of choices for shoppers of wall art. That is unless you include the many wooden country craft type signs makers that seem to be everywhere.

This ratio mix obviously works for Swiss Days or they wouldn’t have been around for the decades they have.

Weather is always touch and go for this event. You’re on the backside of Park City ski resort so prepare for all types of weather conditions. I’ve seen searing heat into the low 100’s as well as sleety snow so be fore warned. This year had the best weather I can remember, mid 80’s with a slight breeze, perfect.

It seems that my trend of higher sales is still continuing (knock on wood) and Swiss Days was no exception. I was up 25% over 2007, which blows my mind considering how conservative this area, and state is and the abstract art I create. Go figure.

Swiss Days

Booth fee - $675.00
Cost of sales ratio – A
Hours of operation – B (8 AM to 8 PM)
Location – B (would have been an A if it were so freaking far away
Event staff A- (a little uptight over small things)
Overall grade A-

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