Open to the public Nov 16th to 17th 2024 Stratford-upon-Avon Town Hall at Stratford-upon-Avon Town Hall CV37 6EF

Can one have too much bling at an Arts Fair?



In my research at Art Fairs, Festival, Craft events and Markets I am always looking to learn how they do things. I chat with as many artists as possible, organisers and volunteers and from each event I visit there is always something that sparks an idea that can inform how I curate Discover:Gather:Give, and this year it has been about branding and bling.

Thanks to Dave Pearson I feel #Cafdgg has a strong, clean, recognisable and easily identifiable brand. Our branding offers security, shares the personality of our business and its credibility. Emotionally we connect and share values with our visitors who in turn offer loyalty by returning to visit on a regular basis.

The more I talk to organisers in this time of unknown and political unease the more I realise the importance of a trusted brand and for visitors to anticipate the standard of art works they are coming to see, the experience of the event plus their continual support of artists by buying the work on display, commissioning a piece after the event or attending a lecture or workshop –  it is that level of engagement and on-going patronage that #Cafdgg inspires .

I believe that we can no longer just expect visitors to turn up at the Town Hall door, we need to bring them in to enjoy the experience, to be encouraged to engage with artists and to feel the excitement in discovering new and challenging art work. Nothing makes me happier as I walk the event to hear an artist sharing their creative process with a visitor, and later seeing a wrapped parcel leaving the artists exhibition space under the arm of a contented patron.

All too often the events I visited relied on past successes with the same or similar art work; getting that balance between the new and established artists is such a difficult note to get right where both the artists and the visitors feel the event has been a success and further to quantify that success in real terms such as sales on the day and follow up sales. With a strong brand I believe one can introduce new artists whilst keeping the standard of art work at an exceptional level.

#Cafdgg is not a super trendy, white cubicled event full of highly priced statement pieces on plinths; it has a curated balance with both traditional art and pieces to make you think, feel and cannot ignore. Our brand stands for art for all, of passion and the joy in the making, sharing, creating and collection of art. It is unique in the region for being a free entry event with such an array of art open for you.

I started by asking can one have too much bling and no other event has anything like the Golden Cup Cafe, for me it has just the right amount of bling to keep it the positive side of tasteful kitsch; although it is becoming a close call with my golden serving platters for our Private View…