Taking part in a group exhibition is one of the easiest ways for artists to get a foot in the door at an art gallery. By offering space to a group of artists, a gallery doesn’t have to take the risk of showing the works of one artist.
The public can see a wide variety of works, and artists do not need to complete an entire series of works to exhibit at a gallery. Here are some tips to get you started if you plan to host an art fair or exhibition.
Create Concrete Goals for Your Fair
Setting concrete goals for success is essential before you begin planning an art fair. These goals will serve as a compass guiding your planning process and help you decide what actions are needed to ensure your fair’s success. Your goals should have both overarching objectives and key performance indicators.
Build a Movement or Culture around Your Fair
You need to exhibit and showcase your unique vision or an artistic movement to stand out. Bring in new audiences by using what you know and offering them something they haven’t seen before.
Creating an environment that surprises and makes your visitors feel comfortable is key to developing a solid reputation.
Determine Your Fair’s Budget.
After defining the goals of your fair, it is time to allocate the funds you need to make all of those goals a reality. There are a lot of components of a fair that need to be considered and budgeted for in your fair planning.
Secure the Location
Finding the perfect location for your fair event isn’t easy. Once you have figured out your budget, you need to use it to find a suitable location or venue. The location or venue of your fair determines how attendees and performers will perceive it.
Therefore, you must pick a location that is easily accessible and easy to access for your target demographic.
Which Artists Should You Invite?
After leaving art school, emerging artists often look for ways to maintain momentum leaving galleries. They can bypass gallery bureaucracy and get their work seen by organizing a fair for them. Make this an event to remember by inviting friends, acquaintances, the press, and the public.
You may not be ready for that yet, so start with friends and family so that you can experiment, and it’ll give you the confidence you need.
Promote Your Fair
Prepare for the event with plenty of refreshments. An art fairs for artists is as much about socializing as art, so offer a complimentary drink and a good time to entice attendees. Friday night is the best time to hold the event.
Make sure your posters and flyers are posted in independent shops, bars, cafes, and art galleries to attract the right crowd. Providing links to your website, Facebook page, or Twitter account will help people share your content.
You may want to approach writers who are willing to promote your show on their blogs or website.
Having a large turnout can be intimidating, but tell your friends, family, and valuable contacts about the fair if you want to attract outside guests. Create a Facebook event page or send out email invitations.
Organize Your Logistics
You should prepare an exhibition similar to a party by removing valuables and delicate objects from the area where visitors may gather (if the air is in your or someone’s home). Consider locking up rooms that are not in use (except the bathroom!) and bringing in extra supplies such as toilet paper, plastic cups, snacks, and refreshments.
To ensure that art is not damaged or stolen, you’ll have to oversee your exhibition, but this can become tedious after three or four hours, so that you can arrange for help. Think about getting public liability insurance if your show is open to the public.
Make the Trip Worthwhile
It will be easier for visitors to stay at your art fair if there is a lot to see, hear, play with, debate, consume, or enjoy. They will be able to soak up the atmosphere and hopefully create lasting memories.
Don’t make the trip only worth an hour – if you can hold their attention, why not?
Ensure That You Look Welcoming
When people walk into your space, you want them to feel comfortable. Smile, make eye contact and keep your arms at your sides. If a potential buyer asks about the inspiration behind the work, ensure the artists explain in-depth.
Some people might prefer to review the art at their own pace rather than chit-chat. Try to read the crowd, and if you are unsure, remain on the sidelines and let the public know you are available for questions.
Organize Volunteers and Staff for the Fair
The success of an event is dependent on the number and quality of staff and volunteers committed to the event. In many cases, volunteers are used to staffing events. You need a volunteer management strategy for your event to recruit volunteers.
And, since event-specific volunteer management solutions are designed to help you create and execute this strategy effectively and efficiently, you should consider investing in such a system.
Having learned what it takes to plan a successful fair, you can now set your goals and plan your next event. Make sure you have a clear vision for the event you are planning so you stay on track and deliver what you expect.