An art fair is a warehouse-size temporary show where artists and consumers meet and mingle. Putting up, managing and breaking down an art market requires sophisticated event management expertise.
“Art fairs are sort of a cross between a rock concert and a trade show,” says Max Fishko, co-founder of Brooklyn-based Art Market Productions, a company that launches and coordinates art fairs all around the country. “It is very much like operating a traveling circus.”
For anyone who is planning to produce a large, live event, organization is everything, Fishko says. “You can’t really plan to staff an event unless you know what needs to be done. If you think you can do all of this in your head or on the back of an envelope, you are out of your mind.”
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Launched six years ago from Fishko’s spare bedroom in his New York apartment, Art Market Productions now has 12 full-time employees, is running a seven-figure sales revenue and is profitable.
In addition to mapping out everyone’s responsibilities, Fishko says he is a big believer in trying to get his employes off the floor when they aren’t mission-critical. Exhausted employees aren’t productive, he says.
For more insights into launching a live event with many moving parts, check out the video above.