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Four Tips for Studio Tours

Tags: Tipsheet, Activity organizers, Activity Ideas, Community Organizers

Does your studio tour happen on the same weekend as Culture Days? Whether you are a new or a well-established studio tour, cross-promotion with Culture Days can help get the word out about your event. Culture Days has a wealth of promotional tools and templates that are beneficial to studio tours.

Culture Days Ontario spoke to Elsa Mann of Night & Day Pottery Studio, Marketing Chairperson of the Saugeen Autumn Leaves Studio Tour, about her tips on successfully promoting a studio tour. Here are four tips that Elsa recommends:

1. Be sure to clearly identify the different mediums of participating artists (pottery, watercolours, sculpture etc.) and the kinds of artwork that will be available at each studio in your listings. People often choose which studios to visit based on their interest in a certain type of work. It’s best if this information is searchable on your website or if your listings are arranged by medium.

Culture Days Tip
Register each studio on your tour separately on the Culture Days website with a unifying title as Caledon Hills Studio Tour has done, i.e., Caledon Hills Studio Tour - Lyn Westfall, Caledon Hills Studio Tour - Jeremy Guy, etc. Then identify each artist’s work by searchable keywords so that people interested in that medium can find the most appealing activity listings. There is a drop-down list of suggested keywords, but you can also add your own.

2. Web-based marketing is important, yet some artists on your tour may be uncomfortable online. Focus on having someone adept at social media do outreach or training in order to make use of all the new tools available for outreach

Culture Days Tip
Culture Days has many online promotional tools available for activity organizers to use. Activity pages are linked into social media; you can “like” your activity or share it on Facebook or Twitter. You can upload videos to our YouTube channel. And web badges, and customizable web banners, and e-flyers are also available for download in our Resources section.

3. Signage and directions are very important and need to be well thought-out, especially for a rural tour. Even if you are a well- established tour, maps and signage can always be improved.

Culture Days Tip
Registering each studio as an independent activity provides the public with a link to a Google map showing the exact location of each studio. In rural areas where Google maps can sometimes be imprecise, you can customize the map to ensure that both it and your address are correct.

4. Be clear about the amenities and services provided at your studio as well any accessibility issues at your site. People planning their tours want to know: Is the studio on a gravel road? Are there stairs? Is there a washroom available? What methods of payment are accepted? etc. This is especially important on a rural tour where people are driving a fair distance between studios and are outside of towns and cities. Providing the public with this information will help them to plan their route and lowers frustration. 

Culture Days Tip
If applicable, be sure to check the wheelchair accessible box. You can also add information about accessibility and amenities to the “Supplemental Information” section of the registration.

Submitted by Aubrey Reeves & Catherine McLeod of Culture Days Ontario