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Unlocking Opportunities: How Artists Can Leverage In-Person Events for Marketing

For artists, the world of marketing isn't confined to social media and online platforms. In fact, there's a treasure trove of networking and marketing opportunities waiting to be explored in the realm of in-person events. From art fairs to workshops, these gatherings offer more than just a chance to showcase your creations – they are potential goldmines for making meaningful connections, boosting visibility, and expanding your creative horizons. In this blog post I will tell you how artists can leverage In-Person events for marketing

How Artists Can Leverage In-Person Events for Marketing
How Artists Can Leverage In-Person Events for Marketing

I Personally love going to a networking event. Just try not to think of it as 'networking'. Instead, think of it as meeting new people.

I created a very long list of events (with links) in the illustration, art and craft and pattern design sectors- scroll down for the full list.

How Artists Can Leverage In-Person Events for Marketing

1. Art Fairs and Festivals: Connecting with Collectors and Creatives Art fairs and festivals are bustling hubs where artists, collectors, gallery owners, and art enthusiasts converge. Think of these events as your canvas for forging connections. Not only can you display your work to a diverse audience, but you can also interact with fellow artists and industry professionals. Whether you're discussing techniques, sharing insights, or making deals, these interactions could be the stepping stones to exciting collaborations and opportunities.

Various art fairs and festivals are held throughout the UK, such as the Affordable Art Fair, London Art Fair, and Brighton Art Fair. These events attract artists, collectors, gallery owners, and art enthusiasts, offering a great opportunity to network and showcase your work. (find a list with links underneath)

2. Open Studios: Inviting Authentic Engagement Opening your studio doors to the public is like inviting them into your creative universe. Open studios provide a unique chance for visitors to witness your artistic process up close. Engage with them, share your inspirations, and let your personality shine alongside your artwork. These personal connections often leave a lasting impression and might lead to commissions, partnerships, or even lifelong supporters.

3. Gallery Openings and Exhibitions: Crafting Artful Conversations Gallery openings and exhibitions aren't just about admiring art on the walls. They're venues where conversations flourish, ideas circulate, and relationships form. As you mingle with attendees, you're weaving your story into the tapestry of the art world. Engage in discussions about your work, listen to feedback, and who knows – a curator might spot your potential for an upcoming show!

4. Workshops and Classes: Nurturing Learning and Links Participating in or hosting workshops isn't only about mastering new techniques – it's about fostering connections. Attendees and instructors often share a passion for a particular medium or skill, making it a prime environment for like-minded creatives to come together. Through shared learning experiences, you're building a network of peers who can provide insights, collaborations, or simply a supportive artistic community.

5. Art Retreats and Residencies: Immersion in Creative Synergy Art retreats and residencies whisk you away from your everyday routine into an environment ripe with creativity. Surrounded by fellow artists, you're immersed in an atmosphere that thrives on collaboration and the exchange of ideas. Beyond the immediate benefits of inspiration, these events cultivate bonds that can lead to future projects or collaborations once the retreat is over.

6. Craft Fairs and Markets: Craftsmanship Meets Community If your art intersects with craftsmanship, craft fairs and markets are your stage. These events attract individuals who appreciate handmade, artisanal creations. Beyond sales, they present an opportunity to share the story behind each piece – building connections and loyalty among those who value the unique touch of your artistry.

7. specific fairs within your industry of choice. Research events happening within the industry you want to make art for. For example, if you want to draw comic books, you can join comic related events (comic-on for example). If you want to be a pattern designer, attend pattern specific events (see list with links underneath)

8. start-up network events are great to get to know other people who are on this entrepreneurial journey. I listed a number of events for start-ups in the creative industry underneath,

In a digital age, the allure of face-to-face interactions remains undiminished. In-person events offer artists more than just a platform to exhibit their work; they serve as bridges to fellow creators, collectors, mentors, and potential patrons. The connections made at these events can weave a web of opportunities, enriching your artistic journey and opening doors you might not have thought possible. So, seize the chance to step out from behind the canvas and into a world teeming with inspiration, camaraderie, and artistic growth.

List of Art fairs with links:

  1. Affordable Art Fair London: Website: Affordable Art Fair Locations: Various cities in the UK Description: Affordable Art Fair showcases a wide range of contemporary art at accessible prices, making art collecting more approachable for a diverse audience.

  2. London Art Fair: Website: London Art Fair Location: London Description: London Art Fair is a leading event for modern and contemporary British and international art. It features a diverse range of artworks, including paintings, sculptures, photography, and more.

