How art galleries can host successful online events

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With COVID-19 came the closures of art galleries across the world. From world-renowned museums to local boutiques, art showcases everywhere are closed. But, that doesn’t mean art has to fade into the dark. You can keep the art alive with art gallery online events.

Art gallery online events can support your museum or boutique by:

  • Keeping your supporters and customers engaged
  • Growing your email list so you can promote again when your doors reopen
  • Driving sales of art
  • Generating revenue through ticket sales and donations

Plus, an online art event supports the community.

It offers a bit of escape and entertainment to the millions of people stuck at home or stressed out during this difficult time.

How art galleries can host successful online events

Let’s look at what you need to launch a #MuseumFromHome art gallery online event.

Read on for more.

Concept: What type of event can you host?

First, consider what type of virtual event would best suit your gallery or museum. A few options include:

  • Virtual tour: Welcome audiences to virtually explore your space by walking them through to view the art or allowing them to control the experience on their own.
  • Live demo: Film the art coming alive as artists, sculptors, painters or other creators conduct live art demonstrations.
  • Workshop: Teach people to create art of their own by hosting workshops that walk audiences through an art project or process.
  • Art education/lecture: Host a talk or presentation about a piece of artwork, artist, creative process or some other topic that your audience will find interesting and valuable.
  • Guest speaker: Invite other experts and artists to film with you, conduct interviews and host lively conversations about the arts.
  • Live audience Q&A: Also, invite your audience to participate in the conversation through a live Q&A session.

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Promotion: How to attract attention

Once you develop the concept for your art gallery online event, promote it to bring in existing fans of your gallery as well as new audiences.

Drive interest through email. Put your email marketing to use and build interest by sending promotional emails leading up to the online event.

Build excitement through social media. Use your social media channels to share promotional graphics, add the event to public calendars, and go live to offer sneak peeks and insiders-first looks at your event.

Reach new audiences through ads and press coverage. Expand your reach using targeted ads on social media, and connect with local media channels who might cover your event in their news coverage or event listings.

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Sales: How to generate revenue

You can host free online art events to engage your audience and generate leads by requiring email addresses to attend. Or, you can use it to directly generate revenue for your business.

Sell tickets: Sell online tickets through a platform like Eventbrite or directly through your website.

Sell art online: Start an online store through an ecommerce platform before your live event so you can direct audiences to pages where they can purchase items on display.

Request donations: Come right out and ask audiences to support your art gallery by giving donations through an ecommerce platform. Offer different donation levels.

Create packages and discounts: Get creative with your pricing and develop packages that encourage audiences to buy. For example:

  • Sell a monthly pass to all of your events instead of a one-time ticket.
  • Add a sense of urgency by offering limited-time deep discounts on products during your live event.
  • Give supporters something in return for donations like a shout-out on social media or a feature in your next art piece.

Related: Using coupons and promotions to help customers dealing with COVID-19

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Execution: How to host your virtual event

Once you have your idea, promotional strategy and pricing model, it’s time to host the event. Here are a few options for welcoming your guests to your art gallery online event.

  • Stream it: Use a teleconferencing tool or social media live feature to bring guests to your online event. You can go live on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube, or you can stream your event through platforms like Zoom and Crowdcast.
  • Record it: Film it beforehand and upload it to your website or social media channel.
  • Create a virtual tour. Create your own virtual tour by taking a series of 360-degree photos (you can use something as simple as a smartphone). Or, hire a professional to come in and create a high-end final product.
  • Plan to reuse it: Whatever option you choose, always look for ways that you can reuse the content or experience later. Add it to your website, use it as social media content or even consider how you can package it to sell it as a bundle art experience.

Related: How to start hosting virtual meetups

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Using art gallery online events to get through this tough time

The closures caused by COVID-19 have been difficult for businesses and consumers alike.

Hopefully, hosting an art gallery online event can help support your business by generating income and interest while also providing something fun, educational and interesting for audiences.

For more resources on dealing with COVID-19 business disruption, please join the conversation in GoDaddy’s #OpenWeStand community forum.