Attention Art Producers and Agents: Looking For Some Guidelines for Hosting a Successful Portfolio Show? The Community Table Has Some Thoughts.



Guidelines for Portfolio Shows

After hosting the Community Table Minneapolis on “The Art of the Portfolio Show” and then editing the conversations for our posts, we thought it would be helpful to create a guide for art producers and reps.


Tips for Art Producers:


  • Release yourself form having to book everyone that comes to town and consider hosting group shows on set days every week or month so as to not over saturate your agency with shows. Turn out might be higher if you limit the amount of shows and are consistent with your timing. Then you can reserve one-on-one appointments for last minute calls or people who were not able to schedule a show.


  • Create a PDF of your expectations to share with the agents who come for group shows. Consider adding information about the space, catering interests, approximate number of people and logistics on getting books to and from agency as well as other things particular to your agency.


  • Communicate to the agents what type of projects you are currently working on if you can. That way, the agents can tailor their work accordingly or even remove non-relevant portfolios. Maybe even include it in your Expectations PDF.


  • Cheerleading is key. The more you can promote the show from within, the more people will attend. Enthusiasm is contagious.


  • Consider meeting with the agent one-on-one or even in an alternate social setting if a spot is not available for a portfolio show.


  • Consider bringing in one or two creatives and directing them to specific portfolio that you may think is relevant to their needs.


Tips for Agents:


  • Communicate your request clearly. Use the subject line effectively. Share your dates and times that you are available and do not leave it open-ended or up-to the art buyers. Provide options. Aim to end the conversation over email quickly and take little of their time coordinating.


  • Know that if you have not heard back from an art producer after 3 or 4 attempts, they are most likely busy and not available.


  • Do your homework and ask the questions that will allow you to show up with the most relevant work available.


  • Consider creating a group portfolio as an option to present. These can be helpful for the creative that attends and does not have time to look though multiple portfolios.


  • Create flyers or other invites that are clear, showcase your photography and include the names of your talent.


  • Be open to meeting with the art producer one-on-one or even in an alternate social setting if a spot is not available for a portfolio show.



And it’s a wrap. So thanks again for tuning in for what we hope was another helpful Community Table series. Also, to whet your what’s next appetite, coming up in April will be our next series of insights — insights gleaned from our 1st ever photographers’ roundtable.


With appreciations from your hosts,

Heather, Kate, Lauranne & Matt

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