By Fiona Jones | 01 December, 2016
Over the last 2 months we’ve been working as the technology partner for the Chester Arts Fair. It culminated in the fair held on the 18th - 20th of November. With more than 90 artists and over 1200 artworks, this was the largest art fair ever set up with the ActivCanvas technology.
In this blog post I’d like to share 3 discoveries from the fair, discoveries that were made by the artists themselves! I’m most excited by the fact that this happened with 90 artists using the app over the space of 48 hours. I can’t wait to see what happens when 1000s of artists and galleries have a chance to really put the system to the test.
Discovery 1: Unlimited Wall Space Leads to More Sales
The app allows exhibitors to show their entire body of work, increasing the likelihood of buyers finding the perfect piece. For one artist, this led to an additional sale that he wouldn’t have otherwise received. A buyer visited his stand, loved his style, but nothing was the right size/colour scheme. The artist sent the buyer to the app. The next day the buyer returned, ready to purchase a piece he found listed on the app.
Discovery 2: Smart Curation Leads to More Sales
The app was available to the public for 2 weeks prior to the opening of the fair. Artists are able to view analytics that let them know what potential buyers are looking at in the app. This means they can determine which artworks are generating the most interest. One of the artists caught onto this early and decided to hang the work that got the most views in the app.
"After an enjoyable first day at Chester Art Fair 2016, I thought I would take a look at my page on Art Retail Network and I found out that two of my abstract Underground Caves - Marble collection and one of my Raw Geode pieces had been looked at a lot by different people and shortlisted. My two abstract Underground Caves - Marble ones I had not put up on show at the art fair. This prompted me to swap around some of my artwork to show the two abstract Underground Caves - Marble pieces the next day. I am happy that my art is being seen by a wider audience. " - Janet Watson, artist.
Discovery 3: Extend the Fair from 3 Days to 3 Months
The app stays live for 3 months after the fair. This means buyers can return to the app and easily connect with artists after the fair. Artists got the idea and began using the app as a catalogue of work, so instead of handing out a business card, they instructed buyers to download the app. With the messaging facility in the app, the artist and the buyer can communicate directly through the app in real time. Buyers can also continue to get easy visibility of the work and the artist can add new work whenever they like. This nurtures the relationship and should help increase sales for the artist.
With all of this in mind, the artists received very little prompting from any of us about these capabilities… we kinda wanted to see what they would do with it without our influence. Our goal has always been to create a tool for artists, galleries and art fairs that they can use in their own way to help promote their artwork and increase sales.
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