I am pleased to report that sales are up this month!!! The energy was good at the meeting and there are good things to come.
We have some ‘hits’ to report…
1. The March Gallery event – “Pocket Full of Posies” was a big hit. In addition to increased traffic into the Gallery 65, 35 people attended the lecture and they sold 50 books by the artist Sally Mavor. The event was held at the same time as Surface Design downtown New Bedford, and it was a very good sales day. And, of course, the names of those not already in the database were added to the list.
2. A Ha! Night was also a good sales night. A Ha! is an arts and culture event that is held the second Thursday of every month in downtown New Bedford and galleries and retail stores stay open, restaurants and pubs all participate and there is always good music and fun to be had. As the weather warms, traffic picks up.
3. The monthly Gallery event schedule has been set through September and they are some very interesting events.
We have some ‘near hits/near misses/neutral results’….
1. Still undecided about opening a small venue on the pier at the Ferry Terminal, although the majority is leaning to not doing it. While there are strong opinions for /against, the biggest obstacle is staffing the location. Many of the artists have another ‘summer’ venue of their own, and this would represent a third location for them to be responsible for. Unless we can find a way to overcome this, it might be the death knell for the initiative. The second obstacle is flat fee rent versus % of sales – the latter of which is what the landlord would prefer, and of course, not what they artists want to do. They will need to make a decision this month and we will return to this topic at the next meeting.
2. The artists have been cultivating their lists of other local artists and have been in contact with a few. No one new has been added, but the list grows and the conversation continues.
And we have some ‘misses’….
1. While all agreed to post on Gallery 65 Facebook page, to ‘like’ the FB page, and to ‘share’ with their personal contacts – and ask them to ‘like’ the Gallery 65 Facebook page, only a couple did this. We spent a few minutes at the meeting showing those who hadn’t done it how to do it, and they agreed to take action before the next meeting.
2. No actions taken yet to cultivate interior designer business or professional/ corporate business.
For April and the next meeting….
1. The weeks of June 22 through July 6 will be very active in downtown New Bedford. The Charles W Morgan whaling ship that was built and launched out of New Bedford in the Golden Years will be returning to visit from its new home in Mystic, CT. In addition, there will be The Summerfest Folk Festival and the Cape Verdean Parade. The city is expecting 40,000 visitors during that time and the Gallery will be thinking of how to capitalize on all that traffic. We are considering doing something every day that is attention getting and revenue building.
2. Think about the Ferry Terminal – how to make it work and make it worthwhile?
As you can see, Gallery 65 is up against very similar issues of getting new business, keeping and expanding existing customers/clients, staying visible and relevant, and creating opportunities either as a single gallery or as part of a cultural/artistic community.
The ‘cooperative’ business model is a challenging one. Although the agreement is that everyone participates in meetings, with events, in running the business, not everyone does, which is very frustrating for those who do. As an observer, it appears that there needs to be a renewed agreement with some structures for communicating that everyone uses, and what to do when inaction continues.
I welcome your questions and suggestions as you read this, and how you think this compares/contrasts to your business. Until next time – now go sell something!
Love, love, love,