How to organize a Photography exhibition – A step by step guide

Organizing any kind of event is no small feat, it’s a set of complicated task and a massive undertaking. The success of the event sorely depends on those individual tasks. Subverting these tasks can easily lead any event to its downfall. You have to be prepared for all sorts of unexpected nuisance. No matter how big or small it is, holding a photography exhibition can be an enriching experience. There will also be challenges while staging a photography exhibition. That is why it is essential to have a proper plan.

In this article, we will be discussing the step by step procedure to organize a photography exhibition and what to consider when planning such event. We have divided the entire plan into 3 parts and in each of that part, we discussed the step by step planning in details.

Finding the Photographs

First thing that you need is a respectable collection of photographs. You can go for a solo exhibition or you can mix it up with other artists. Either way, you need to have or manage a good collection of photographs. And for that, you need to stick with a plan.

  1. Define a Theme for the Exhibition

Every good exhibition has specific theme that unifies the whole event and makes it more organized, sleek and classy. Think carefully what to choose and what you want your exhibition to convey. Choose something that is not monotonous and has broader meaning, something specific, so that the participants can explore more ideas. Additionally, name the event. A catchy title is always good for generating attention among the masses.

  1. Select Your Proudest Work

Make sure to choose the best of your most recent works. If you are planning on doing a solo exhibition, you need at least 15- 30 individual pieces to fill the need. Each of your work should comply with the theme of the exhibition. Spend some time in producing original content that you can unveil for the first time in the inauguration.

  1. Take Submission from Other Artist

If you want to make the event a bit more diverse and exciting, don’t forget to contact with other artists for collaboration. Make sure you choose the artists whose style are close to the theme of the exhibition. Not only this will add extra flavor but also will spilt the expenses like the cost of the venue, licensing expenses, framing and promotional materials, etc. Overall a successful collaborative effort can uplift the entire experience in a well-rounded display.

The Event

Once you sort out the enigma of finding and choosing the photographs, the next thing that follows is the event itself. A lot of things happen in an event and if not tackled responsibly, the whole thing can collapse into a black hole of disaster in an instant.

  1. When and Where?

Secure a date for your event. When choosing, make sure not to schedule in a public holiday otherwise you might have to compete for the attention of your audience. If possible try to find a date near the weekend, this will give your prospecting visitors something to look up to. Organizing an event can be a daunting task, needs a lot of synchronization. So start planning 2-3 months prior to the event, in this way you will have plenty of room to get prepared.

Another issue is with the venue. A lot of people get confused when it comes to venue selection for a photography exhibition, most of them will think something more traditional like a posh art gallery with fancy decorations. While this is surely a great option but this certainly not the only option for the event. You see, there are local restaurants, cafes, and churches where you can also organize the event. So always look out for such places. Ask if they can help host the event. Holding an event in a more casual setting will help you get over your jitter and will give you a head start.

  1. Tag a Price

Don’t limit yourself with just showcasing the photographs. Try to sale them also. Think about it, showcasing your artwork cannot be the only purpose of the exhibition. You should be able to sale them as well. There are people who are interested in buying and collecting artworks from the venue. These people are real art enthusiasts and are willing to spend a fortune if something catches their attention. These are your prospects. They are the MVPs of your event. Don’t just price yourself out of the market. Try to tag a reasonable offer. Before sticking a price on your work, research the market. Find an adequate pricing spot.

For some artists, it is not their style to be like others. Although every individual piece should have its own value independently, it is still very important to know your niche before dive deep. Try to have different prints of your work. Not everybody will be able to afford the original prints. That’s why it’s always a good idea to have small prints of your artwork at your disposal so that you can sell them at a more affordable price.

When you are collaborating with other artists, make sure you work with them to come up with a price for the pieces that they have contributed.

  1. Marketing

After doing all the things mentioned above, the next thing you want to do is, promote your event as much as possible. Make flyers, broachers, leaflets, printed posters, pamphlets and other informational ads that briefly describes what type of event it is going to be. Mention what type of photographs will be exhibited in the event with date, time and the venue. Also, include if there are any dress code and entrance fee.

If it is a high profile event, organize a press release or arrange an interview with the local correspondence. Advertise your event at public places like community bulletin board, art school, café shop, and clubs. You should also make some personalized invitation cards or mail to some specific people whose presence are considered important for the event.

Now, head over to the social media, make an announcement about the event. Let the people around you know what is happening. Make an event on facebook, invite all of your friends. Ask your friends to invite their friends. Post relevant content about the event. Post about the photographer and their work with some sample photos.

If necessary, collaborate with other event organizers and the venue to reach a broader audience. Use twitter, facebook, instagram, snapchat, tumbler to showcase the behind the scene of the event. Make promotional videos on youtube with mesmerizing motion graphics. Make a teaser on what is going to happen and why it’s interesting. Main objective is to keep everyone excited and curious. Once you figure that out, success is a stone’s through away.

Road to success

The only thing that remains in between an ordinary event and a successful event is the event itself. This is why everything that happens in an event is important. Lastly, follow these key actions to make your event a success.

  1. Get a helping hand

Tackling the event is not one man’s job. Ask for a helping hand, enlist the aid of volunteers. Divide the workload between them. This way it will be easier for you to manage things like drop off and pick up the artworks. A team of dedicated volunteers can ensure that the event goes off without any hitch. Also, take help from the professionals. Call a shifting service, tell them what to do with your belongings. They will take care of the rest.

Doing all these things will ease the burden of coordinating the task. You will have an easier time managing the plan and if anything goes wrong, you will know exactly what to do next. Also, prepare for any last-minute preparation.

  1. Set up the space

Set the space according to the theme. Theme of the event should be reflected on the event floor. Mount the photographs to the wall. Set the lighting correctly so that it resonates with the theme and could create an impeccable atmosphere. Adjust the lighting to make sure each and every piece is well lit. Envision the set, how you want it to look like and how you want your audience to interact with it, then construct a final draft of the plan.

Make sure to label the space properly so that your audience can roam around accordingly. Don’t forget to designate the meet-and-greet area, the exhibition section, merchandising section, the refreshment section, and others if you need more.

  1. Engage

Social engagement is the most important part of any social event. You will meet people of diverse culture, beliefs, and mindset. This is fun if you know how to take the lead and communicate. Not only that, social engagement in an exhibition can lead your prospect buyers to buy your work. And for that to happen, you need to make yourself available to your audience. Answer their queries and describe what inspired you to take the photographs and what kind of emotional resonance it holds. Discuss your style of work and walk them through the creative process that you uphold.

Stay close to your work and welcome everyone who is interested in your work with a warm greeting. Tell other artists to do the same. Remember an exhibition is as social as it can get. Don’t confine yourself with hesitations.

  1. Offer refreshment

To make the atmosphere of your event more relaxing, offer light refreshment to your audience. It will set the tone of your event. Try to be thematically relevant to the offerings. You can go with lemonade, cheese, fruit, finger sandwiches and wine depending on the atmosphere. These will be enough in most cases. If you are expecting a large gathering, go with something more crowd friendly.

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