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Open Door Policy: Strategies for Successful Holiday Studio Sales
Posted By Jennifer Harnetty On November 3, 2010 @ 8:32 am In Daily,Features,Open Studios | 1 Comment
| Today’s post is a two parter. Recently, I have been following a thread in the Ceramic Arts Community Forum on getting ready for your holiday studio sale. With the holidays fast approaching, I thought I would share some of the helpful information in today’s blog post, and hopefully, expand the discussion.
I was also flipping through the November 2010 issue ofCeramics Monthly and I realized there is a ton of valuable information on open studio tours in general (not just holiday related), so I thought I would throw that into the mix as well. Now if I only had enough work to put into a studio sale this season, I would be in really good shape. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
Potters Council President Chris Campbell’s Holiday Studio Sale Tips
Give a very nice door prize, collect names and addresses on entry forms, and keep those addresses for next year.
Make sure everything is clearly priced.
Take credit cards — make it easy to buy multiples!
Create your mood with music — Jazz, blues, rock — I don’t play Christmas carols.
Scent the air with an apple, vanilla, cinnamon mix, kept out of sight.
Serve good food — not a bag of store-bought cookies and weak punch.
Spread the treats around and people will follow the m&m’s trail!
Get a friend or two to help with wrapping and check out. The most crucial thing for my sale was getting them rung up and packed when they were ready to go. We had a place set aside where they could set stuff down with their name on it to hold it so they could shop more or visit. I had three people working there to make sure they got out quickly.
I put a large sign on my front door inviting people to just walk in, then, just inside, another simple sign with an arrow showing them where to start.
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Ceramic Arts Community Forum Moderator Mea Rhee’s Holiday Studio Sale Tips
For me, one of the fundamental motivations for doing a home show is to be cheap!! Don’t spend money trying to be fancy. Maximize those profits instead.
Invite a different “guest artist” every year, so the event is always different from the year before. I tell my guest artists that there is no cost for them to participate, their only responsibility is to advertise the event to their customer base. Sometimes this can be totally symbiotic. This year the person I invited to do my open house invited me to do hers as well.
I once provided a big table full of fancy food, including wine, and nobody noticed. I find that homey snacks, like a plate full of homemade brownies, makes folks feel more welcome.
I spent a little money on a decent vinyl banner that says “pottery sale” that I hang on my front porch starting a week before the event. Now I can reuse it for free.
I will also spend money to print and mail a nice postcard to my local mailing list. And at all the other shows I do in the fall season, I hand out the postcards and tell all of my customers about the event. It only takes a small number of motivated customers to make the event a big success, so I target my marketing efforts to people who have already demonstrated their fandom. But that’s all the advertising I do. I would welcome other opportunities for publicity, but only if they’re free.
Most important tip: shoppers might feel a little awkward walking into a private residence, so make them feel welcome! There’s lots of good ways to accomplish this, make it a priority. It doesn’t have to cost any money.
|Chime in with your holiday studio sale tips in the
Ceramic Arts Community Forum!
For many years now, potters have been lamenting the demise of the craft
|Read the rest of this article here!|
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