Promotional Ideas For Your Event: Part One

A lot goes into organizing your own art show/event. Like all topics I plan to write about for this blog it can’t all be said in a single post, so for this particular segment of organizing your own art show let’s focus on one of the most important things you need to do before the show even starts.

Promote, promote, promote! Did you get that?

Promote

Without promoting your show nobody will come and all of your hard work will have gone to waste. Here are a few easy things you can do to get the ball rolling on the promotion side of things.

Make flyers/postcards for the show. I use www.americasprinter.com for all of my promo postcards. Or save your money and make photocopy flyers or print them out on your home inkjet printer. I suggest fitting four postcard size flyers on your 8.5″ x 11″ paper. Once you have your flyers printed and ready to go it’s time to distribute them. Stick them on bulletin boards in local stores, or on counter tops of stores that will let you. Give them to all your family and friends. Ask them to put your flyer up at work on a bulletin board in the break room or something similar. Give flyers to coworkers. When you get your hair done leave a flyer with your stylist. There is a good chance they will leave it on their station for all to see. If you live in a town with a community college give some flyers to the art teachers. A lot of times they’ll encourage their students to attend local art shows for extra credit.

Send a press release to all the local publications in your area. Sometimes an “official” press release is actually too much information for local papers. Call ahead and ask what you need to do or who you need to talk to about getting your event listed in their events calendar. While you’re at it, get the name of the arts editor of the paper and send them one of your flyers as a personal invite to your show. If you’re lucky they’ll interview you and help promote the show for you.

Post a free ad on www.craigslist.org.

Make an “event” page for your show on www.facebook.com”. Encourage all your Facebook friends to “share” the event with their friends.

If you have an email list already put it to use and send out an invite. Somewhere in the announcement encourage your readers to forward the message to their friends. You can also use www.evite.com for this.

Talk. That’s right, talk. How often do you run into people that ask “what’s new?” or “what’s going on?” or “how are you doing?” Fight the urge to give the typical response of “not much” or “I’m good. How about you?” Take this opportunity to avoid the mundane and give an honest answer. If you have a show/event coming up and somebody asks you “what’s new?” or “what’s going on?” answer with, “There is actually a lot going on right now that I’m really excited about.” At this point you can pause and wait for their reaction. Since your statement begs for more information and is also not the typical response there is a good chance they’ll ask you to tell them more. When they do that’s your cue to hand them one your flyers and invite them to your upcoming show. I actually took my own advice on this just yesterday. I was at the bookstore café getting a hot chocolate and the guy helping me (we know each other by name at this point because I spend a lot of time there) asked me if I had anything new going on. Like most people I simply said, “No…not much.” And he said, “yeah, me neither.” Then I snapped out of the mundane haze and corrected myself. “Actually, there is something new. This past weekend I redecorated the window display of my shop. It’s been great too because a lof of people came in today that had never come in before.” This little bit of info turned into a brief conversation about window display and other store merchandising.

This last one is pretty obvious. If you’re a blogger definitely promote your show on your blog. You can post an image of the flyer or just some plain text info about the show. Personally, I’m a BIG fan of teasing my blog readers with “in progress” photos of new paintings that will be featured in upcoming shows.

That’s all I’ve got for now. If any of you readers out there would like to add to this list of “promote your show” ideas please leave a comment.

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