Be An Awesome Host or Hostess: Part 1

The holidays are coming up, and you might be planning an open house or open studio event. Make your guests feel welcome. In this first article, I focus on how to best prepare for the day with a list of thirteen tips.


Tell everyone you invite if your event is open to all. If it is, encourage them to bring guests.

Inform your guests ahead of time about directions, mass transit options, and parking. Be specific about any parking fees, off-limits parking, and one-way streets.

Put out a sign or festive holiday flag–especially if your location isn’t easy to identify from the street.

Clear out clutter and anything unnecessary in the space. Even the usual furniture can be removed to make room for more people, but leave a few chairs in case someone comes that can’t stand for an extended period of time.

Jude Silva
Jude Silva, The Braid. Netting, nylon, and waxed linen, 96 x 30 inches.©The Artist

Put your pets away and make sure someone is watching your children. I don’t care how well behaved you think they are, pets and children will steal some of your energy. Focus all of your attention on your guests.

See that the bathrooms are clean and comfortable. Have plenty of toilet paper and clean towels on hand.

Designate a spot for coats and scarves.

Decide on snacks and beverages in advance. If serving alcohol, encourage responsible drinking and have non-alcoholic beverages (other than water) for designated drivers.

Dress nicely and look like the artist, but be comfortable. Wear a name tag if it’s at all possible that someone may show up that you don’t already know.

Your Guests

Make everyone feel welcome at your event. Introduce your guests to other guests, particularly when they arrive alone. Ask friends and family to help you with this.

Remember names as much as possible. When you meet someone, repeat his name out loud: “It's so nice to meet you, David.” Then repeat the name silently to yourself several times.

Treat everyone the same. Every person that enters is a potential buyer or potential connection.

Assign a friend or family member to interrupt you when they notice that a well-meaning guest is monopolizing your time. You don't want the other guests to feel ignored or unappreciated.

Handling Sales

Next week, in Part 2, I’ll cover sales (your sales table, sales help, paperwork, etc.).


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6 thoughts on “Be An Awesome Host or Hostess: Part 1”

  1. Pingback: Artist Open Studio Etiquette — Art Biz Blog

  2. We went to cozy little restaurant recently. The wait staff ignored us as they were busy visiting with each other. The owner/chef came out and spoke to 2 of the 5 tables. The food was very good, albeit over priced for the location, but I will not return because of the hospitality.
    Visiting a studio or gallery is much the same. The host must make the visitor feel welcome and comfortable.

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