Following an open house, there is more to do than just clean up. By sending a few moments to complete the following checklist, you can be sure to stay organized and better prepared for your next open studio event.
Record Traffic Numbers: Traffic can ebb and flow during your open house as well as throughout the years. Note the busy times of your open house and record traffic numbers if you keep track. Note if the weather was a factor in bringing people in or keeping them at home. It’s always beneficial to ask. your visitors how busy the rest of the building is, how they found out about the open house, and if what their other plans are for open houses or the weekend. Don’t be creepy and antagonistic, keep the conversation light and use feedback and information from your visitors to gauge key information.
Oftentimes, your event will be competing with other open studios or other local cultural events. Take a look at the locally published events calendar and see if something was drawing people away from your studio if you experienced low attendance rates. You can always change the date of your open house or run competing ads in publications that local events are published in. Think about boosting up your event with demonstrations, giveaways, or other ways to draw people in for next year if you frequently battle with local events and low attendance.
Record What Press Worked: Take a few moments to record the press and promotional outlets you used to promote your open studio. Did you place ads, send out postcards, run a Facebook ad, or email newsletter blasts? Record response rates on your email blasts, the engagement rates of your social media ads, and whether or not people to who you sent postcard invitations showed up.
Update Email Lists: Following an open house you will often get a list of new contacts that want to join your mailing list. Spend a few moments entering names in Mail Chimp or your email capture database after your open house. Note where you met them (open studio event) if they mentioned anything specific you need to remember about them (for example they were interested in purchasing a future commission). The sooner you enter their names and begin engaging with them the better. If you wait too long to get your list updated, they may forget they wanted to be on your list and delete or unsubscribe.
Log Finances: Tracking your income and expenses is important when hosting an open studio and art sale. Spend some time logging this information so you know what sold and where you are at financially.
Make a Note to Yourself: A favorite thing I like to do is leave myself a note for the future. I write down what worked well for my open studio and what didn’t work well. One year, I spent lots of time making my studio spotless and mopped the floor before my open house. It happened to be a very wet November and everyone tracked in snow. I learned that mopping was best saved for post-studio visits during winter open houses. Simple learning moments like this will save time in the end.
Is there something that you do after an open studio event that you would add to this list? Comment below and let us know!