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There should be a way to rate these shows.
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There should be a way to rate these shows.

Posted by Zephkatt 
There should be a way to rate these shows.
April 19, 2016 08:33AM
When I first started doing festivals many of the shows did not have websites, let alone online applications. When I first signed up for Zapp, it seemed like a great way to connect with more shows! But having done this for a few years, I can\'t say I like the shows on Zapp as much as shows NOT affiliated with Zapp, with one or two exceptions.... Many of the shows I have gone to after finding through Zapp have been abysmal, and on top of that the fees are often twice as high or more than shows I contact directly or find through word of mouth. Some have been downright scammy! Why is there no way to review these shows? Like YELP for artists! There is only so much information on festivals available here, and through the festival sites they are all glowing recommendations from the show organizers. OF COURSE SHOW ORGANIZERS HAVE ONLY GREAT THINGS TO SAY, THEY ARE PROMOTING THEIR EVENT. but as a full time artist, i need to make money at a show or I won\'t be able to make rent! I need to be able to assess whether a show is well attended, if it has high quality goods, and if it sells work that is ANYTHING like my own! Things you can\'t glean from promo materials! Also, I am not convinced that a show that only looks at three images of my work and won\'t allow you to apply in more than one category is really doing a great vetting process.
Re: There should be a way to rate these shows.
April 19, 2016 09:30AM

Thank you for posting on the ZAPP® forum. We are sorry to hear about your dissatisfaction with the event information provided on ZAPP®, we certainly empathize with your concerns. Each event that uses the ZAPP® system has its own policies and procedures for event management.

ZAPP® is the online event-management system events use to administer application and adjudication processes. As a software provider, we do not dictate event policies. All show process decisions, including the decision to license ZAPP®, are made by the administrators of each event.

As the ZAPP® system does not host a place to review art festivals, I encourage you to further your event research and join the conversation in the following two websites for more reviews and information provided by artists for artists.


Thank you for using ZAPP®!

ZAPP® Team
Re: There should be a way to rate these shows.
April 20, 2016 07:56AM
It sounds like you don\'t have enough experience doing art shows, or are not used to how the better shows operate. In over 30 years of shows, I\'ve only been asked for three images a handful of times. Most of the better shows ask for four plus a display. And if there isn\'t a limit on spaces per category, the show has no way to create a balanced presentation to the attendees. If you want to post or read reviews of shows, there are three places I can recommend but remember that the reviewers are giving personal experiences which may not relate to you.

Facebook groups art fair review and art fair reviews. Both are closed groups that you are required to join to participate. The other is art fair insiders web site.

Larry Berman
Re: There should be a way to rate these shows.
April 25, 2016 01:31PM
Sorry, only been doing it 10 years, how newbie of me. :p but Zapp here is a business site. Like Amazon, you can see reviews attached directly to a thing before you buy it, if a show is good, they should want those good reviews right there next to their application. If a show is not so good, those reviews may help them improve, or at least warn artists that it\'s maybe a rough crowd or bad locale. I have looked up the groups mentioned above and joined them. Many many good shows are not on them, for whatever reason. But I feel like Zapp should want to get in on this, as it impacts the reputation of their service as an application site as much as anything, if they host a bunch of shows that don\'t benefit their artists well, if no one links a review, you get folks like me who maybe havent found those review sites and tried some very expensive duds of shows through here, thinking that their affiliation with Zapp lent them a credibility that it did not!
Re: There should be a way to rate these shows.
April 25, 2016 01:36PM
Hi Zephkatt,

I wanted to let you know that your recommendation about allowing artists to review or rate shows is a suggestion that others have put forth. We have this on our list of potential future enhancements. I’m glad to know this is on our radar, as it sounds like it would be a valuable tool for you!

I hope the other links above we’ve mentioned will help you in your research of shows. As you know, ZAPP® is the online management system. We provide a software for art fairs and artists. Events of all sizes can license ZAPP®, and while we encourage transparency and offer suggestions for best practices, we cannot guarantee the outcome of participation in events listed on the site.

Thank you again for your feedback.

All best,
Christina, ZAPP® Manager

ZAPP® Team
Re: There should be a way to rate these shows.
April 25, 2016 01:45PM
Sounds great, i look forward to seeing what you come up with! I think it would really benefit your system as well as artists and shows. If a show consistently gets poor reviews you might not want to be affiliated with them. Of course everyone\'s sales and experiences can vary year-to-year, that\'s the nature of the business. Having looked up some shows on the sites you recommended I wish I\'d seen them before! Thanks!
Re: There should be a way to rate these shows.
August 08, 2016 11:31AM
I totally agree, there should be a way to rate shows. Some of them are terrible and not worth your time at all.
I don\\\'t know the secret way of finding \'the good\' shows (and have looked) so I depend on descriptions of shows, often on Zapp, and they are sometimes inaccurate. So it would be better to depend on artists to anonymously rate the shows. The problem with artfairinsiders, etc. is that their reviews of shows are given by the artists using their full names on those forums which could affect their chances of getting into those shows in the future (or not, depending the review). So people feel maybe they can\\\'t be totally honest. A simple 1-5 star rating system with an optional comment section might be enough. I don\\\'t know anywhere online where that exists.

