We were also really grateful to receive a huge amount of support from the dealer associations, the trade press, independent journalists, our media partners, the National Trust and last but not least, fellow fair organisers.
Reports about sales are patchy (although experience tells us that dealers aren’t always happy to come forward about their individual fair successes) and we can’t boast some magic surge over the 17-day run of the online show, but we can see traffic to individual dealers’ websites and, as usual, those who really made a big effort reaped the rewards.
For example, Jupiter Antiques, which sells English ceramics, set up a virtual fair within their own website which proved very successful and they have probably run out of bubble wrap and tape by now.
We have also heard from exhibitors who used the e-invitation to get in touch with their clients, resulting in sales to the US and connections with customers who might otherwise have ignored a standard sales email.
Will we continue doing virtual fairs? The answer is ‘probably’, in true Carlsberg style – this was a very basic platform and there is much more that could be done if time and funds were applied.
The postponed Petworth Park Antiques & Fine Art Fair, at Petworth House and Park in Petworth, West Sussex, is at this stage still due to take place from September 11-13, 2020, conditions permitting.
Fair director, The Antiques Dealers Fair Limited