Galleries, non-profit arts organizations, artists and art fairs are important, full stop. We’re headed to Miami in a couple weeks, and it feels so much sweeter than previous years. To meet some of our customers for the first time in person, to peruse physical artworks, to meet new and interesting people... the last few years have reminded us how special these moments are. As a software company that supports galleries and artists, we’re all web all the time, but it is satisfying to see ArtCloud customers in action — in real life.
Okay, we are done waxing poetic about attending art fairs. We collected tips and tricks from gallerists who have exhibited at fairs for many years, and used our research to generate a few tips that are relevant for 2021 and beyond.
1. QR codes on wall tags and price lists.
While QR codes weren’t used heavily until the last couple years (have you ordered food in a no-menu QR code only restaurant? All the rage) they are a fantastic way to easily get a collector on your website, viewing your stable of artists, purchasing work, etc. Custom QR codes can lead to wherever you’d like on the internet, so perhaps it is to a specific work, exhibition, or to subscribe to your newsletter — lead your visitor to exactly where you’d like them to engage with your business. Pssst… if you have an ArtCloud account, generate QR codes with the click of your mouse to add them to your collateral. Click, print, sell.
2. Digitize your offerings — booth visitors only stop in for a moment and are oversaturated when they’re fair hopping.
While you will remember to coordinate the physical works, please remember to optimize the digital presence of the artworks on display. At ArtCloud, we know that works sell faster when they are available to view online. Through Virtual Install, a clear and obvious “Inquire” or “Buy Now” button, and multiple images depicting a work from a variety of angles — it is more important than ever to present artwork online in a realistic and clear way. A booth visitor spends under 3 minutes on average in your booth. When they go home and navigate to your website, remind them how special your collection is so it is as easy as possible for them to collect.
3. Remember Your Price Lists, Artist Bios, and/or Gallery Information.
Print is not dead, in this case. While many will utilize QR codes, taking pictures of your booth and artworks, many collectors still want to see crisp, clean copies of pricing and artist information. It may seem obvious what should go on these documents, but we've seen too many times instances of price lists that don't include email, phone, address, logo, as well as the images, dimensions, medium, provenance, or whatever other artwork specific information finds its way onto the list. The price list needs to include purchasing information and all contact information, along with QR code, social handles, and business branding. By using ArtCloud as your gallery management system, you have the ability to generate templated price lists in simple, beautiful formats. Make it easy.
4. Get the word out. Use all your marketing tools.
Leading up to the fair (now!) make sure your audience knows exactly where you’ll be located, what you will be bringing, and list the hours, address, and a friendly invite to your social media community. There is still time to buy a plane ticket or hop in the car, and this year it is expected that people may wait until the last minute to see how restrictions/expectations feel before committing to attending. Communicate via website graphics, newsletters, personal email invites, social media campaigns or advertisements. ArtCloud customers can easily share on social media with a click of a button, send emails (both regular emails and customizable email newsletters to your audience) from the ArtCloud platform.
5. Keep your personal space in mind as you set up this year.
Every city around the globe has handled this pandemic differently, and every visitor to the fair has varying levels of comfort in terms of personal space, shaking hands, picking up marketing collateral, and spending time in your booth. Make sure to be extra careful and respectful, regardless of where your country/city/locality is at this stage. Think specifics — maybe the chair(s) and table are at least 6 feet from the works, as when you’re sitting down, collectors may want some extra space this year to wander and look. Consider a branded face mask, for example — merging safety and brand recognition for your gallery.
6. Beverages and snacks.
Okay, we know this seems silly, but after working with so many galleries over the years, we hear it’s important. This year you may not feel quite as free and mobile as other years, and let’s face it, the available alcoholic/non-alcoholic beverages and snacks are usually quite pricey. Remember your electrolytes, snacks, and perhaps some bubbly for you and your staff as you sell this December.
See you there!
Follow us on Instagram to live vicariously through us, as we'll be galavanting from fair to fair and documenting it along the way. Drop us a DM to say hello and tell us what we can't miss!