Greeting the Customer at an art show

Greeting the Customer / Customer Interaction:

If a customer enters your booth area or has been looking for a minute, greet them with your own personal statement.  This initial greeting will vary with every artist and said along with a smile and eye contact is just a method of letting the customer know that you recognize their presence and you are open to assist them if needed. I vary my statements but could be “Hello”, “Welcome to my gallery” or “Let me know if you have any questions”. Some customers want interaction from the artist and some want their space.I live near the town of Scottsdale, AZ were many higher end galleries are grouped together in a single area. When I enter these galleries they seem to greet me with something like “How is your day going” or “Are you visiting from out of town”. For me, it is not so much what they say but the warm pleasant attitude they seem to have while saying it. They usually let me know that they can help me if I have any show promotion

If a customer is looking at a particular art piece for an extended time, I may tell them a short story about the art piece.  It is not only the art piece they are interested in but also the connection to the artist.  This artist connection is something art patrons can get at an art show that they may not get at a gallery.   It is really a fine art to read the needs for an individual customer and how much interaction they want with the artist.

I feel it is better to always have a happy or more positive attitude when dealing with customers even if you are tired and at the end of a long day. Part of the customer experience is the joy of the purchase. They would be more likely to purchase from an artist that they have a good feeling about since the artist is connected to the artwork they are bringing home.

It also does not hurt to smile a lot as the lady in the photo is doing.

Many times, customer’s ask you what I would consider silly questions such as did you take all these photographs or are these paintings (not my art medium).  In most cases, they are unfamiliar on how to approach the artist and are just starting a dialog with you.  It is best to answer their question which can lead to a continued conversation with this customer.

Artists with different art mediums may get asked different questions from the customers. I am often asked if I am local in which I say yes since all my shows are local. An artist selling jewelry may get asked if she makes her own jewelry or if her jewelry is produced in China. Once you start selling, you will get some common questions and determine a standard answer for your customers.

On occasion, you will run into a rude customer. It is best not to deal with this in a negative way as this could turn off other customers in your booth. I just move on to a different customer and eventually the rude customer leaves. For the most part, the customers are very nice and often compliment your artwork.

When I do art shows and set up my 10 x 10 canopy, I noticed that customers are hesitant to crossing over the “hidden line” on the edge of your canopies main entry side. They tend to look at my art on the walls from a distance or print racks at the edge of my booth area. If you make the customer feel at ease and comfortable to cross that outside line into your booth, then you are doing something right.


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