GOODWOOD RACECOURSE – 2019
A review as both an exhibitor and event co-organiser, by Fraser Renton.
I thought readers would appreciate a review of our event from both an exhibitor and event co-organiser’s point of view. This review may also answer some of the questions you have for us. If you have heard about us and are thinking about visiting or applying to exhibit, please get in touch.
I would like to take this opportunity in saying a massive thank to everyone who was part of our first event at Goodwood Racecourse. I would also like to thank everyone who has called, texted and emailed such wonderful comments of positivity as well as suggestions on how the event can improve going forward. I have been very touched by how many exhibitors want this event to be an ongoing success as much as we do, so thank you!
Having lived in West Sussex since 2015, I wondered why there were no major art events in the area, (apart from the smaller craft shows which can be found in local villages dotted around our county). Having never organised an event like this before, I needed to join forces with someone who had an extensive knowledge of event organisation as well as the right personalities to work together with. It was a no-brainer for me to approach Lemon Art’s – Oliver and Leah, both of whom I had met after having exhibited at The New Artist Fair and Talented Art Fair.
With months of discussions and planning, it was agreed that Goodwood Racecourse would be a super location for our inaugural event and the home of this art fair going forward.
Being a fresh audience in West Sussex it was imperative we needed to make an impression as all of our visitors would be first timers. With a curated event offering a diverse range of works from local, national and international exhibitors we wanted to make this a truly international art fair. Ever since inception, we have been dedicated to making the event a success and hope it will become a fixture in the art calendar yearly events of places to go to and be seen at.
When initially researching Goodwood Racecourse we realised it would be a 10 minute drive from Chichester, the nearest big city. I am not afraid to admit that I had a few sleepless nights worrying whether or not people would drive to our first event, nevertheless with the right advertising campaigns and positive belief, we promoted, promoted and promoted so that we could bring in the demographic that we were so hoping for. With flyer runs, adverts, editorials, cover pages and radio mentions and online inclusions 3 months prior to our opening, we covered the majority of West Sussex up to South West London, some of which can be seen in our Editorials section.
It was evident from the start that our inaugural event was not going to be a fair similar to others that were either in make shift tents or set up in a large rectangular spaces with grids and avenues for visitors to walk up and down. We really loved the idea of having an event where people could explore the venue and all the different areas The March Stand had to offer. From the beginning, our favourite areas were the two atriums with the natural light shining in through the glass roofs, areas that a number of our visitors have already requested rebooking.
We were always aware that being in a new venue there could be teething problems, but we were confident that we could put on an event within The March Stand that our exhibitors would enjoy, make sales at and meet art lovers and buyers from all over West Sussex. Our visitors arrived to see a plethora of different styles and practices with something for everyone and throughout the duration of our event we received many compliments from our visitors, some of which can be seen in our Testimonials section.
From the positive comments we have been receiving since the event from both our visitors and exhibitors, as well as requests from exhibitors to rebook their same stands at the next fair, we are thrilled that the event was enjoyed as much as it was by us. To hear that exhibitors are already receiving after-sales and commissions along with the sales they made over the weekend is completely heart warming.
Because of our love for wildlife, we really wanted to bring in a charity that promoted the wellbeing of wildlife in Sussex and so our partnership with Sussex Wildlife Trust was a ’natural’ choice. We were completely overwhelmed and touched by the generosity of our exhibitors and their donations for the charity stand and we are pleased to announce that 30 of your donations were purchased raising an amazing £1,500 of which all proceeds go to the charity! Thank you to everyone who made a purchase!
We also really loved the idea of joining forces with artPAKK who generously offered each exhibitor a free bag for their own use as well as giving free bags to every sale that left the building on the evening of The Private Viewing. The rest of the weekend every bag that left with an artwork in it was on us! Many of our exhibitors have already expressed how much they enjoyed having their artworks secured in these bags and we are proud to say we are the first art fair to offer this as a service at no extra cost to our exhibitors or visitors.
We were also lucky to partner up with CassArt who generously donated materials to our exhibitors including discount codes and are very happy at the number of which have been used. Our own paint supply has been fully re-stocked so thank you CassArt! We look forward to working together with you at future events.
Over the weekend just over 3,000 visitors came to our fair purchasing tens of thousands of punds worth of original art, and for a first event we are absolutely thrilled with these figures!