open studio guide
Holiday open studio guide is a FREE publication of The Fall Issue of Inspired Studios Magazine All images/content ÂŠ2010 Sonya La McCllough & eastwindproductons unless otherwise noted. http://www.eastwindproductions.net
Plan Your Big Day like a bride Where should you hold the open studio? One choice is your studio, if that's where you work. Opening your studio as part of the event creates excitement and buzz, because people love to glimpse how an artist works. There's mystery in seeing the creative work space. Not kool with opening your studio, or it lacks parking, consider renting another location for the event. Perhaps you could create a temporary gallery setting in an empty storefront or partner with a real estate agent for an open house weekend. Another good locale is a restaurant banquet room or conference/meeting room at a large hotel.
Create sales, and increase your exposure in your community by hosting an open house or studio tour before the holiday rush. Invite fellow artist who work in media different from yours, to share the event, expenses, effort and to create buzz. Creative who make open houses and studio tours an annual event have learned a hometown show with online exposure helps build local connections and generate online sales. Your Open Studio Timeline 3 - 12 months prior: Decide where and when to hold the open studio 2 - 3 months prior: Compile an invitation list for the show Rent a facility for the show , if necessary 1 - 2 months prior: Begin cleanup/organization of studio
Settle on a list of refreshments and select caterers 1 months prior: Mail Open studio invitations Send out press releases via postal service and e-mail Line up helpers for parking, greeting & staffing open studio 1 week prior: shop for refreshments and or confirm caterer Do deep clean up and decorating 1 day prior: Do final cleaning and dusting Within 1 week AFTER: Send Thank-You notes Send follow-up press release with photos set next date for open studio Make notes for future shows
When should you schedule the event? Several artist I know schedule open houses in early November. When setting a date, avoid or embrace other community holiday events, such as a Christmas Parade or Candle Light Tour. Embrace your community's event calendar by scheduling your open studio in conjunction with an event. Duration for your open studio could be two hours or two days, a weekend event would allow clients to choose the best day. Most of the work is done in the weeks prior to the event, so staging it for two consecutive days does not add much to the burden of preparation. Whom should you invite? Why not invite em all! Consider how many visitors you can comfortably handle. A general rule is about one in ten will attend within the community and one in twenty within a two hour drive.
So, for example, if you can comfortably accommodate up to 100 guests in two hours, your invitation list might be from 500 to 1000; if this becomes a two day event, then the list could double.
Although free publicity works wonders for artist, consider paid advertising as well. News releases hold no guarantee for exposure. A paid ad, lets you control precisely what is published, when and in what format.
This is where your list of prior or potential clients comes in handy. If you're just starting out and Because estimating attendance is tricky, choose have no client list, invite those most likely to buy refreshments that can be easily used for other holyour work including local gallery/store owners, iday family events or recycled to avoid waste. media reps and art collectors who may net you Transform studio connections. Another potential client list is that of new home buyers or builders in your area. These names and addresses are available at your local county clerk's office and or Chamber of Commerce. Others you will want to include at your show are family, friends and neighbors. It's more comfortable to attend an open studio when people are already there, so ask your closest peeps to arrive early. Be sure to share your event with your online communities, tweet about it , add it to your FB event calendar. How should you publicize the event? Merely sending e-vites and invitations may be enough to generate attendance and sales. But consider the publicity power such a project also offers. Let your local media (daily, weekly newspaper; radio, TV & cable stations; and community bulletin boards) know about your show with a press release beforehand. Then follow up with a news item and photos of the event. Use a "news hook" to generate publicity for yourself and your work. A hook could be donating a percentage of event sales to charity or the gift of art for a local non profit agency. A press release needs to reach the media two to three weeks before your event and many times it triggers an editor to assign a feature story.
2 shop for the holiday
Pump up the creative volume with festive mood, music and lighting. You could combine your open studio tour with a holiday cookie/wrap swap. Break down your creative space/table for the show & use this space to merchandise and display your products for sale. Remove NFS (not for sale) products from the studio. Create a special SOLD tag for large artwork that is sold & arrange to personally deliver the art the next biz day to the client. Think of your studio as a little mini gallery of you. Price products clearly & creatively. (Don't make em wonder what the price is) Create mini take-away gifts with your logo / or biz card for each guest Use a custom stamp (with your logo) to create special packaging for purchases. Consider the size and weight of your products when thinking of bags & boxes to go. Wrap each purchase gently with lots of tissue paper, bag it, slip a business card inside the bag and relish in the moment while you treat there purchase of your artwork like gold. You must let em see you or your staff, take the time to do this. They will love it ...
Refreshments can be simple or elaborate and can set the stage for the remainder of your holiday. While planning your menu, keep in mind general ingredients to avoid, such as peanuts and peanut products. Use a fresh food approach and you'll likely avoid questions about ingredients from those who have special dietary concerns. When planning the refreshment area, know that spills may occur. Place clean-up supplies for your guest (soda water) and studio near by. How should your open house be staffed? First plan for traffic control and parking. Enlist help to direct traffic, both outside and inside. Have helpers on hand to greet guest at the door; safely store and retrieve coats and hats; ask them to sign your guest book; and direct them to the show and refreshment areas. http://skinnylaminx.com/2009/11/05/the-to-do-list-before-the-open-studio-looks-like-this/ http://skinnylaminx.com/2009/11/23/open-studiopics/
A brief guide to planning a Holiday open studio event