2016 Beverly Art Walk Best Practices: Businesses

Venue Submissions Open May 15 – August 1, 2016

The Beverly Art Walk (BAW), scheduled for Saturday, October 1st, is a FREE event that brings thousands to the Beverly/Morgan Park area for a one-day celebration of local art, music, food, performances, and family-friendly fun. Visitors to BAW travel by walking, biking and taking trolleys to nearly 50 venues around the neighborhood. It’s a great opportunity to showcase our many great local businesses. The online submission form for businesses will be available beginning May 15th. The deadline for applying is August 1st. Venues will be charged a $100 participation fee, which helps defray the costs of marketing, printing, materials, and installation. The Art Walk is a volunteer-run event; all donations go directly to event expenses.

This year, we are thrilled to have WXRT as a lead sponsor, which will help promote the Beverly Art Walk to hundreds of thousands in the greater Chicagoland area. Approximately 6,000 attended in 2015, and our goal for 2016 is to surpass 10,000. Business owners that plan and prepare to make the most of this opportunity can reap the rewards in sales, exposure, and new customers. With so many venues to choose from, how can you make your shop a memorable stop? Here’s some best practices to help you do your best and get the most out of your participation in the Beverly Art Walk:

1) Sign up early! The more advanced notice we have of venue participation, the better organized and ready we can be for the big day. Acceptance notifications will be sent to business owners between August 1-15th as we sort through artist applications and seek appropriate spaces for their work.

2) Figure out in advance what wall, shelf, counter, floor or window space you will devote to art. On your submission form, provide photos, measurements or other details that will help the BAW curators plan an art installation suitable for your space.

3) Think about how to best market your business to the many new visitors who may be seeing your shop/business for the first time. How can you turn them into returning customers? What products/services to highlight? This may be good time to roll out that new product. Sponsoring the Art Walk will also help raise awareness through logo recognition.

4) Invite everyone you know! Share BAW Save-the-Date postcards in your shop. Talk about it with customers. Share a link to the BAW website on your website. Connect with BAW on Facebook and Twitter and share updates.

5) Prepare for crowds, and be a good host! Offer samples, treats, activities for kids – anything to keep them in your store or restaurant having fun and spending money. The Art Walk is noon-7pm. We hope your business/organization can be open during the entire event, but if you need to close earlier, please let us know so we can include in the program book.

6) Play up the “art” in what you offer, your products and/or services, and your space. We reach out to musicians to play in and outside of many exhibition venues, and you too can help create a festive, welcoming environment for patrons.

7) Partner with other nearby businesses to create a “hub”. With so much ground to cover, visitors tend to gravitate towards spots that have multiple venues in one area. We do our best to have multiple exhibitions in the same area, and you can help by collaborating with your neighboring businesses, such as a tented area or unique theme.

8) Please cooperate with BAW volunteers and artists trying to coordinate a time to install the work. They have many venues to install in a short amount of time. Also, keep in mind that installing artwork often entails putting holes in the wall. These can be easily patched and repainted and we do our best to keep these to a minimum. If you have an artist or artists in mind for your space and have worked it out with them, let us know! We try to accommodate these requests and pair artists and business owners in the best possible manner.

9) Remember that it is a privilege to have unique, handmade art to beautify and add visual interest for your space. Be a good partner to the artists assigned to your business. Be sure to exchange contact information with them and learn a little about their work so you can help promote them to BAW visitors. In some cases, business owners and artists get along so well that the business owner keeps their art in the shop well after the art walk has ended.

Posted at June 1st, 2016 by mwilczak.
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