At a recent art show, I could not help but notice that not everyone’s day was going as well as mine! As I experienced a constant stream of people flooding into my booth and buying my artwork, my neighbors were sitting idle and waiting. Not only did I have people buzzing in and around my booth, but after they purchased my artwork, they told their friends to come to my booth and buy from me!
I had experienced too many art shows from the other side of the fence. I knew then that I needed to share my successful art show strategies with my fellow artists.
First, get rid of your director’s chair. Artists that avoid perspective customers always amaze me. You’ve spent so much time creating your art to sell. You’ve spent the time and money to exhibit at the show. Why hide? If you want to sell your work, you must interact with the public.
Put yourself out there! It’s very simple – you create additional value to your artwork when you interact with a perspective customer. Explain to them what makes your art work unique. Tell them how you came about conceiving and producing your artwork. Tell them the story, people are interested, and when they buy the piece they now own additional information about the piece to share with their friends.
It’s important to give a reason for someone to stop at your booth. Utilize a main focus piece on an easel or pedestal in order to draw interest from the crowd.
Using signage is an easy way to give someone a reason to stop at your booth. With signage, you can give suggestions for alternative uses of the artwork. For example, many of my sushi dishes sold as candle displays, soap holders, bread plates, etc.
Run a show special and use signage to promote the details. It’s important to give an added incentive to purchase something from you that day. Take one of your lower end products and create an easy way for people to purchase more of them – buy 2, get 1 free for example.
Invite people to sign up for a free drawing to win a piece of your artwork. This last step allows you to capture their name and email for future marketing purposes.
Finally, take a good look at your booth. The success of your next art show will increase when you create the successful booth. View your booth from the customer’s vantage point. Is it inviting? Does it create the “I gotta have that piece!” mindset? Attend an art show yourself. Go from booth to booth and see what draws you in to look further. See which booths the people flow to. What about those booths caused you to walk in? Keep notes, assemble that information, and apply it to your booth when you set up for your shows.
Keep your booth fresh throughout the entire show. Remember every time someone walks into your booth they are a customer meeting you for the first time and you always want to make a great first impression.