Promote an Out-of-Town Event

Marietta, Georgia sculptor Steve Miller has a benefit sale in Chicago later this spring. How it came to be in Chicago is a story in itself, and Steve admits that he doesn’t have many connections in the Windy City. Still, he’d like to help the organization hosting the sale promote it.

While you can’t always be in the same town where your art is being exhibited, you can help promote the event from a distance. Here are ten suggestions.

Annie Salness
Annie Salness, Crosswalk.
Acrylic on masonite, 12 x 12 inches. ©The Artist


1. Be clear on your responsibilities and those of the venue or other parties involved. Who takes care of press releases and invitations? Who pays for which expenses? Where is there overlap? These responsibilities should be outlined in writing. It’s essential to making sure that tasks aren’t duplicated or, worse, that you’re sending out a message that contradicts one from the venue.

2. Once your responsibilities are clear, create a timeline for your tasks. Review the timeline at least once a week to ensure you’re on track.

3. Post the event on your Web site and blog ASAP.

4. Start blogging about it immediately, mentioning it in your blog posts at least once a week.

5. Post it as an event on your Facebook and/or LinkedIn profiles.

6. Tweet about it every two or three days on Twitter. Be sure to mention the word “art” along with the name of the city in your tweets.

7. Find new contacts on Facebook that live nearby your event. Request their friendship, mentioning your reason for doing so (without giving them a hard sales pitch).

8. Visit the blogs of artists who live near your event location and send them an email of introduction. Ditto for those who might support the cause of any charity you are collaborating with. If you think it’s appropriate, ask if they would be interested in mentioning the event on their blogs. Be sure to include text that is easy for them to copy and paste into their blogs or emails. Don’t expect them to spend time writing their own text about your event.

9. Brainstorm everyone you might know in the area. Update your mailing list with these names as well as all of the names you have come across while performing the above tasks. Be sure to send the following three email messages to all of them: a save-the-date announcement a month or more in advance; a sincere email invitation three or four weeks prior; and, finally, an email reminder two or three days before the event.

10. Consider an online component to promote the event, which is easy if you have a decent mailing list, blog followers, and a presence in the social media world. You could create a special Web or blog page with a preview of the art that will be at the event and have your online followers vote on something like their favorite work or a possible title for a piece. You could also offer a giveaway to one lucky winner. Anything you do that makes the experience interactive is more likely to generate a buzz.

As you can see, there are plenty of things you can do to promote your event even if you have to do it from a distance. How lucky we are to live in this time!

KNOW THIS———-~> Although you might live far from your event or exhibit, there’s still much you can do to get people to attend.

THINK ABOUT THIS—~> Is the success of the event or exhibit important? Important enough to take action?

DO THIS————~>Promote your out-of-town event without ever leaving home. Start with getting clear on the first two items on the list above and the rest will be fun. Think of it as a game and enjoy the process and the challenge.

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