02 Jun Make Them Glad They Came – To your Exhibit
MAKE THEM GLAD THEY CAME A few years ago Drew and I went to an art show to see the exhibit of an artist that we have always admired. I had already bought many of his prints and had them framed and hanging in my office. I was so excited to finally meet this artist!
When we arrived, there were many people already there at the gallery. I wasn’t sure what this artist looked like, and it took me some time to find him huddled in the far back corner of the room, sitting hunched over in a chair.
I approached him and said “Hi! I’m so glad to meet you. I’ve been collecting your art for a long time!” He barely looked up, still sitting, and grunted an inaudible greeting. I felt awkward. I continued “It’s great to have you here in Southern California.” He didn’t respond, as he was looking past me, possibly hoping to see someone more interesting to talk to. Feeling uncomfortable, I slowly slinked away.
I left that exhibit feeling disappointed that I went. I didn’t purchase any art that night, and I never bought another one of his prints again. Why? Because I was sorry that I went.
It’s Easy to Make them Glad they Came: It would have been so easy for this artist to not only make me feel glad that I went to his show, but to encourage me to buy one of his paintings and remain a collector for life.
Let’s relive that scenario again, only this time, with the result of an art collector being glad that they came:
When I arrived, there were many people already there at the gallery. I knew immediately who the artist was, as he was greeting almost everyone who came in the door.
I walked in, and he looked me in the eye and said “Thanks for coming. I’m glad you’re here.” And even though he was saying that to everyone, I still felt special. He then pointed me to the wine bar and suggested that I look around. “Let me know if I can answer any questions for you.” He said.
Later, feeling welcome and comfortable, I approached and said “Hi! I’m so glad to meet you. I’ve been collecting your art for a long time!.” He thanked me, and asked my name. Then he asked where I was from. And he seemed very interested in knowing more about me, and what I liked about his work. I felt very connected to him, and most of all, I felt that he appreciated me being there. It feels good to be appreciated!
I bought a painting that night. I spent more than I wanted to, but now that we were on a first name basis, I felt very connected to this artist. I am a collector for life. And I was glad that I came.
Here’s Just a Few Little Things You Can Do To Make Them Glad They Came:
- Greet every guest at the door and tell them”I’m glad you’re here!” (like you mean it). Shake their hand.
- Offer every new arrival a drink (or direct them to where the drinks are).
- Connect your guests with other guests “Oh, Tom, I want you to meet Phil. He’s been an admirer of your art for some time.”
- Offer to give a tour of your new paintings – walk the guest from painting to painting.
- Ask everyone what their name is, where they are from. Engage and act interested in them.
- When someone’s leaving, thank them for coming, and mean it.
Just these small actions will make the difference between your event being memorable or not.
What if I’m Shy or Not a People-Person? Some artists have trouble being outgoing. That’s okay – just as you learned to paint, you can learn to be friendly and act interested in someone. It doesn’t take a lot to say hello to everyone that walks into your exhibit. And it’s just as easy to thank them when they are leaving.
xxoo Spunk Brophy (Follow me on Twitter www.twitter.com/mariabrophy)
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