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Invite The World To Your Next Opening ...
When you put your gallery on the World Wide Web. Galleries serve as 'market makers' for the works of the artists they exhibit. Their marketing efforts stimulate demand and regulate supply of an artists works with the goal of increasing the value and price of the works exhibited, and thereby the profits of the gallery. Galleries featuring any type of art or craft that can be represented in a photograph, video or sound recording can offer their work to collectors throughout the world, creating and expanding markets far larger and more specialized than could ever walk through your door.
The Internet presents an unprecedented opportunity to create and organize markets, with a reach far beyond any other print or broadcast medium. A service like E-Bay, for instance, can efficiently organize the market for a particular item of memorabilia by gathering together virtually all interested parties and pitting them against each other in a bidding process. The result is the highest possible price for that item.
Your gallery , with its presence on the Web, can do the same. Your may want to coordinate your effort with a service like E-Bay, to take advantage of their established customer base, or go it alone, building your private market.
An example of a hybrid approach to this concept is Cape Cod Style, a site developed as a mechanism to market the works of Cape Cod artists, crafters and others. This is a deep and complex site, offering stunning vistas of an idealized Cape Cod, an in depth look at an imaginative Bed & Breakfast, Restaurant and artist's colony, and beautiful art works by local artists and crafts persons.
Works are exhibited on the site and, at the option of the artist, offered for auction on E-Bay. This approach offers exposure of works on the site and on E-Bay, maximizing the organization of the buyer's market.
A second approach to a gallery on the Web was developed for the Artful Hand Gallery, a long established contemporary arts and crafts gallery with stores in the Cape Cod summer resort villages of Chatham and Orleans. The site details works from the gallery that are available for purchase on-line, biographical information about the artists and a random 'browse' function that creates an exciting, gallery like experience for visitors. There were two goals for this site:
Cape Cod, like many tourist areas, has a busy 'high' season and a very slow 'off' season. On the Cape July, August and September represent thousands of potential customers walking through the gallery door every day. These three months may represent 80-90% of annual revenues.
Though regional economic development authorities are making efforts to expand business in the spring and fall 'shoulder' seasons, their efforts are small and painfully slow. The management of the Artful Hand felt that summer visitors, if given the opportunity, would return to shop for Christmas, Valentine, etc., gifts. They felt that a website would offer customers the opportunity to be in the shop without physically being in the shop.
The site is promoted in the summer with printed materials, notes on cash register receipts, signage, etc.. Customers are asked to give their e-mail addresses to be notified of special promotions. In this way the shopping season at the Artful Hand Gallery has been expanded to year round.
The site also offered the opportunity for the gallery to exponentially expand its inventory at a very minimal cost. A physical gallery is limited in the number of works that can be exhibited by two factors; available exhibition space and money available for financing inventory.
A website increases the exhibition space available to virtual infinity. The cost of establishing a new 'gallery area' on the internet is probably less than the cost of painting one wall of an existing, physical, gallery. This new 'gallery area' can feature additional works by an artist hanging in the physical gallery, or the works of a new artist you just can't allocate space.
This new gallery 'space' does not have to exist strictly 'on the web', only accessible to customers at their homes or offices. The Artful Hand Gallery installed two 17" monitors in each gallery, allowing customers to access additional works by an artist while in the physical gallery.
In this way, the website can enable the gallery to offer the full line of a particular artist or craftsperson for sale without purchasing the entire line. Specific arrangements must be made with individual crafters, but generally the opportunity to sell more product at minimal cost is attractive to them.
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