I’m regularly asked what trade shows exist for artists who license or want to license their work.  That question is often followed up by, “Which one should I do” and “When do I know if I’m ready?”

I can’t tell an artist which show will be “the one” for them or when they are ready but I can give you some links and some generic advice.  Then it’s up to you to decide. Sound fair?

Every person will have different results from trade shows based on your art, preparation, how you work the booth, how your art fits what people are looking for, etc.  I will say that you need to have a body of work before investing in a trade show booth.  Paul Brent recommends a minimum of 25-40 collections – groups of 4 or more coordinating images or collections of coordinating icons, borders and patterns.  Or… some combination of the two.  With less – you probably won’t get enough interest to justify the expense.  More is always better… one constant in this business is manufacturers asking, “What do you have that’s new?”

The two art licensing trade shows

There used to be four yearly shows that are either entirely for licensing or have sections specifically for artists who license their art but it is now down to the two that have been around since the 80s.    I’ve  included a link to the websites, a general time frame and a brief description of the show.

SURTEX – New York City – May

  • Trade show solely focused on artists and agencies in art licensing.
  • Show website: www.SURTEX.com

Licensing Expo – Las Vegas – June

  • This show covers all aspects of licensing – sports, movies, tv as well as art.
  • Show website: www.LicensingExpo.com

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

P.S. Need help preparing? Do you need tools to help you get your booth, your game plan, your game face, every ready? Don’t forget we have lots of options – eBooks, audios, and more at www.ArtLicensingInfo.com/shows.html Click on over and see what might help you put your best art-foot forward!