  3. Bristol Affordable Art Fair: Website: Bristol Affordable Art Fair Location: Bristol Description: This edition of the Affordable Art Fair is held in Bristol and offers a platform for emerging and established artists to showcase their works.

  4. The Other Art Fair: Website: The Other Art Fair Locations: Various cities in the UK Description: The Other Art Fair provides a platform for independent artists to connect directly with buyers, collectors, and art enthusiasts.

  5. Manchester Art Fair: Website: Manchester Art Fair Location: Manchester Description: Manchester Art Fair showcases a diverse selection of contemporary art, including paintings, sculptures, photography, and more.

  6. Buy Art Fair: Website: Buy Art Fair Location: Manchester Description: Buy Art Fair features artworks from a range of galleries and artists, offering visitors the opportunity to discover and purchase unique pieces.

  7. Art Car Boot Fair: Website: Art Car Boot Fair Location: Various cities in the UK Description: Art Car Boot Fair is a lively and unconventional art fair where artists sell their work directly from the boots of cars.

  8. Edinburgh Art Fair: Website: Edinburgh Art Fair Location: Edinburgh Description: Edinburgh Art Fair brings together galleries and artists to showcase a diverse range of contemporary art.

  9. Art & Antiques for Everyone: Website: Art & Antiques for Everyone Location: Birmingham Description: While focusing on antiques, this fair also features art, showcasing a variety of styles and periods.

  10. Yorkshire Art Fair: Website: Yorkshire Art Fair Location: Harrogate, Yorkshire Description: Yorkshire Art Fair brings together galleries and artists to present a wide range of artworks, from traditional to contemporary.

List of art and craft fairs in the UK with Links:

  1. Renegade Craft Fair: Website: Renegade Craft Fair Locations: London and other cities Description: Renegade Craft Fair showcases a diverse range of independent makers, artisans, and crafters offering unique and handmade products.

  2. Country Living Christmas Fairs: Website: Country Living Christmas Fairs Locations: London, Glasgow, and Harrogate Description: These fairs focus on Christmas-themed crafts, gifts, decorations, and more, featuring a curated selection of artisanal products.

  3. The Handmade Fair: Website: The Handmade Fair Location: Hampton Court Palace, London Description: The Handmade Fair offers workshops, talks, and a marketplace showcasing handmade crafts and artisan products.

  4. Crafty Fox Market: Website: Crafty Fox Market Locations: London and other cities Description: Crafty Fox Market features a diverse range of independent makers and artists selling their handmade creations.

  5. Etsy Made Local Markets: Website: Etsy Made Local Locations: Various cities across the UK Description: Etsy Made Local markets are organized by local Etsy teams, showcasing the work of Etsy sellers and offering a wide variety of handmade and vintage items.

  6. We Make London Craft Fair: Website: We Make London Locations: London Description: We Make London Craft Fair showcases independent artists, designers, and makers offering unique and handcrafted products.

  7. Craft Markets at the Southbank Centre: Website: Southbank Centre Craft Markets Location: London Description: The Southbank Centre hosts craft markets featuring a range of handmade goods, from jewelry and textiles to ceramics and art.

  8. The Contemporary Craft Festival: Website: Contemporary Craft Festival Location: Bovey Tracey, Devon Description: The Contemporary Craft Festival is a celebration of high-quality craftsmanship, featuring a diverse selection of handmade products.

  9. Craft in Focus Fairs: Website: Craft in Focus Locations: Various locations in the UK Description: Craft in Focus organizes craft fairs that showcase contemporary crafts, including ceramics, textiles, jewelry, and more.

  10. Made by Hand: Website: Made by Hand Location: Cheltenham, Gloucestershire Description: Made by Hand is a contemporary craft fair featuring a curated selection of artisanal products from makers across the UK.

Pattern design Network events:

  1. Pattern Observer Surface Design Immersion Conference: Website: Pattern Observer Description: This conference focuses on surface design, offering insights, workshops, and networking opportunities for pattern designers.

  2. Printsource New York: Website: Printsource New York Description: Printsource is a trade show that showcases surface and textile designs, attracting professionals in the fashion and home industries.

  3. Indie Pattern Designers Conference: Website: Indie Pattern Designers Conference Description: This conference is tailored for independent pattern designers, offering workshops, discussions, and networking opportunities.

  4. Make it in Design Summit: Website: Make it in Design Summit Description: The Make it in Design Summit focuses on pattern design education and inspiration, featuring talks, tutorials, and panel discussions.

