Conventional wisdom: Illuxcon 4


Yeah in the last post I said I was too lazy to do more than one post about Illuxcon. I lied. The fact is I was exhausted and couldn’t think of more to say, but now that I had time to sleep I found out I have plenty more to say. So I’m probably going to do this post about stuff I have learned there and one more about people I have met there. I hope I’m just not going to lie again and not do a third post. Sheesh.

About setting up a table:

  • Test the pens you plan to use to sign prints on the prints you plan to use them on. I found out over there that my gel pens would not write on the printed parts of the print, so I had to sign on the white part. I bought a felt tip silver pen now, but I still have to test it.
  • 12×18 prints take a lot of space and it’s not easy to find frames for them, 12×16 is more common, even if it doesn’t make much difference on the space on your table. I don’t think it made a difference on my sales but I discovered that shopping for frames before the con. I don’t want my clients to have problems framing my art, so the next prints will be 12×16.
  • Even if visitors pick up your prints, they still want your business card, they do different things with them (I nearly ran out of business cards.)
  • I surveyed people on my different styles, it gave them something to talk about and it was an ice breaker, I made people spend more time at my table than they would have otherwise, without making me look like a sales person. There’s also the fact that I was there not expecting to sell anything, so it helps.
  • People don’t read signs, at least handwritten signs. I had a sign saying:”These small prints are free, pick one” but maybe two visitors in the entire show have read it I think. I had to tell  them to take one. Some of them didn’t really believe me and kept asking :”Are you sure?”
  • You should not expect amazing sales of prints in the showcase, because you are competing with the main show for money and wallspace. I know some people sell originals in the showcase, or books. I only sold two prints and that’s because it was prints of Lily and Notre Dame des Fleurs, a style that was quite unique to me, so there wasn’t anyone in the main show doing the same only better.

About meeting people:

  • It’s perfectly ok when the time for meal comes to go see a bunch of people milling in front of the door and ask them if they are going out for dinner and if you can tag along. It’s easier if there is anyone in there you have talked to previously, but seriously, sometimes you think it’s all people who know each other and you’re surprised once at the restaurant to find  you are in a kind of spontaneous mob.
  • Sometimes you really want to talk to someone at their table but other visitors come along and the person wants to be a gracious host and greet everyone stopping by. It’s fine to show your portfolio and chat, but be aware  that you are not the only visitor and some other visitors might actually buy art so they need to be talked to.
  • Take your portfolio everywhere, you never know when someone will want to look at it.
  • Conversation pieces are good, you want people to remember you. Dorian Iten gave me a beautiful hand drawn business card. It’s the first time I ever get one and it’s a great idea. If everyone was doing it, it wouldn’t be as good an idea however. Find your own thing.
  • Wear your name tag, people might have talked to you and subsequently forgotten your name. A subtle glance at your nametag is less embarassing than admitting they forgot your name. They might talk to you more if you wear it! I know I do, and I’m terrible with faces. Nametags are a life saver.

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