Perhaps you’ve decided 2020 will be the year you start attending and displaying your work at exhibitions. You could hold your own exhibition dedicated to your work alone or perhaps partake in one of the many organised across the country. Exhibitions can be a fantastic opportunity to show your work off in all its glory as visitors will come to you and they are the perfect opportunity for showcasing to potential clients and art buyers.
Preparing for a successful exhibition can be a very daunting experience, even if you’ve attended them before! There is a lot to consider prior and you should be prepared for things to come up that you wouldn’t have imagined! Here we have put together some top tips on holding a successful exhibition.
booking your space
The most important factor here is RESEARCH! If you’re looking at attending an organised exhibition, have you attended it before? If not, speak to your contacts, do they recommend it? Also take into consideration the type of visitors expected – would you work fit in with their tastes and budgets? When you’ve settled on this, speak to the event organisers and understand what is included in your stand fee. Your booking fee for space is a large overhead so ensure you are getting all you can from it. Is there suitable space to hang your work or would you need to provide this?
Additionally, what promotion will be involved from the organisers for you? Do they promote the event locally or perhaps nationally? It may be worth negotiating if possible on a stand location within the exhibition too. If you know who else is attending and where they will be located, consider work that complements yours and ask for a stand location according to this.
Perhaps one of the most onerous parts of preparing for a successful exhibition is working out how you are going to get there with all of your work. Will you need to hire a van for the occasion or perhaps ask a logistics company to undertake this challenge on your behalf – just make sure they are insured accordingly and have relevant experience to avoid any damages or potential issues. You will need to take a suitable amount of work with you to display, don’t over do it though!
Furthermore, if the exhibition is not local to you, ensure you book your accommodation in advance. Some large scale exhibitions attract vast numbers of visitors and local hotels and B&B’s get booked up well in advance.
You may also want to consider taking someone with you to help out. Do you have a reliable friend or colleague that can head over with you? It will probably be worthwhile having some assistance if possible so you can both take suitable breaks and explore the rest of the exhibition for market research purposes!
Also, never, ever forget items such as pens, paper and scissors! Trust us, you’ll will always need these at some point!
Both prior and whilst you are attending the exhibition, you need to promote that you are there! Using social media is a great opportunity for this as you can target people who are already interested in your work as well as others that may be interested in other exhibitors.
You should also ensure you have plenty of marketing material with you at all times too, this can include business cards or flyers. Include your contact details on these so visitors who can’t stop thinking about your work after the event can get in touch!
It would also be a good idea to have some information displayed about each piece of work you have with you. This can just be a couple of lines on a small label, it is also worthwhile including the price too.
during the event
No body knows your work better than you do! Be prepared to talk all day long about it and what your inspiration is. Be enthusiastic and approachable to all visitors. You need to enjoy your time at the event otherwise this will come across negatively to and visitors. All the hard work will be worth it and take a couple of days off afterwards to rest, you’ll be surprised how tiring these exhibitions can be! Don’t be tempted to take a seat though whilst you’re at the exhibition, it can come across very casual to potential clients so make sure you wear some comfortable shoes too!
If you are selling directly at the exhibition, it is worthwhile investing in a card payment facility. Fewer and fewer of us are carrying cash around and this can really make life much easier for you and your customers. There are many different options available now and many of these can be used through a mobile phone. Here is a comparison site that you can take a look at which details all the different options available to you.
Things will go wrong, it’s inevitable, even if you’re a seasoned pro at exhibitions. But that’s fine! Learn from your mistakes and don’t be disheartened by them everyone forgets something every once in a while. Just remember, something may go wrong, but it’s highly unlikely that your visitors will even notice and inevitably you will have a successful exhibition!
Have you attended any exhitibitions recently? Which ones would you recommend for photographers and artists? Or perhaps you’re planning on attending some yourself throughout 2020 – let us know, we would love to hear from you and you never know, we may be able to pop along too!
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