Galleries, Shows, Exhibitions Part III – The Gallery Experience

In the first part of this series Galleries, Shows, Exhibitions – Part I we looked at some of the basics of getting your art into a gallery.  In the second part Galleries, Shows, Exhibitions Part II – Contracts With A Gallery some of the things that go into a contract between the artist and the gallery were explored.  In this article we will look at some ways to create a great gallery experience when you show your work.

When you put on a show in a gallery or any other venue, think about how you can create the best experience for your audience. Creating a good experience will vary by your target audience and the venue you are showing your work in. Here are some ideas to think about in planning your gallery experience:

  • Is the art appropriate for your audience?
  • Are you showing your best work?
  • Is the physical presentation of your work sufficient in terms of framing, hanging and lighting?
  • Are there other elements such as food and entertainment that would add to your gallery experience?
  • Do you meet your audience’s expectations?
  • Does the audience clearly understand the reason or concept behind your art?
  • Do you make it easy for customers to buy from you?
  • Is it easy for you customers to find your venue?
  • Is your work clearly identified and the price is easily determined?
  • Have you thought of using QR codes in the description of the individual pieces on display?
  • Do you act professionally when meeting prospects and customers?
  • Do you have your “elevator speech” polished?
  • Are you comfortable talking with your audience and asking for a sale?
  • Do you have business cards and other marketing materials for the show?
  • Do you create a follow up list from those who attend your show and do you follow up?
  • Have you executed a public relations program for your show and have you invited the media?
  • Do you solicit feedback from your audience on what they liked, disliked, and how you can improve?

Creating a great gallery experience should be one of your top priorities when showing your work.  If you connect with your audience they will buy from you and tell others – in short help build your brand!

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About Neil McKenzie

Neil McKenzie is an author, educator and consultant to artists and arts organizations. He is the author of The Artist’s Business and Marketing ToolBox – How to Start, Run and Market a Successful Arts or Creative Business available in softcover from Barnes & Noble and Amazon and as an eBook from iTunes, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. He has developed and teaches the course “Artrepreneurship” at the Center for Innovation at Metropolitan State University of Denver, and is also a visiting professor at University College at the University of Denver. Neil has over 30 years’ experience as a management consultant and marketing executive, working with some of the world’s top brands. Neil is a frequent lecturer to artists and arts organizations, a guest columnist for Colorado Biz Magazine, where he covers the creative sector of the economy, and the author of several articles for Americans for the Arts, a national arts organization. Follow Neil on Twitter: @neilmckenzphoto