We’ve spent a LOT of time trying to figure this out! And a lot of events have tried various approaches. But at the end of the day what you wind up with is simply a bunch of pictures that someone is supposed to click on and be interested in the result.
We thought… there must be something better… there must be something more interesting… there must be something that keeps the patron engaged and continuing to look at the work of your exhibitors. So we set out to design just that sort of website.
At this point, a lot of the Virtual Art & Craft Show ideas are still just a matter of conjecture. No one has created the “defining style” because up until now it simply hasn’t been necessary. Well now that time has come and we believe we have the solution.
The background work on a project like this takes thousands of hours of work. But when employed by the end user it must be intuitive and easy to understand.
Artists & craftsmen must be able to include their work easily and the patrons must be able to find that work just as quickly. The technical part of the “virtual show” needs to be hidden from view so that it’s complexity is not apparent and everything just simply flows easily.
To accomplish this we’ve allowed the exhibitors to simply fill out a submission form and their answers will automatically flow into a per-determined attractive layout. This consistency gives the artist or craftsman an effective way to enter pertinent information about themselves and their work… and at the same time it gives the patron an easy way to view and compare the work of our participants.
Almost anyone with even minimal computer skills can effectively participate in an event OR as a patron… browse among the exhibitors in much the same way they might at a live show.
Some exhibitors have their own eCommerce solution… others don’t. We created one that not only allows the exhibitor to address the working issues of purchase, sales tax & shipping… but also allows them to track inventory, interact with customers and the program performs a multitude of the mundane tasks of running on online website. In addition similar to Amazon and other successful online marketers… it continually encourages the patron to keep shopping and to keep investigating related types of work.
This is good for everyone! One of the problems many of the online Virtual Show solutions have, is that once the patron “clicks” on the work they want to purchase… it’s a “dead end street.” They purchase, they leave and they go home! With our eCommerce solution we continue to keep them engaged and continue to keep them shopping among the exhibitors.
Anything that allows this type of versatility can however be a bit daunting to set up properly. That’s why we offer complete support to those exhibitors who choose to participate so the burden is not totally on their shoulders. You can see the site in action yourself by going to https://orderfromtheartist.com
If an exhibitor would like to use their own eCommerce solution then that’s OK too. We simply charge a fee to set them up. Of course their own solution isn’t usually free either… and they lose out on all the interactivity of patrons once they “click” on an artist. But we leave that decision up to them.
It’s just simply a fact of doing business anywhere that the end goal is for everyone to make some money. So it’s also reasonable to address the costs of doing this. We’ve tried to come up with the most reasonable way to minimize these costs and at the same time allow everyone the potential to maximize their own income.
The Virtual Show can be used as either a primary way for you to present the event, it can be used as a backup solution in the event your event must be postponed or it can be used as an addendum to a live event that will actually be taking place. That choice is up to you, the event sponsor. But the mechanism and the costs are all the same.
WHAT DOES THIS COST THE EVENT SPONSOR?
If your event decides to be a part of VirtualShows.OrderFromTheArtist.com then there is NO COST to you for us to set this up. What we expect from you in return, is that you will promote the Virtual Show either independent of or in conjunction with your live event. We also offer the opportunity to have your own subdomain, for example halifaxartfestival.orderfromtheartist.com where we will completely customize the site to suit your needs. It will be related to OrderFromTheArtist.com but completely independent in it’s design and implementation. The cost for this begins at $1500.00 and will vary depending upon what your requirements are.
DOES THE SHOW MAKE MONEY ON THIS ARRANGEMENT OR IS IT JUST ANOTHER WAY FOR EXHIBITORS TO SELL?
I’ve done away with the percentage arrangement because it just became too complicated. That’s why I came up with the $35.00 fee. And if YOU can’t make money at it then how will you advertise and promote it? So… we charge your show $35.00 per participant (as an introductory offer I’m NOT charging for the basic setup). You charge the artist whatever you think is fair. Naturally you may still need to jury the show because you’ll want to have participants who are representative of your event. If you promote this to your local patrons in the name of your show then they are going to expect to see the same level of work they would normally see. If we charge $35.00 to set up the artist, and your normal fee for an exhibitor then you may want to handle this one of two ways. If you’re proceeding with a physical show and you’re incorporating a virtual event too, then you may want to either A. Simply absorb the $35.00 fee giving the artists an additional opportunity to sell (because COVID19 is bound to keep the crowds smaller and social distancing means less exhibitors) or B. Treat it like a “corner booth” or other up-charge you may have when you provide an enhanced service. C. Take advantage of the lack of limitations for the Virtual show and offer it to exhibitors who couldn’t attend your show but still meet your criteria – this gives you additional booth sales you don’t currently have! If you are NOT proceeding with your physical show and the virtual event will be your only show then you may want to reduce the fee to percentage of the regular fee rather than the full amount (this could also apply to exhibitors who only want to participate in the virtual show as well) and then of course your cost from us will be the $35.00 per exhibitor. Although you aren’t providing a physical location on a street or in a park… and you don’t need insurance, security, parking, police, porta-pottys, an army of volunteers, booth sitters and the like… you will still have expenses! You’ll need to advertise in the normal media you would, you may do mailing to people in your area, you’ll still need to do posters & signs, you’ll still need to invite people to your show. NO EVENT CAN SUCCEED WITHOUT PROMOTION… WHETHER IT’S A PHYSICAL EVENT OR A VIRTUAL SHOW!
Almost every event depends on sponsors as part of the funding for an art show and of course just because it’s virtual rather than physical the need for their money doesn’t change. But when they sponsor an event, they do expect some value in return. And we have a solution for that! If you have a regular sponsor program you produce for your event and you can provide the PDF layout to us then we can create a virtual program for your show too! Here is an example of on that I put together as a sample https://www.wheretheshowsare.com/email/spacecoastartfest/programguide/ we can include a direct link from the program to the sponsor’s web page, we can include audio or video if they would like… there are a multitude of enhancements that are possible and ALL can be either a benefit your provide to the sponsor OR an upcharge you use as a way to have additional funds. The cost for providing this would depend upon the scope of work we must do to complete it. But I assure you we’ll provide it at a price that allows it to be worth your while if this is something you normally do. If you don’t normally provide programs and you’re looking for a way to provide exposure to your sponsors then we can also produce banner ads that will run during the show. With our banner management program we can either provide spaces on your page which will run your sponsors banners or we can geocode those banners so they will appear when anyone in your area logs in (based on IP address). There are a lot of opportunities for you to be able to solicit and receive sponsorship money while delivering a good value to your sponsors!