We do all we can to promote the Trail and support our artists via advertising in the Press and online, providing signs, posters, flyers and Trail Guides.
Your own added efforts to market your Venue, and your work, will serve to increase your visitor numbers and the enjoyment of your Trail experience.
Publicity resources will be available on the website; flyers/poster to email, some copy, the logo and images suitable for Social Media. This post is being updated and you will be notified by Newsletter when it is ready.
You will be supplied with signs to ensure visitors can locate you. At your Venue, be sure to provide clear directions for entry and exit to and from your working space; even when obvious, visitors can get lost!
A Saturday in early April is set aside for the collection of all you need for your Venue – signs, clickers, posters, flyers and Trail Guides. This is also a social event for those who would like to stay awhile and meet other artists.
Setting up your Trail venue
The idea behind the Open Studios Art Trail is for the public to see your work in the context of its creation. Visitors love to gain an insight into your working practice, the tools you use, the process and details of making; it becomes accessible, adding meaning and associations to your work.
So do intrigue them with a flavour of your creative environment, work in progress, sketches or studies. Of course, selling is also most desirable so clear labelling, pricing and/or a list of any work for sale is a good plan!
During the Trail
The weekend arrives, you have all of your work out, clicker at the ready, kettle on for tea – and nobody comes! Three hours later visitors trickle in.
Alternatively visitors are queuing at the door at 10.30am. This is the way things are; the Trail is different for each artist. For some there are plenty of sales, for others the success is in the courage to share your creations with an audience that has specifically sought to find you.
Participating in the Trail is an experience in itself; there will always be the pleasure of inspiring talks with appreciative visitors, ideas for new directions, connections to be made and an opportunity to appraise how your work is received by your audience.
We would like you to note visitor numbers (a clicker counter will be provided) and also a record of any sales. There will be a form supplied for you to fill out during the Trail days and then to submit online.
This is to provide us with data regarding the effectiveness of the Trail as a whole and to help us make any positive changes to optimise the event. It also gives us valuable real data to encourage new artists and advertisers; the fees are the only source of income for our not-for-profit organisation. (Please note, individual details will be entirely confidential).
Keeping in touch with your fans
A book to collect email contact addresses and comments, as well as a supply of business cards, will help you keep track of visitors who are enthusiastic about your work and may like to be informed of future Trails, exhibitions etc.
About your work
You could have an artist’s biography, a statement of work and details of your creative processes for interested visitors to read.
It is your own choice whether or not to provide refreshments. Some artists provide tea and coffee, some even cake, and wine. A cuppa can often encourage a visitor to feel at home and chat a bit longer about your work.
An artist’s working environment can pose hazards to visitors. The Trail Guide will carry a disclaimer to the effect that visitors enter at their own risk and we will provide a pdf that you can print out and display in your studio if you wish.
Safety guidance suggestions will be available on the website. The post is currently being updated and you will be notified in a Newsletter, when it is ready.
Where possible, lock all doors not being used or use PRIVATE/NO ENTRY signs.
It is perhaps not advisable to let strangers have free access to the house to use the loo.
Wear something with pockets for money, or a money belt.
And finally …
All important dates in the Trail timeline are always available on the site. Diary Dates
We will keep in touch with you via monthly Newsletters, letting you know what is happening on the organisational side, anything we need from you and when it is required. All Newsletters will be added to the website as Blog posts, to keep the information readily available for you.
Art Trail Buddies
We are asking seasoned Trail artists to offer a guiding hand to new artists. If you feel this would be helpful to you, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will aim to match you up with a Buddy
We are here to support and promote you and are sure you will enjoy participating in this year’s Trail! If there is anything else you would like to know, do contact us at email@example.com.