Some of the descriptions of the art fairs here are just totally inaccurate. It would be nice to warn others off of those shows. They cost a lot of money to be in and when your money is at stake its not a joke if a show is wrongly described. There is also too much bragging and snobby attitudes by some artists on some of those \'insider\' sites. I would just like to see a simple rating system with short honest comments.

In fact, I signed on to the forum today to see if there is a way to notify Zapp that an art festival description is false, in order to warn other artists, but there doesn\'t seem to be a way to do that.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/08/2016 11:34AM by shellyleit.
Re: There should be a way to rate these shows.
August 08, 2016 11:36AM
How do we let you know when a show description is dishonest or wrong, to warn others about it? I don\\\'t think shows should be providing you with false information to promote their art fairs. And some of them are.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/08/2016 11:37AM by shellyleit.
Re: There should be a way to rate these shows.
August 10, 2016 08:14AM
Hello Shellyleit,

Please excuse the delay in responding to you, and thank you for taking the time to comment! ZAPPlication® makes every effort to educate show administrators on best practices and encourage transparency regarding a show\'s guidelines and policies. That said, we do not dictate the content of a show\'s application or the policies with which they conduct their show management, as we are simply the software solution events choose to manage their application processes.

Issues with show policy need to be directed to the show administrator. In this case, perhaps providing the show with feedback about how their show description may be inaccurate can be helpful to both the show and other artists?

In the event you suspect a show is operating outside legal boundaries, however, please email us at so we can investigate further.

The ZAPP Team

ZAPP® Team
Re: There should be a way to rate these shows.
September 23, 2016 12:51PM
I had just started another discussion that could have been commented here...I agree art shows need to rated and more accountable. Please see my discussion \"Jury Outcome Fact or Fiction Random or Precise?\"

Have you ever wondered or at least hoped that there was some type of consistency on the jury process from show to show? I have always been very baffled by this very secret process. When you hit the tab in Zapplication for Jury Details, it may or may not give you any insight whether your jury fees are money well spent or if it is just put into the coffers of the event director. Some with detailed information-some with no details at all!

Please don\\\'t get me wrong, I have been excepted into many Fine Art Shows and have won awards. I sometimes am baffled though when or if I am rejected to find out that someone that I know gets into an art show under the same category that is a little less artistic or knowledge of that art. I know what you are thinking either I am all into myself or a sore loser-the answer is no! I am just trying find the rhyme or reason to it all.
Once we all crack those codes we will all be able to sleep tonight.

What I am finding out over the years is that by applying to an art show no artist is guaranteed that you will judged by a juror with knowledge of your art category. That a juror may judge on personal taste and not the content and the mastery of the piece. The juror may judge higher marks and critique a submission on the same art that they do. When do we start questioning the outcome and make some shows be accountable on the process of their jury selection and scores? Are we asking too much for the 30-45.00 dollars we paid in advance to have them be the gate keepers? Why is it not required at the point of denial that in that letter it gives a brief comment as to why you received that rejection? So, what did my 45.00 go toward? 3 Photos of my art and 1 photo of my booth with 3 jurors looking at each one of my photos less than 2-5 minutes....

A new day will come when artist band together and start a Union for equality and accountability.

I know there are other artist out there with my own bad taste and concern over the jury process. Maybe Zapplication can be a leader and make some type of standard for us artist that is using this forum to apply to show? Until then we as artist need to be actively reviewing these art shows and posting them on the available forums so other artist can make a more educated decision to apply. Not only just on the experience of the show but the interaction with the show hosts whether they were accommodating to your requests on your score outcome, or whether they could give you impute why you were not selected. Some shows will not give you the time of the day after the judging ends and some will give open criticism that could help you secure the next show. Is that too much to ask for that is included in the jury fee?

I would like also like to note on this discussion that some responder always responds that we are \"inexperience\" \"a newbie\" on a multiple discussions -that is absurd! Those comments are uncalled for and unrelated to the real concerns of any artist whether they have been in the art scene for 1 month or 40 years.

thank you.
Re: There should be a way to rate these shows.
October 18, 2016 11:10AM
Not sure if it was mentioned here but the best way I know to check ratings of shows is the \"Artfair Sourcebook\". Greg Lawler runs the site and has been in the business for over 30 years and I think he still sells himself. The reviews and ratings are spot on. Its not free but one of the best uses for the reviews is to find out what are the good high traffic areas in a show. Some great shows have some bad areas to avoid.
Good Luck
Re: There should be a way to rate these shows.
August 15, 2019 02:26PM
So what does it take for zapp to step in and remove a show/promoter when fraud is being committed (by the promoter)?
Re: There should be a way to rate these shows.
August 15, 2019 04:17PM
Hello usscenics,

We are sorry you had a bad experience with one of the events listed on our site. ZAPPlication is only the technology platform these events use to run their application and while we do our best to convey and promote best practices to our clients, we cannot ensure all events follow our advice. However, we do look at every application before it goes live to ensure artists are able to apply and that the dates listed within the prospectus are consistent.

If you have specific feedback for a show or promoter, we recommend reaching out directly to them. Relaying your experience to the event could help create a better fair or festival experience for future artists. If you do not wish to connect with them directly, we can pass on your feedback anonymously.

All the best,
The ZAPP team