OSW Event Preparation Timeline
Use this timeline to help plan your Open Studio Weekend experience.
AUGUST (THREE MONTHS BEFORE OPEN STUDIO WEEKEND)
Draft your marketing plan:
- Will you market your Open Studio as an individual or as a group?
- Are you planning any special events?
- Will you advertise in the Open Studio Weekend directory? (There is still time to purchase an ad!)
- Will you have any artworks photographed?
- Does your website need major updates?
- Will you be producing a postcard or other printed marketing materials? Business cards or postcards are good takeaways.
- Spread the word about OSW and the Juried Exhibition and Launch Party on Friday, November 3, 2017, 6-8pm!
SEPTEMBER (TWO MONTHS BEFORE OPEN STUDIO WEEKEND)
Consider print marketing options – business cards, postcards? Design and print early to avoid feeling rushed.
If you live in a remote area, collaborate with nearby artists to draw visitors. Combine mailing lists, create a neighborhood flyer with mini-maps of artists in your area, or pool resources and place a group ad in a local paper. Share postcards with one another to have on hand at your studio. Encourage people to visit neighboring studios.
OCTOBER (SIX WEEKS BEFORE OPEN STUDIO WEEKEND)
Selected artists for the OSW Juried Exhibition at the Cressman Center are notified October 18, 2017.
(FOUR WEEKS BEFORE OPEN STUDIO WEEKEND)
Get your marketing outreach efforts into full swing:
• Promote your event to patrons, friends, and supporters – call, email, send an event postcard - now is the time!)
• Distribute postcards and plaster your neighborhood with event posters
• Put the Open Studio Weekend logo on your website
• Invite friends and share the Open Studio Weekend Facebook event/page with your mailing list
• Pick up your yard sign at LVA or designated distributors (TBA)
• Additional yard signs ($10 each) are available for purchase at the LVA office
Let LVA know if you are holding a special event as part of your OSW – a demonstration, artist talk, performance, special receptions, etc. We will help spread the word!
Email your event details to firstname.lastname@example.org
(THREE WEEKS BEFORE OPEN STUDIO WEEKEND)
Ensure your exhibition space is ready:
- Clean your space. Consider how you might create a welcoming atmosphere (food/drinks, lighting, temperature control, etc.). Safeguard valuable materials, tools, and small artworks.
- Assess the risk of your work and take appropriate precautions.
- Safety of your guests. Unplug power tools, remove acids and dangerous chemicals, put up signs or rope off unsafe areas, and mark steps or uneven pavement.
- Create labels for each work with your name, title, date, medium and price, and/or create a numbered price list for your work.
- Think about how you will process sales. What payment methods will you accept? Will you offer bags/wrapping for smaller works? Can you arrange shipping/delivery for larger works? If you want to sell your work, make sure you have cardboard, bubblewrap, tape, etc. so collectors can safely take the art home.
- Have business cards available with your contact information.
- Have a folder with an artist statement, resume/CV, recent press/news, any upcoming shows and projects. Think about what is helpful for you when in a gallery or museum.
- Have a guestbook so people can sign up for future mailings, and you can build your audience.
- Consider offering an installment (layaway) payment plan for more expensive works.
(TWO WEEKS BEFORE OPEN STUDIO WEEKEND)
Finishing prepping your space!
Continue promoting your event to patrons, friends, and supporters – call them, email them!
(ONE WEEK BEFORE OPEN STUDIO WEEKEND)
E-mail your contact list a reminder: "It's next weekend!"
NOVEMBER (OPEN STUDIO WEEKEND IS HERE!)
OSW Juried Open Studio Weekend Exhibition: Friday, November 3, 2017, 6-8pm at Cressman Gallery - Network with fellow OSW artists at the artists’ reception and launch party!
DURING THE EVENT
• Greet everyone that visits your studio - introduce yourself so visitors know you're the artist.
• If possible, have a work-in-progress available to illustrate your technique and process.
• Offer demonstrations to people interested in your technique.
• Invite your friends, family and neighbors to come by your studio - create a friendly atmosphere and build a following, beginning with your personal community.
• Actively invite people to sign your guestbook.
TIPS FOR SALES
- Make sure you are paid in full before letting anyone leave your studio with art, or you have a contract for payments. You can use PayPal if visitors want to pay with a credit card. Cash is fine, too.
- Remember to charge sales tax! In Kentucky, it is 6%.
- Have some kind of receipt/record of your sale.
- Don’t price pieces low just because you think it will make it easier for collectors to decide. You can always offer a discount. Decide what you think your retail price should be, what the lowest you’re willing to sell your work for is, and leave the difference for discounts/negotiating. It’s common for galleries to give a 10% discount, and collectors aren’t afraid to ask for it.
- Frame costs should be added on top of the price. If a collector doesn’t want to pay the $200 it cost to frame the work, consider letting them buy it unframed.
- If someone buys your work, get their email address and add them to your mailing list.
(ONE WEEK AFTER OPEN STUDIO WEEKEND)
• Develop your mailing list for the next OSW. Add new contacts to your mailing list and send them thank you notes/emails.
• Follow up quickly on prospective collectors, contacts, galleries, etc. with notes or letters, art show announcements, etc. Notes could include pictures of specific works they showed interest in.