I attended ABI many years ago, and although I had been in the business over 20 years at that time I still found it to be helpful . There were topics that were definitely better for newbies, but there was still something for everyone. The one on one time (which for me was with the owner of The Real Mother Goose) was very helpful to me at the time, as I had a specific question/issue not covered in the classes. And the workshop on how to create a press kits taught by Alisha Vincent helped me a lot as well.
There was also plenty of time for networking and fun.
I now teach classes and workshops myself I have recommended it to all of my students and consulting clients for years.
I decided to do wholesale instead of trekking all over the place doing art fairs about 5 years ago, and I was so excited that the Buyer's Market offered an introduction to the whole business of wholesale before I jumped in. I convinced a friend to come with me, and Bruce Baker's speech and informational course was exactly what we were looking for.
It was also nice to be able to walk the show and speak to artists already pursuing this area first hand, get their opinions about wholesale and the show. Wholesale is a very expensive investment, and I would only recommend it to someone who would be willing to attend ABI beforehand. Without the information I received from ABI I would have been completely lost.
I attended 6 Arts Business Institutes in western North Carolina over the past 9 years. Each was outstanding. The chief value came from the overall design of the curriculum and from the expertise of the presenters who were all either practicing craft artists or art entrepreneurs. They were all active professionals in the topics they presented; all the information and advice was current, relevant and very beneficial. The presenters were also very personable and lively so, although the 2 1/2 day workshops were long and packed with information, everyone was engaged in all the sessions. The Arts Business Institute Bootcamps are definitely the best workshops I have ever attended! An excellent value!
I went to ABI's "Wholesale 101" a year before I turned my jewelry business completely wholesale. I learned so much invaluable information there. Info I still use today. The mentoring gave me the confidence to jump in.
I have watched hundreds of aspiring artists see their dreams realized after taking a two day weekend workshop. The program gives each artist an individualized path to success. The personal critiques with ABI faculty members are designed to provide artists with a step by step business plan for creating a successful business beyond their local market opportunities. The workshop is designed to open artists to markets beyond the obvious art fair business model, to expand into niche markets neglected by larger businesses. Each faculty member leaves the door open for future mentoring and advice for each and every graduate of the program. Long term mentoring continues by email and Facebook as ABI Alumni share their experiences and successes.
Review from Guidestar