Decide how you want to display your work.
There are two options, either clear out your studio or home and transform it into a gallery, or tidy up by all means but leave it as a working studio, display work on walls, in portfolios or in cabinets.
Demonstrating what you do is often the best sales pitch. Running workshops can also be rewarding, but can be time consuming too.
Prepare your studio/home, clean, repaint walls, fix hooks, etc.
Carry out a risk assessment, look for hazards and take action to minimise them. Decide the best fire escape route. Ensure that your space is safe for visitors and that areas that are restricted are locked or clearly marked.
Display disclaimers where they are clearly visible (can be downloaded from here )
You should also have public liability insurance (for instance with http://www.a-n.co.uk/).
Make sure that your studio is well signposted and that it’s easy for visitors to find you, plenty of bunting will help, keep your door open if possible.
Don’t forget extra lighting, cheap clip on spot lights or track lights are ideal. Ensure cables are secured safely out of the way of foot traffic.
Clearly label and price your work.
Make sure you have your visitors’ book and artist statement easily accessible.
Ensure you have a good supply of business cards, postcards, press releases, catalogues, etc available.
Display a map near your front door.
Put up posters for future exhibitions, workshops or classes that you are involved in.
Ensure you have appropriate packaging/wrapping.
Decide whether customers can take away purchases or whether they have to wait until the end of the exhibition.
How will visitors pay for things – cheques, credit cards or cash? You will need a receipt book too. Print out some address labels with your details on and stick these to the receipt to speed up the process.
Decide whether you are going to provide refreshments and ensure you have somewhere clean to provide them if you do.
Smile, make eye contact, be friendly, don’t read the paper and ignore people.
Give out postcards or business cards.
Talk about what you do with passion.
Don’t forget to network and make new friends.
After the Arts Trail
Make sure you have a system in place for visitor enquiries after the event an order form or book is really useful so that you are prompted to ask for all the information need. Update your customer database, adding new details and making notes of conversations and sales.
Make a note to yourself of things that you forgot this year or things that you could do to improve the event next year.