Oh, boy. I had a terrific time at the Building Creative Businesses Expo in Denver yesterday. There were about 30 organizations with exhibit tables and about 35 workshops. Everyone was there to help artists, musicians, writers, and dancers with their businesses.
My short workshop, “9 Self-Promotion Tools Every Artist Must Have,” was a sell-out, with 75 artists attending. Only about 25-30% had ever heard of me before. I’m thrilled to have met so many new people! I’m always energized by working live and in person, which is why I love to promote my workshops.
After my workshop, I sat down at my exhibit table for the rest of the day. It was my first time to have such a table and you don’t see any photos of it here because it was nothing to show off. If I decided to do more of these, I would certainly listen more closely to the tips in Bruce Baker’s Booth Design CD.
Here’s what I learned:
- Toastmasters training is great to a point, but then you have to put the manual away and really connect with people. I think I accomplished that this time.
- It doesn’t really matter what was on the table. Okay, maybe I wish I had better handouts and a snappier look, ut what mattered most was that I could talk with each person that walked by. This leads me to . . .
- I kind of goofed and scheduled some free one-on-one consulting at the same time, which made it difficult to be absolutely present for both the passers-by and the artist sitting next to me. I won’t do this again.
- If I want to sell more of my art-marketing books, I need to mention them when I have a captive audience of 75 artists! I did end up selling a few from my exhibit table, but that wasn’t a good example of self-promotions.
- Bring a snack that’s easy to eat. It’s hard to talk to people when I’m shoveling a Chipotle burrito down. Those darned flour tortillas have a way of sticking to the teeth.
- Figure out how to get better workshop photos. I don’t have any really good "action" shots of me. I think it would pay off to hire someone to do this for me.
- Now that I think about it, I wish I had some novelty item that said “ArtBizCoach.com” on it–something besides just a postcard. What? A pen? A magnet? How about matches? Does anyone give away matches anymore? Maybe it’s illegal. Pens and magnets just seem so predictable.
I heard there were some excellent presentations and some not-so-excellent presentations. Apparently, not everyone “gets” artists.
See last fall’s Lessons from an Artist Workshop.