ATLANTA--As visitors descended the escalators to this year's DECOR expo Atlanta show in September at the Georgia World Congress Center, they were greeted by a mix of art and framing professionals.
Hundreds of exhibitors and thousands of attendees weaved through aisles featuring mouldings, equipment, posters, serigraphs, lithographs, original art and more. This year, in addition to the usual representatives from the graphic and reproduction communities, a stronger presence was felt from the higher end limited-edition publishers in the Portfolio Fine Art Pavilion, which featured serigraphs, sculpture, monoprints, giclees and original paintings.
While some exhibitors in the Pavilion reported lower sales figures, citing the fact that some original printmaking editions are beyond the pricing structure of many attendees, others reported positive aspects of the event. "It was our first time here, and the show was well-run," said Eric Dannemann, president of Chalk & Vermilion Fine Art. "Orders were higher than we expected. However, our principal purpose was to `show the flag' and make new friends, which we feel we accomplished, despite the fact that a relatively small percentage of the attendees seemed to be looking for art."
"It was a good show--I'm not going to say it was great," said Colville Publishing's Victoria Berg. "I think what was successful about it is that we sold the higher end this time. Atlanta traditionally has been a low-end show, and we changed how we presented ourselves there. We had absolutely no posters on the wall. It changed how people purchased from us."
In all, many exhibitors seemed to enjoy the increased presence of art at the show. "It attracts more buyers," said Jessica Gibson, marketing specialist for Art in Motion. "More art provides a strong reason for customers to come."
Others reported consistently busy booths and good sales numbers. "We were extremely pleased with sales from the show," said Terri Sher Barrett, sales and marketing manager for the Bentley Publishing Group. "I would have to say sales were strong."
Among the highlights of this year's show were a PPFA Perspective Opening reception, featuring drinks, dancing, fortune telling, magicians, caricaturists and more. Also, PPFA Framers Palette Workshops were held daily to update educational goals of framers in attendance. …