Only 5% of respondents to the biennial survey (this edition represents 2018) said that they did not exhibit at fairs, a figure down significantly from the 18% reported in 2016. TEFAF Maastricht topped the list of most attended followed by Masterpiece, Frieze Masters and TEFAF New York.
“The phrase ‘fair fatigue’ has been well and truly consigned to history,” the report said.
Based on a 1-5 ratings system, findings included high satisfaction levels with smaller and specialist fairs such as BADA’s fair in March, the London Original Print Fair and BRAFA.
The report adds that it is “tempting” to attribute strong fair participation to the fall in gallery occupation also suggested in the survey (down to 76% compared with 81% in 2016). However, it goes on to show that the percentage of dealers based in galleries is up from a survey of 10 years ago, suggesting that predictions over the rapid loss of premises have not been borne out.
Also in the survey, 85% of members reported that last year had been “better” or “the same”, but the same number responded that they thought this year would be worse. Sixty-five per cent thought that Brexit would leave them worse off, with only 5% predicting it would improve business.