  5. Surface Design Show: Website: Surface Design Show Description: The Surface Design Show features innovative surface materials and patterns for the architecture and design industries.

  6. Textile Design Lab Symposium: Website: Textile Design Lab Description: This symposium offers a range of presentations and discussions on textile and pattern design, geared toward designers and artists.

  7. Pattern and Print Festival: Website: Pattern and Print Festival Description: This festival celebrates pattern and print in various creative disciplines, including fashion, interiors, and art.

  8. Heimtextil: Website: Heimtextil Description: Heimtextil is an international trade fair for textiles and interior design, showcasing a wide range of patterns and textiles.

  9. Pattern Designers Community Meetups: Website: Pattern Designers Community Description: This community hosts online meetups for pattern designers to connect, share insights, and discuss their work.

  10. Design Indaba Conference: Website: Design Indaba Description: While not exclusively focused on pattern design, the Design Indaba Conference features a diverse range of creative disciplines, offering inspiration and networking opportunities.

Creative Industry start-up Network events:

  1. Creative Mornings: Website: Creative Mornings Description: Creative Mornings is a global breakfast lecture series for the creative community, featuring talks, networking, and community-building.

  2. Behance Portfolio Reviews: Website: Behance Portfolio Reviews Description: Behance Portfolio Reviews are local events where creatives gather to showcase their work, receive feedback, and network with peers.

  3. Meetup Creative Networking Groups: Website: Meetup Description: Use Meetup to find local creative networking groups that host events, workshops, and gatherings for creative professionals and startups.

  4. D&AD Festival: Website: D&AD Festival Description: D&AD Festival brings together creative professionals, designers, and startups for talks, workshops, and networking.

  5. Creative Entrepreneurs Networking Events: Website: Creative Entrepreneurs Description: Creative Entrepreneurs hosts events that focus on providing resources, support, and networking opportunities for creative startups.

  6. Design Thinking Meetups: Website: Meetup Design Thinking Groups Description: Design Thinking meetups offer a platform for designers, entrepreneurs, and innovators to discuss and practice design methodologies.

  7. Creative Industry Expo: Website: Creative Industry Expo Description: This expo brings together startups, students, and professionals in the creative sector, offering networking and career opportunities.

  8. Designers + Geeks: Website: Designers + Geeks Description: Designers + Geeks hosts events that explore the intersection of design and technology, offering networking and learning opportunities.

  9. Creative Business Summit: Website: Creative Business Summit Description: This summit focuses on business strategies for creative entrepreneurs, featuring talks, workshops, and networking.

  10. Creative Startup Academy Workshops: Website: Creative Startup Academy Description: Creative Startup Academy offers workshops and events specifically designed for creative entrepreneurs looking to launch and grow their startups.

Book illustration network events with links:

  1. Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Conferences: Website: SCBWI Description: SCBWI hosts conferences and events that bring together authors, illustrators, and professionals in the children's book industry.

  2. Bologna Children's Book Fair: Website: Bologna Children's Book Fair Description: This international fair focuses on children's content and illustration, providing networking opportunities for illustrators and publishers.

  3. London Book Fair: Website: London Book Fair Description: The London Book Fair includes events and seminars related to book publishing, illustration, and authorship.

  4. New York Rights Fair: Website: New York Rights Fair Description: The New York Rights Fair is an event for content creators and illustrators to showcase their work and connect with publishers.

  5. Society of Illustrators Book and Editorial Illustration Annual Exhibition: Website: Society of Illustrators Description: This annual exhibition showcases the best in book and editorial illustration, providing networking opportunities within the illustration community.

  6. Asian Festival of Children's Content (AFCC): Website: AFCC Description: AFCC is an event that focuses on Asian content for children, including book illustration, offering networking and learning opportunities.

  7. Children's Book Illustration Workshop: Website: Children's Book Illustration Workshop Description: This workshop offers illustrators the chance to improve their skills and connect with industry professionals.

  8. Illustration Art Fair: Website: Illustration Art Fair Description: The Illustration Art Fair showcases a range of illustration styles, providing opportunities for illustrators to showcase and sell their work.

  9. Society of Illustrators Original Art Show: Website: Society of Illustrators Description: The Original Art Show features book illustrations from children's literature, providing exposure and networking for illustrators.

  10. BookExpo America: Website: BookExpo America Description: BookExpo America is a major book industry event that includes opportunities for illustrators to network with publishers, authors, and industry professionals.

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