How to Market an Art Event

Art Collector, Art Marketing, Art Show, Artist Bio, Flootie, Social Media, Uncategorized

Studio Art TourI recently enjoyed a wonderful day visiting numerous artists at the North Spokane Studio Art Tour.  The weather was perfect.  It was not too hot and not too cold.  The Sun was shining on the late summer day.  There were 6 unique venues with multiple artists and art mediums at each venue.  All of them served wonderful food free of charge and some had live music. They were reasonably close to each other so travelling to each was easy to accomplish.  There was a printed brochure with a map and the artists participating were listed at each location so that people could visit their favorite artists and/or visit those they may never have had the chance to meet in person.  There was a Facebook Event created and there were a few reminders posted leading up to the event.  Attendance seemed moderate but steady and in the last venue I visited the artists were happy to announce that by the end of day 1, everybody in that group had at least sold one item.  As far as I could tell, as art events go, the artists were happy with the results.

Why then, do I see missed opportunities?  Why was this perfect day with many talented artists not brimming with patrons?  Parking should have been a nightmare but it was not an issue at all.  I see more people fighting to get in at Yard sales.  These talented artists deserve the attendance and attention of the masses.

Beautiful Day for Beautiful Art!

One thing that I have learned about marketing in my 30+ years of experience is “people have short attention spans”.  While nobody likes to be bombarded, people do not mind seeing activity specific to events like this.  It generates interest and fosters follow through.

Did these artists do anything wrong?  Of course not.  They worked hard at creating tools and a wonderful atmosphere for this event.  I enjoyed myself immensely to the point my tired legs reminded me at the end of the day that 8 hours of walking told my body that I need more exercise.

Could they have done something different?  Yes!  They were marketing the event.  They were saying to the general public that “Hey we are going to be available to show and share our artwork with you!”  This is great and I feel that the people they reached that are patrons of the artists and arts in general attended (myself included).  

Who did they miss?  They missed the person who was exposed to a painting and said to themselves “Oh my gosh, I love that painting, I wonder where I can see it?” or “Wow!  I love her jewelry, I wonder how much it is?” People scroll past a lot of artwork on Facebook however few know where to go look at it in person.

In a recent post to this blog, I stated that people will seldom buy expensive art related items from the Internet, However they will often purchase because of the Internet.  This is a very good example of that opportunity.  Let’s look at some demographics for a minute.  There were 39 artists in 6 venue locations.  If each artist only had a Facebook page and only had 100 friends/followers to that page (trying to be conservative here…) that would be 3900 opportunities to share artwork.  For the sake of math let’s just assume the artist(s) only share 3 examples of their works in the month leading up to the event and they all share the other artists 3 works as well.    Now the math looks like this:  39 artists x 3 works x 3900 followers = 456,300 examples of opportunities seen by different people who may want to purchase (or at least come and see in person).  This is not even counting all the friends who may share with their friends etc…  Granted, Facebook may limit the number of views these days which is all the more reason to share on Pinterest and Google+ as well as several other Social Media outlets.

 Left to Right: Flootie Artists, Natalie Stewart-Utley, Darrell Sullens, Elsie StewartLeft to Right: Flootie Artists, Natalie Stewart-Utley, Darrell Sullens, Elsie Stewart
Now if those same artists all had accounts on they can post these works with a description and hyperlink to their Facebook event (  with all the details and would also benefit from our sharing each post with over 100,000 people on Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, Stumble Upon as well as Facebook. Plus they would retain the people who selected them as “favorite Artists” for future marketing activity.  They also have an opportunity to share the event on this Blog

We have all heard for many years that the best form of marketing is “word of mouth” and this is very true.  The internet allows for that to happen in monumental fashion with numbers we could not have imagined in the past.  It does not happen like magic however.  It was to be well coordinated and intentional.  It also is not an “instant” remedy.  Another old saying that “it takes asking for the sale an average of 8 times to close the deal is also true”.  This is not to say that 8 postings on the internet will foster orders, instead it is a reminder that we need to be repetitive in our efforts to show and share what we have to offer and to convince the potential client of the worth and value of the purchase.

Marketing is not for the weak.  It takes determination and follow-through.  It also takes overcoming the fear of potential rejection and sometimes less than desired results.  However, it is the pathway to your potential success and you will never get to the top of the mountain unless you are willing to start climbing it.  Take heart however, there are many people out there who appreciate what you do and are excited to be a part of it. 

Here are the artists who participated in the Town and Country Studio Arts Tour:  Marsha Marcuson, Don Barron, Jan Hess, Debbie Hughbanks, Kathy LeFrancis, Carol Schmauder (Flootie Artist), Katie Densley, Darell Sullens (Flootie Artist), Hilda Bradshaw, natalie Stewart-Utley (Flootie Artist), Elsie Stewart (Flootie Artist), Olivia Waterman, Chuck harmon, Alice Harmon, John Altberg, Virginia Danke, Connie Janney, Kathleen Morris, Shelly Riccardo, Ellen Blashke, Reho Barron, Karen Ciaffa, Jennene Reagor, Gina Hoefler, Vicki West, Lynn Marvin, Kathleen Miles, Denise Roberson, Sharon Tangen, Helen Parsons, Dian Zahner, Loyce Akers, Elise Bozzo, Bari Federspiel, Randy Haa, Cheryl Halverson, Robert Karr, Mary Ann Sinclair, Noreen Simonson (note several artists are members of Flootie through the association with Manic Moon Gallery).

I felt that this opportunity to share these artists names through our Blog is a fitting gesture of appreciation for what they do.


Dean Cameron

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