Our marketing plan has always included events. I find them to be very effective ways to get good numbers of people in the gallery. It's non-threatening, as we aren't really pushing sales during these events. People get a chance to see our latest offerings while enjoying social time. It has been especially useful for convincing spouses to visit the gallery. They don't want to be pressured to shop but are happy to stop by for a free glass of wine and a chance to peruse at their own pace.
To that end, I have made the gallery available for private parties in the off hours. We will see, when we get to the end of December, just how effective that will be. It really seems to be a no-brainer - an opportunity to get my artists' works in front of a fresh group of people on a regular basis. The experience, itself, is often what makes it work.
So far, I have booked four special events in the gallery and they run the gamut from a Christmas party for an extended group of friends to a networking/social event for a local BNI organization to an internet meetup group and an off-site open house for a new business colleague. I'm pleased because each group of people embraces a slightly different demographic. I'll be able to see, from the feedback, just what appeals to whom. It may really help with my planning for the coming year.
I think that in the New Year, the events will lean toward networking and business presentations. I feel that first quarter will be an excellent time to further develop this concept. I plan to invest in some folding chairs and other types of supplies, to make the space more attractive to other businesses. I'd appreciate any feedback from businesses out there about what they are looking for in a space.