Paintings Done. Date Chosen. Location Selected. Attendees identified.
Up until now, you’ve been doing product development and marketing research.
Today’s job is to put your message together to pull your audience into attending your art show. The vehicle you will do this with is an invitation.
The invitation is your entire advertisement to bring all of your suspects into your home to look at your paintings and buy them. That’s your objective, but it is not your message. Your message is the compelling motivator that calls the reader to action. That action being their attendance.
So, put yourself into the minds of your guests.
What do they want to see?
Darrell Crow cordially invites you to an exclusive one-day only showing of 18 Wildlife original oil paintings he has never before released based upon the works of photographer Jennifer Holyoke. Jennifer just returned from a four month photo assignment at the interior of Africa this past December. Experience the sights of the Serengetti and the rhythm of the Congo and meet both Darrell and Jennifer in this by-invitation-only single day event.
June 18th from noon till 6 p.m.
65 Hixon St.,
Bellingham, MA 02019
An invitation can be either a formal invitation or a postcard with a reproduction of your work.
I would suggest you use a professional printer should you decide upon the formal invitation. Create the same impression as a Wedding Invitation. Have you ever thrown away a Wedding invitation from someone you know and admire? Of course not.
A formal invitation should be professionally printed and clearly states all the information about your show. Mail the invitation in a matching envelope that is hand-addressed. This makes your recipient feel as if he or she is personally invited to a party.
If you have a high quality photo capable printer, you can find good postcard paper and use your computer to create your invitations. It’ll take a little time, but you can do this with the advantage of cost savings. This approach has several advantages. You can make extra copies and pass them out to new potential clients all the way up to the event.
Now this is important. The postcard approach shows people what your art is like, so make sure the reproduction is fantastic. If you have to, use a professional printer as this statement is as powerful as your message and call to action.
Your invitation needs to include
- Description of the show
- Statement that this is an exhibit and sales event.
- RSVP and telephone number.
One last comment
Hand address your invitations and write a short, personal note such as “I’m looking forward to seeing you.” on each postcard. You can slip in a personal note with the invitation that says the same thing. “Hi Anne, can’t wait to see you here.”
If you have a lot of invitations to address, host a little party and have close friends help you address the invitations and include the note. Refreshments are a great way to say thank you.
Your invitations need to arrive 4 to 6 weeks in advance of the event so that people can plan and arrange their calendars accordingly. And it wouldn’t hurt to send invitation reminders (postcards) two weeks before the event either. You increase the percentage of people attending by mailing them up to 3 or 4 times. After that, the returns diminish.
I’m not such a fan of the RSVP method, but many swear by it. I would do it on the formal invitations, but not necessarily the postcard approach.
In a perfect world, call each of your guests and let them know you’ll be sending an invitation. Send the invitation. Send the reminder. Call and follow up with your guests to see if they’ve received the invitation and whether or not they’ll be able to attend. People like being asked to attend an event and receive invitations. They’re more apt to respond with this approach.
Be bold. People are generally flattered that you want them to come and see their art. Do not be meek and shy. If its your first show, tell them this. If you’re excited, tell them. Your enthusiasm will sway most people and they’ll feel like they’re giving your art career a push. For many of your guests, this may be the closest they’ll ever get to creativity. Use this and take them the next step to creativity by owning one of your lovely works of art.