Founding a successful, esteemed art gallery is always a challenge, both for experienced art dealers and first-time entrepreneurs. Between the hunt for funding, promoting your new exhibition space, and attracting seasoned artists and art-literate audiences, a lot can fall through the cracks, making your venture lose money and respect rather than acquire them.
Bear in mind that both artists and collectors pay attention to your gallery’s credibility, and in this time and day, marketing is a necessary tool that can make it or break it for any enterprise. If you’re about to promote your new gallery for the first time, here is what you should know about attracting the attention your business needs to grow.
Step 1: Location, location, location
Choosing the appropriate venue for your exhibition space depends on many factors: The financial aspect, the size of the space you need, the likely locations of your target demographics, the distance from the competitors’ galleries, and even the type of art you’re looking to display.
Taking all these aspects into consideration, remember that the location of your gallery plays a huge part in how the visitors will perceive you as a business. Conduct thorough research to find out where your target audience lives and spends free time and choose your venue accordingly. Still, be cautious when it comes to this aspect of promoting your gallery. You shouldn’t lose yourself on the hunt for a prestigious location you won’t be able to afford.
Step 2: Investing in memorable interior design
Once you’ve chosen the perfect place for your gallery, make sure to decorate and adapt the interior in a way that compliments the space and attracts your target audience. Of course, the way your space looks should appropriately showcase the displayed art pieces rather than steal the spotlight entirely.
When it comes to designing the interior of your gallery, it’s always advised to hire professionals to handle this part of the setup process. The way the space looks can become a hot topic in the art community for right and wrong reasons alike, and the last thing you want is your gallery to be remembered for looking tacky, distasteful, or overly flamboyant.
Step 3: Promoting your gallery before the grand opening
Although promoting your new exhibition space online can begin as soon as you lock in the venue and decide on the design, the time before the grand opening is the period when you should take your advertising efforts to the next level. Have your friends and supporters spread the word, too: Good news travel fast, and your gallery can certainly benefit from this.
Once everything else is taken care of and you have a sizable audience interested in your business, it’s time for the grand opening. This event is especially important from the marketing perspective, as it will have a huge impact on how your visitors perceive your professionalism in the future.
Contact the artists, make a guest list, arrange catering, hire associates and planners, and put a big smile on your face. Mingle, say a few nice words to every person you can, and enjoy the moment you’ve been waiting for. This is your time to shine and leave an impression your visitors will remember for a long time to come.
Step 4: Promoting your gallery after the opening event
Many gallery owners make a huge mistake of disregarding marketing in the time that passes between hosting two big events. Now that you’ve made an impact, you can’t afford to rest and expect the things to develop on their own, quite the contrary.
What can you do to attract new visitors and keep the interest in your art dealership business alive before the next grand exhibition? Keep promoting your business online and in the local press, organize matinees and workshops with artists, plan to host lectures held by art critics and other professionals from the industry, or offer special “new business” discounts to attract collectors and similar interested parties.
Step 5: Harnessing the power of word-of-mouth promotion
In this time and day, digital marketing is on everyone’s lips. The power of social media and email marketing has never been as impactful, but even in the 21st century, the good old-fashioned word-of-mouth can still do wonders for many businesses.
Stay in touch with your friends from the art world, former coworkers and partners, and acquaintances who show interest in what you do. Always let them know when something new and interesting is coming up, and ask them to spread the word if your relationship allows for it.
You want to promote your new stunning art space, but you feel insecure if it’s going to work? This step-by-step guide can help all aspiring gallerists who want to start their own ventures and become relevant and prominent figures in the competitive world of the art dealership.
Don’t get discouraged if your first exhibitions don’t lure in as many visitors as you’d have hoped for. All good things take time, so you can’t expect to build your reputation overnight. Remember that, besides good marketing, persistence, good organization, consistency, and exhibiting high-quality art pieces are the crucial foundations of your future success.