There are so many different events and obligations pulling on our time that it makes sense that you might wonder if anyone will show up for your art event. It being free is no longer the biggest draw. You know it’ll be worth your audience’s time if they swing by the studio but how do you convince them?
People need a solid reason to leave their house and unplug from their usual routines. Having a fun experience is one of the reasons people go out and explore the world. If you’re hosting an open studio or pop-up, what can you do to make your event feel like more fun to your audience?
No worries. Here are ten ways that you can entice people to show up to your open studio or pop-up market. They’re all a lot of fun for visitors and the ideas that feel best will be fun for you, too.
10 Ways To Entice People To Your Open Studio
1. Artist Talk
This is a great way to enliven what might be a quieter/slower open studio time when you schedule it at a specific time. For example, tell people in advance that you’ll be sharing the little known inspiration for your work at 10 am on Sunday to get them there when there’s usually fewer visitors.
2. Demonstrate a Technique
Give a demonstration of one or two very specific techniques you use. Show where you use them in your art. Examples might be how to paint a ribbon-like line, or how to paint a beautiful color gradation. What’s one small thing that you do that people might like to learn about?
3. Try-it-out Table
Work with clay? Allow visitors to make temporary coil or slab structures. Crop your photos in camera a lot? Let visitors use the golden grid. What technique would be fun for visitors to try?
4. Photo Booth
Create a unique photo booth that is in alignment with your art. For example, you can blow up a photo of one of your pieces and make it a selfie station. You paint flowers? Paint some big ones, cut them out and use them as selfie props. What if you created a huge cut-out for people to poke their heads through and have a photo taken? Silliness like this can be a lot of fun.
5. Tool Test
Have visitors test your tools so they can feel what it’s like to hold that wacky looking clay scraper or how heavy that grinder is.
6. App Love
Know a special feature on your iPhone? Show people how to use it! Know how to draw in ProCreate or Illustrator? Show people a little of how to do it!
7. Kids Table
Have something easy for little kids to do so parents can enjoy your work while the kiddos are entertained.
Co-work! Do you illustrate or paint plein air? Invite your audience and fellow artists to come by between 3-5 pm to co-work on art. How about a 15 minute group photo shoot “walk” in your studio space or on your block? When guests they come back, everyone shares their results.
9. Delicious Food
If you tell people you’ll have food at your event, they’re more likely to come to it. Especially if you tell them that you’ll have your favorite brie and crackers or some other amazing sounding food that you’d have at a party. It can be fun to treat your guests to a nice snack and it’ll feel like a party if you do.
For example, tell your guests that you'll be bringing out whatever food and beverages that are still available at 4 pm on the last day of your open studio as a great way to end with a party atmosphere! Or host a coffee and donuts morning party for the early crowd.
Create a give-a-way for those that show up and sign up to your mailing list. You could give away a piece of art, a Starbucks card, art supplies or anything else that sounds like fun to you. Or just make a fun freebie for visitors. Maybe a free print that you were experimenting with and happen to have multiples of or free buttons with your art on it. It doesn’t have to be big to be fun.
What 1-2 ideas above sound like fun to you? Pick what resonates most to you. Pick something that sounds like fun.
Now, how can you apply those ideas so they’re relevant to your artwork and studio practice? Once you’ve decided on one (or two) great reasons to for people to show up at your open studio, how can you relate it to your work? Can you use the same color palette as what you use or the same images, etc.?
Now that you’ve created a really compelling reason for your audience to visit you during your open studio or pop-up, share it on social media and email it to them so they can put it on their calendar and plan to be there for the party.
If your event is part of a larger, organized event like, see if the organizers can feature your studio and the fun thing you’re doing. If you’re buying an ad in your open studios guide, put the fun reason to visit that you just thought up (see above!) in the ad.
These ten ways to entice people to your open studio or pop-up art market will help you get people to your event so can sell more work, connect with people more and have a lot of fun. Creating a really intriguing excuse for people to visit you will catch the attention of you audience and when they show up for your open studio, they’ll feel like you threw the party just for them.
You can do it! I’m cheering you on!
Got something that really worked for you to encouraged people to show up to your event?
Help another artist out by sharing it in the comments. It may be the inspiration they need to feel excited about their open studio or pop-up market and get more people to visit.