Create Anticipation By Promoting Your Art Event Early and Often

It’s never too early to start promoting your open studio, book launch, event, or exhibition.

Creating anticipation means you are preparing people for something big. You are building expectation, excitement, and suspense!

If you have a major event in the future, don’t wait until a month or two before it begins to tell people about it. Start dripping information about it now.

But, and here’s the clincher, add variety to your missives to ensure the news is never stale. “Come to my exhibit!” gets old real fast.

Jeanne Bessette shares an image in April that will be in her June show in Santa Fe.
Jeanne Bessette shares an image in April that will be in her June show in Santa Fe.

People follow you because they want to hear from you. There is a strong element of trust between you and them, so they expect to be among the first to know when you have something going on.

You are letting people in on a secret when you share news of your event in the planning stages. People love to know secrets!

TIP: Your earliest mentions should be less promotional and more informative or entertaining.
You don’t want your first messages to pitch something that isn’t ready. Instead, you are opening up, being a little vulnerable.

Use your newsletter, blog, and social media connections to get the job done. Weekly mentions on social media aren’t too frequent.

Here are some thoughts.

The Venue

Shoot photos of the venue, preferably with you in them: you pointing to a sign or inside talking with the staff.

Share on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and your blog.

The Art

Show photographs of your inspiration on Instagram or Pinterest.

Write about your inspiration on your blog.

Reveal the work in progress on your blog and share on Facebook.

The Artists

Write blog or Facebook posts about the other artists included in the event.

Compliment the other artists by posting a comment on their Facebook pages that says you’re looking forward to exhibiting with them.

The Temptations

What else might be happening near your event that would pique interest in your followers? Special food? A nearby outdoor concert?

Share this information on all of your platforms (i.e. social media, blog). People are more likely to come from a distance if they know they can make a full day or evening of the effort.

Is there a cohesive theme around your event? A location, a subject, a color, or a season?
Make a pin board on Pinterest to reflect the theme!

Golden, Colorado on Pinterest
My favorite things around Golden, Colorado – all on a Pinterest board. Click to see the details.

Based on advice from Beth Hayden in an earlier audio program about Pinterest, I created a pin board to share information about Golden, Colorado, where my events are held. Check it out! This is my favorite use of Pinterest so far.

How do you create anticipation?

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7 thoughts on “Create Anticipation By Promoting Your Art Event Early and Often”

  1. Totally agree with creating expectation, especially by using the social media sites. I actually discovered your blog from an earlier pinterest article you wrote and which I agree with. Pinterest is great for creating expectation provided you have the follower base and, because of its visual layout, it can really drive the point of your theme and spread the word fast enough. No artist should not be using social media sites, at least the main ones.
    Cheers 🙂

  2. In fact, I am agree with Kat too, I feel like a old fashion person. I actually I no use social media, just the blog!!!! I dislike FB and I have no idea the Twitter or others tools… `:O
    I definetely will read this web page, from the begin! Cause I need and its full of counsels!!!
    Thanks Allison

  3. Thank you! I’m planning to try and raise funds for a new studio roof by doing an open-studio event next year (live and virtual). I love the idea of sharing my ‘vulnerability’ about the event in its initial stages. I hadn’t thought of it that way, assuming I need it signed and sealed before promoting it. Hadn’t thought of promoting it on Pinterest either. Great!
    So sorry to hear about your cat, Alyson. My 14 yr old caught the asteroid back to Planet Cat in Feb so I know just how you feel.

  4. Thank you Alyson for such a timely post. I have been accepted to exhibit my art at one of the libraries in Toronto for the month of May 2014 .
    I have started to implement some these ideas to create the awareness and anticipation, but especially love the Pinterest idea.

  5. Cindy Williams

    I think you could post a pic of you working on one of the paintings for the show.
    Also, you could post a “teaser”.. just a fragment of your artwork, and post different works every so often (portions) and say “if you miss my show you miss my paintings because they wont be posted online…” well maybe work on that plan anyway, I haven’t worked out the details. Or post them a month after your show or something. Your little posts always give me lots to think about 🙂

  6. Cindy Williams

    Alyson, I wrote a long post earlier but it didnt show up. My idea was maybe do a painting or sketch of the venue, and ask the audience to guess where it is. Also, you could use “geo-tagging” and put the coordinates on it. (Maybe you could geo-tag with nothing else and ask the audience to guess the venue). Or if its in a restaurant or coffee shop, take a photo of the tables or the cashier, register, any familiar items ppl might recognize, and geotag it…. (for some reason, geo-tagging fascinates me). And ask the audience to identify the venue.
    I paint churches sometimes and I had this idea to paint some outdoor and indoor items, statues, etc, and ask the audience to guess the geo address. Or I was also going to see if they could find the item I painted, and take a photo of them standing by the item, and they would win a reproduction of the painting. The idea needs work but its a start. So why couldnt an artist do something like that to create interest? Any thoughts? Thanks Alyson for this post, its got my cogs in my brain grinding 🙂

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