Many of the events I organized in NYC were so popular they were featured in Crain’s New York Business, Show Business, New York magazine and The New York Times. They were announced on radio and cable TV and made the evening news. They ranged from informal apartment gatherings to large televised celebrity galas at which I worked with political delegates, cultural dignitaries and nonprofit organizations. In this article I share some of my ideas on how to create successful art events (excerpts from my e-Book “How to Create Successful Art Events”). These ideas should help you make your next opening reception, whether in a gallery, your studio or an alternative space, a memorable experience.
Here Are 10 Suggestions
1. Pay attention to how the art work is displayed. Make sure it is well lit, easy to view, engaging and maintains a high level of interest.
2. Assign someone to sit or stand at the entry and welcome guests with handouts.
3. Have several copies of price lists and promotional materials easy to find in clear view.
4. Plan an “advance party” for VIP guests. This is where dignitaries, top collectors and the press and media can congregate before the general audience arrives.
5. Approach new local small businesses that moved into your town to donate food and beverages. They will be eager to get the extra publicity if you can guarantee them promotion locally as well as through your social media network.
6. Be creative and stand out at your next Open Studio. I know an artist who paints western paintings and dresses in cowboy attire to look as though he walked right out of his paintings. Another artist, whose signature color is purple, wears a purple dress and hat to all of her openings.
7. You may get a local printer willing to print your invitations and programs at their cost, and sometimes at no charge, in exchange for giving them credit on the printed materials and free admission to the event.
8. Offer art in three different price ranges. When giving advice on selling art I use the “rule of thirds” – low, medium and high prices. At art events have plenty of affordable works of art under $500. Known as “cash and carry” pieces they don’t require much thought for the buyer.
9. Ask a few gregarious friends and associates to be your co-hosts to make sure your guests enjoy themselves and learn how they may purchase your art. Ask them beforehand to rescue you from people who are chatting with you and have no interest in buying or exhibiting your art.
10. Look for interesting venues to place your party. Think outside the box, as I did. Some of the best events take place outside galleries. Consider dance clubs, restaurants, yoga studios, and places of worship.
Want More Ideas?
How to Create Successful Art Events is an e-Book filled with many winning ideas. Learn more about it.