I ran across a blog entry today on ArtBizBlog.com that got me to thinking about the way artists and galleries generally promote art exhibits.
Blog Far in Advance to Promote Your Art Exhibit
Generally, all of the artwork gets created and then the exhibit gets promoted in an attempt to culminate in an opening where sales are made. But what if promotion started much earlier? How about sending email newsletters telling collectors what you are conceptualizing for a show? Then follow up with emails regarding your experiences during any trips or research for the show? Share photographs of places that you visit. In other words, keep your clients in the loop during the entire process and SHARE PHOTOS of works in progress.
By the time the opening rolls around, you will have quite a few people who are at least interested in the show and should have an easier time in boosting attendance and sales.
I have watched this work in another industry. I watched Chris Anderson, editor of Wired Magazine, publicly blog for months regarding research for his book, The Long Tail. As the weeks rolled by, he generated more and more interest in the upcomming release of the book, and, I suspect, increased his own books sales quite a bit.
The Long Tail
I think back over my time as a gallery owner about the various shows that I had involvement with. Each time, I would become excited about the exhibit as the artist shared information with me, sometimes, months in advance. Why did I not think to share this information with customers?
I have no concrete evidence to prove this technique will increase sales, but my gut tells me that it will.
Software Craftsman and Art Fanatic
PS: Unless you know that your blog is viewed by a lot of viewers, I would suggest using email newsletters instead of or in addition to blogging. I have found that a number of art collectors don't really take the time to follow blogs, but do seem to respond to emails. This is simply anecdotal, I have no statistics to provide, but it doesn't cost much to provide it in both formats.