|They shouldn't have sent out the fife and drum! Up and down they marched from one end of the show to the other and it worked. Like a rain dance of old, the gods answered, releasing waves of heavy showers on this one day show to coincide exactly with the show hours... not a total wash, but close. On the day before the weather was perfect, but such is the gamble of a one day show. And boy, did it rain! The showers came in waves each new shower washing away a few more folks. By show's end, the few folks that remained were only asking for business cards in fear that the sky would open again and drench everything. Dang, I had looked forward to this show!|
The Greg Lawler guides sight An Occasion for the Arts (AOFTA) in Williamsburg, VA as one of the best one day shows in the East, but having done many one day shows in the Midwest and the East, I think it is the best one-day show in both regions and maybe even best one-day show in the country, though being a hometown boy, I might be bias. Truth is this show is solid and its been around since 1969. It is a well organized and promoted event.
Next year the reign of best one day show will end as AOFTA will move to a two day venue. Until now the show has not been for the slow or fainthearted. You have to setup, sell like gangbusters, and then take down, all on the same day. I'm sure there are artists who will welcome the change to a two day event. I'm on the fence about this. I like the buying energy that this show currently creates and I also like that it is a very affordable show to do, booth $175. I'm not sure sales will improve by moving the show to two days, but I am sure artist's cost will increase: more days in a hotel, a more expensive booth fees to pay for security, etc. Moving it to two days will certainly create a bump to the hospitality industry which has been hit hard by the economic downturn. It will also put an end to a two day combo. Surprisingly, there are artists that head up to Alexandra, VA the day before and do the one day Art on the Avenue. Two one-day shows in a row will test your moxie. You rule Richard and Tina Toft.
OK get to the meat, what about the sales. Well excluding this year, because of the rains, the buying energy at this show is almost frantic... AOFTA is a community show, which folks look forward to for months and they come to buy ART and not just walk their dogs. You're probably thinking that buying would be on the more traditional and conservative side. That has not been my experience. My work is non-traditional and more abstract and I do very well here. I highly recommend this show.