Thursday, January 22, 2009

About Show RSVP's

In a recent show, an RSVP was requested for guests who planned to attend. Not many guests bothered to RSVP but lots of clients showed up. This caused some problems beforehand and during the show.

Beforehand, since so few people had RSVPed, there were some potentially sour moments between the galleryowner and the artist involved.

Both the gallery owner and the artist harbored thoughts that the other had not done as good a job of mailing invitations or pumping the publicity for the show. This is a problem since the gallery/artist relationship is based on trust to a large degree.

RSVP’s can also be used as an arms race. From the gallery owner’s viewpoint – the last artist show had lots of RSVP’s and the current show has very few. Means the current artist either: has no clients coming, is relying solely on the gallery’s drawing power, or the artist ranks so low in the clients mind that if there is nothing better to do they will go to his/her show. All not real comforting from the gallery owner’s view.

The artist has similar concerns. The gallery has no clients coming, they are relying solely on the artist’s mailing list, or the gallery is a very low priority for the client. Problem is that neither the gallery owner nor the artist can or should address this issue because of it’s volatility. Not a great way to engender warm fuzzy relations between a gallery owner and an artist.

During the show was the other problem. The RSVP’s give the gallery owner a feel for the logistics involved. Such as should the band be outside because a crush of people is expected? How much wine and cheese to order? Should there be police involved to direct traffic? Does the gallery owner need extra sales or cash/wrap help?

So what to do? Be kind, RSVP. Yes it does commit you to being someplace but what better way to spend a night – seeing great art by an artist that you enjoy, breaking out of the mold of staying home or going to the movies (doing different things than normal), meeting new people and renewing old friendships, and perchance buying some art. Not a bad way to spend an evening.

Your RSVP is a small item with larger ramifications. Just think, because of your thoughtfulness, you have indirectly helped make a relationship stronger (gallery owner/artist). This leads to less tension between the gallery owner and artist ergo a better evening for the client. Such a small gift with large benefits.

copyright 2009 Carl Wright

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bravo, remarkable idea