ACC Baltimore 2013 – What I Learned – Marketing Materials

by Lisa Call on April 18, 2013

in News

Abstract Contemporary Textile Painting / Art Quilt - Structures #32 ©2005 Lisa Call
Structures #147
©2005 Lisa Call
53 x 67 inches
Fabric, dye, thread, batting

What Size?

Continuing with my review of the American Craft Council Show in Baltimore last February, today I want to discuss marketing materials.

I made the decision to go with business card to hand out to people in my booth – this was mistake #1.

Many artists were handing out larger postcards, which meant it was harder for people to hold my little business cards and they were more likely to drop them if they were holding the cards in their hand, which many people were doing.

If at a networking event you hand out postcards, well – your card sticks out as it is too big and noone has anywhere to put it as they are collecting business cards.

So we need to match our card size to the event.

I was certainly not the only artist handing out business cards but next year, I’ll be handing out postcards.

Images

My business cards were Moo cards and I spent much too long picking images for the card (they make it too fun!)

I have been out of business cards for over a year and when selecting images for my cards I was thinking long term as I figured I’d have these for a few years.

This was mistake #2.

I should have thought only of this event and the purpose of these cards – which was to remind people of my booth once they got home.

What I really needed was images of Structures #32, which is the piece that stopped people in their tracks and drew them to my booth.

ACC Baltimore - My Booth - 2013 ©Lisa Call
Structures #32 in my Booth

Well duh :)

So next year not only will I have larger cards – I will have cards of the specific work in my booth.

In retrospect this seems rather obvious but it wasn’t so obvious before the show. Which is why it was so valuable to exhibit the first time around with an open mind so I could learn as much as possible.

{ 16 comments }

Kris April 18, 2013 at 10:39 am

Thank you Lisa for the good tips on marketing for this kind of show. Your work is wonderful!

Lisa Call April 18, 2013 at 3:03 pm

Kris – you are welcome.

And thanks for the kind words. I really like your work also!

—lisa

Susan Brooks April 18, 2013 at 11:16 am

Thanks Lisa,

I just spent the morning getting my info to my card designer son in law for Quilt National! Your thoughts supported the decisions made! Hurray!

Lisa Call April 18, 2013 at 3:03 pm

Susan,

Yay :):)

—lisa

kathryn April 18, 2013 at 11:43 am

thanks for sharing your experience…so interesting!! there always seems to be a lot of learning with art shows…i wonder how many shows/years it takes to learn it all. i’m sure there are always surprises along the way tho, no matter how experienced you are!

Aryana B. Londir April 18, 2013 at 3:03 pm

Hi Lisa,

Great post on how to best utilize marketing materials. We now have so many options that it’s best to have various types and sizes for specific needs. And they are so inexpensive these days, why not?

Bye for now,
Aryana

Lisa Call April 18, 2013 at 3:04 pm

Kathryn,

Good question – can we ever know everything? I think one of the fun parts of being an artist is learning new things – both in the studio and the office – every day.

—lisa

Lisa Call April 18, 2013 at 3:05 pm

Aryana,

So true! They really aren’t all that expensive to do a limited run of maybe 100 cards for a specific event.

—lisa

wholly jeanne (aka jeanne hewell-chambers) April 18, 2013 at 3:51 pm

I guess better to go with both. How do you keep postcards from bending and getting all crunched up in your pocketbook or briefcase? I have a nifty little business card holder that I’m still in love with after all these years, but for postcards?

Lisa Call April 20, 2013 at 10:24 am

Jeanne,

I think that the type of event has it’s own personality. As I noted above – handing out business cards when the majority of folks are handing out big cards isn’t the best idea as they are hard to hold.

As for them getting crunched up – I don’t have a problem with that. I figure a large percent of people that take cards just toss them into the trash anyway (I toss all business cards into the trash after transferring the info into my database).

—lisa

Linda Crill April 18, 2013 at 7:02 pm

As a new author I’ve created business cards, post cards, and book marks to hand out. So this post was a much needed guide to what works best when. On the book mark, there is too little to say much about the book, but I can capture attention and mention where the book can be bought on line. I’ve found that using the online logos of Barnes and Noble, Amazon and Books A Million is better than words.

The post cards give more space to talk about the book and draw in potential readers who have never heard about my work. I can leave these at businesses and coffee shops and places where people gather.

Obviously the business card is used for business meetings and people who need to get a hold of me directly.

So thanks for your pointers. And I love your work and saw you in Baltimore.

Lisa Call April 20, 2013 at 10:25 am

Linda,

Sounds like you have a good selection of cards for different events. I like the addition of book marks to promote your book.

And thank you :)

—lisa

Sandi Myer April 19, 2013 at 4:06 am

When I was studying painting and drawing, the artist/teachers all had postcard size photos of one of their works of art. It is so much more effective and the
I felt like I had a mini piece of art to frame. The info on the back was their
contact info, website, and telephone number. They also had business cards
but gave them out when individuals asked to have them

Lisa Call April 20, 2013 at 10:26 am

Sandi,

I agree – the art definitely looks better bigger!

I always have business cards with me also. Their best use is to toss into the bins at restaurants to win free lunches :)

—lisa

Gregory April 19, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Lisa, every time I see that booth I just say,”Wow!” and it is NOT the booth it is the art — what you have been making totally rocks!!”

Lisa Call April 20, 2013 at 10:26 am

Thank you Gregory :):)

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