A simple and useful tool is simply carrying a business card. It can conclude or confirm a good first impression you’ve just made and is a valuable resource for following up on new contacts.
Consider this scenario: You don’t have a card and ask your conversation partner to grab his phone (located in his bag or pocket), dictate your name and correcting any misspellings along the way. All that does is interrupt whatever flow and elegance the moment had up until that point, exchanging it triviality and awkwardness. Also, a first meeting often takes place during noisy openings, between 2 glasses of champagne and a group of people around. Finally, your name is now just another name among “contacts” and will in all likelihood be forgotten the day after tomorrow.
Art Event Networking
Compare that to having your card easily slide out from your pocket (you have them ready of course), delivered with a smile, concluding a friendly first encounter with class. This invites a follow-up, in peace and quiet, at a later point.
Your business card is an easy, simple and powerful way to connect to what could be your next deal. Assuming you're ready to accept the idea, let's consider the information you should put on it, before you head on over to the printer.
Business Card Information
- Your name / same as on your website, signature etc, even if it is a pseudonym
- Your contact info: Email / phone number
- Your studio address, if you have one
- Your website address, or where to see your work online
- Note: You don’t need to write “artist” as your title
As for design, less is more. Keep it simple. If you really want to, you can display an image of your work, but it should all remain very subtle. If people want to see more of your work, they’ll go online an check it out.
It’s also a good ideas to consider the paper you use for printing. A business card will be felt physically by the person holding it, often saying more than the design you’ve chosen. A nice thick paper will leave a solid impression. If the business card came out on a thin paper from your ink-jet printer at home, not so much. Your business card should finalize the professional first impression you just made.
Also choose a dimension that fits easily in a wallet or pocket, without having to fold it. Otherwise, your card might end up in the trash. Now get ready to rock-and-roll, have fun networking!
Want to know more?
Join me for the Outside The Studio workshop and learn how networking fits into the “big picture” of your career. Get practical information on the protocol, conduct and temperament of the art world. In a total of 9 sessions, we build on your individual strengths with a hands on approach:
The workshop is divided into three main sections, each with 3 chapters for a total of 9 teaching modules (ca. 180 minutes total). Each section comes with a worksheet, templates and practical assignments. Scroll towards the bottom of this page to get the workshop outline.
We first cover “Meeting the Artworld”, looking at the interaction between the contemporary art market. The second part focuses on “Your Work Outside the Studio”, discussing how to document your work, creating a bio / CV and finally, how to promote yourself elegantly. Lastly, we get to “You Outside the Studio”, looking at the particular networking skills required in this business. This section covers the art of pitching, how to make the opening night a success and follow-up on new contacts and finally, preparing for a studio visit.
- Insight to the “Big Picture” of the art market
- Professional artist management methods
- Further clarity and strategy towards career goals
- Communication skills
- Confidence and motivation