The Truth About Why Nobody Came to Your Art Show
Guest Post by Alyson Stanfield/Art Biz Blog
It doesn’t take a genius to understand why nobody came to your art show.
Let’s set aside the bad weather, natural disaster, flu epidemic, or major tragedy in the community. And not count people who are out of town or live too far away, or those who have tickets to the theater or a sick child.
We’re going to focus on those able people on your mailing list who would be most inclined to come out and support you.
The reason they didn’t come is because you assumed too much.
Let’s look at 4 ways this might have played out.
1. You didn’t tell them about it.
You assumed the venue would get the word out.
Oops! You’ll never do that again. Venues, regardless of the type of venue, have an entire program of artists and exhibitions lined up. You are a small fish in their big pond.
What’s important to you isn’t always critical to them.
You can’t rely on the venue to get people to your exhibition.
2. You told your list about it, but didn’t cover your bases.
You assumed that a single email would do the trick – and that they would actually read the missive you sent.
People don’t usually hop on board until they have seen an invitation multiple times. You can’t post an invitation once or twice to Facebook and expect results (especially these days).
You must have a variety of touch points scheduled for the people on your list:
- Send a postcard.
- Place stacks of postcards in strategic venues.
- Mention your event in your newsletter.
- Blab about it on social media.
- Post flyers.
What’s missing from the above list is personal contact. Nothing – nothing! – moves people to action like a personal invitation. This could be an email or a phone call, but it is sent only to them and comes from the heart.
Never underestimate the value of personal invitations.
3. You were afraid to send email reminders.
You assumed that people would write it down and remember.
Most of my students and members admit to being “afraid to bother people” with an extra email. They reconsider when I share the statistics of how much these last-minute emails increase the sign-ups for my programs.
In fact, the highest percentage of registrations comes when I send the “starts tomorrow” email.
4. You let your list get cold.
You assumed you could count on certain people.
This is so critical that I want to jump up and down and shout it from the rooftop. But not jump off the rooftop.
So imagine me doing one or the other as you’re reading this . . .
The reason you have a strategy for staying in touch with your list on a regular basis is so that they know you care about your relationship with them. So that, when you ask something of them, they remember you and are familiar with what you’ve been up to.
It’s not just impolite to them, it’s downright uncomfortable for you to contact people only when you want something from them.
Stop assuming so much. There are plenty of people out there who want to show up for you.
Make sure they hear from you and know that they are appreciated and needed.