One of the most common questions artists ask me is, "How do I get more people to come and see my work at Artists' Open House?" That's a tricky one. There are so many factors contributing to why and when people visit, and it's not an exact science.
Some of the reasons I've heard over the years.
"Too hot." "Too cold." "Too busy."
"Too scared to knock on the door." "Don't know anything about art." "Don't want to buy anything." "I wasn't sure what it was." "I won't be able to afford anything."
So, bearing these in mind, I have compiled a list of ideas you can use in our own marketing (whether you email, door drop, use social) to counter objections. Here goes. And if you have any more to add, please do!
1. Too hot. Too cold. Too busy.
Wandsworth Artists' Open House runs over two weekends and is open for a total of 28 hours. If you can't make a particular day, try to visit on another. Or don't try to visit several venues in one day, but break it up and visit one on each day. It doesn't have to be a mission but can be a nice break from shopping, ferrying kids etc.
2. Too scared to knock on the door.
Artists are very friendly and will be craving visitors during Open House. It can be quite lonely (and dare I say, boring) sitting for hours waiting for the knock on the door or ring of the bell. You will receive a very warm welcome and some refreshments. What's not to like!
3. Don't know anything about art.
Artists' Open House is designed to make art more accessible by showing it in artist's own homes. There won't be a gallery manager trying to make a sale. If you want to discuss the art with the artist, they will be more than willing. Otherwise, they will leave you alone! Just go with your gut. You will love some work, and be less keen on others. And remember it's not just art. You will also find jewellery, ceramics, textiles and all kinds of craft wares.
4. Don't want to buy anything.
Artists' Open House is not the same as an art exhibition. The main objective of Open House is to showcase art and artists in their home or studio. Of course, artists would love to sell something, but they won't be expecting it and will be welcoming to visitors coming for a browse and a chat.
5. I wasn't sure what it was.
Wandsworth Artists' Open House is an annual event, coordinated by the Arts Team at Wandsworth Council. Every year artists and makers throw open their doors to the public. It’s a fantastic chance to see what happens inside the artist’s work environment and know more about their creative process. Everyone is welcome!
6. I won't be able to afford anything.
Because artists are selling directly to the public, prices are often much cheaper than in a gallery. Also, it is possible to spend anything from £1.50 on an art card up to several hundreds for a painting by an established local artist. There is something to suit every pocket. And many artists run an annual studio sale ONLY at Artists' Open House so this really is your only chance to buy at reduced prices!
Artists' Open House is a friendly, welcoming event. We thrive on visitors and look forward to meeting new friends and neighbours in the coming weeks.