Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Planning a Show

I recently asked for advice on what I should or shouldn't do when planning a show. I got a lot of answers, which seem to agree where they overlap, which is great. As a few people said they would like the advice
too I have summarised it here.
  • The first thing after booking a venue is to get a press release written and out there. I was surprised that it needs to be done ASAP given my show is only five months away. Apparently this is very short notice in the press world. This one piece of advice was worth asking for. It scares me that I would have happily waited a couple of months before worrying about this.
  • Advertising, this needs doing now too. I need to be thinking about brochures and posters. I need to prepare my mailing list and start thinking about who needs to be invited to the private viewing.
  • Select work carefully, less is more. This was phrased in many ways by different people. I think the general message is only show my best work and try and make it one coherent voice. If it has different tones, then split the venue into regions and hang like with like.
  • An interesting rule of thumb for selecting the amount of work needed was to aim for half the linear wall space to be covered. Great and specific advice, as I scientist I love something this precise to work from.
  • Be prepared to take advice, again this was voiced in many ways, but the two that stood out to me were listen to the gallery director and ask them for advice. Also get a trusted friend to double check the show and be prepared to change it at the last minute if needed.
  • Insurance, for some reason that had never occurred to me but it is rather important to make sure the work in covered when on display.
  • Have a guest book. Again a fantastic idea, not only can I use it to collect details of the people who are there but it might be a good memento of the event, and I doubt I would have thought of it.
  • Get help, not for being nuts enough to do this, but to help man the show, hang work and generally assist in making things go well.
  • Not entirely show related, I was given advice on how to handle complements. I don't know about anyone else but I find that very difficult. However I can manage to say thank you and the tell them something interesting about the work. Thank you for that one.
  • Finally, feeling like a fraud is exactly right for this situation. Good to know I've got something right. I just have to carry on and ignore it.
I am sure there are going to be a lot more things I find as I go along, but this advice should help me avoid a few of the mistakes I was about to make and hopefully make this work. I am feeling a little more calm about it but boy it is one heck of a learning curve. I hope these hints will help other too. If you think of things I have missed please let me know and I will add them to the list.


Julaine Lofquist-Birch said...

Wonderful! The best of everything in getting ready for your exhibit!

In preparing for mine recently, I followed many of the points you made, and I should have realized some of the others!

Pace yourself - get plenty of rest, and don't forget to plan some play time!

Keep us posted...

PaMdora said...

The press releases for things like magazines need to go out early as you have learned. But if you want the local press to cover, you might try looking in the local paper for the name of the features editor, the arts writer, the lifestyle editor, the weekend editor, or anything else you might think is related. Send a friendly email a few months out, kind of just, put this on your calendar thing. Then as you get closer to your show, you might send a more detailed email explaining the show, your unique background, or something you might think would catch their eye for a possible story. Study other similar stories that have been written and figure out was the hook was. Don't be a pest to the media, but be an informed, helpful source. They will appreciate that. They might even cover your show if you're lucky!

Feather on a Wire said...

I'm interested in the 'how to accept complements bit' so what do you say beyond 'thank you', I'm not good at this.