Worldcon Art Show Data

Market Information

Worldcons vary, but when held in the U.S., the Art Show generally sells between $80,000 and $130,000 of art. Most (65-70%) of the pieces sold are under $50, although most of the dollars (75-85%) come from more expensive pieces. Good quality prints often do well. Portraits of SF media figures seldom do. A sense of humor can help. It's not a huge market for jewelry, anime, furry, or game related art, but we do sell some.

Sales Data from Previous Worldcons

Here are sales data from two of the last three Worldcons held in the U.S. One (in 2002) had a larger show than the other (in 2006) - we'll probably be closer in size to the smaller one. All references to "panels" below really mean "panels or tables."

Sales by Artist
$ Sold # Artists, 2002 # Artists, 2006
11,000 - 20,000 2 0
5,000 - 8,999 2 3
2,000 - 4,999 6 6
1,000 - 1,999 14 18
500 - 999 21 21
300 - 499 25 16
200 - 299 16 9
100 - 199 24 18
1 - 99 42 22
0 48 47
total artists 200 160

Average sales per artist at the two shows were $592 and $567, but sales do not distribute evenly. Many artists sold nothing. The 2002 show had a couple artists do extremely well, but also had more artists selling under $100.

It's hard to compare sales per panel, because different shows use different panel sizes, but sales per 4' panel equivalent range from about $2,000 to zero, probably averaging somewhat over $200.

Sales Broken Out by Minimum Bid Range - 2002 / 2006
Mbid Price Range ($) # Pieces for Sale # sold % sold avg. sale price ($)
1 49 1292 / 1219 573 / 508 44% / 42% $40 / $39
50 149 593 / 422 181 / 124 31% / 29% $168 / $107
150 499 379 / 260 88 / 79 23% / 30% $281 / $328
500 - 999 161 / 100 11 / 17 7% / 17% $626 / $704
1,000 - 1,999 107 / 69 9 / 5 8% / 7% $1483 / $1240
2,000 - 3,999 81 / 39 8 / 5 10% / 13% $2663 / $2680
4,000 + 28 / 45 0 / 0 0% n/a
All for sale 2641 / 2154 871 / 738 33% / 34% $136 / $123

Pieces do sell in the $3000 price range, but only a small percentage of them. Sales over $4,000 are uncommon, though not unheard of.

In 2002, three pieces with minimum bids in the $50-$149 range sold for over $1000 at the voice auction, dragging the average for this range considerably higher.

In 2002, the Print Shop had sales of $20,000, but in 2006, it sold only $7,000.

<This data thanks to Bruce Miller at Denvention 4.>