Ask a Gallery Owner | What Do I Do When a Friend Is Chatting Me up at an Art Show?

Janice K. Johnson

art show

From a recent email:

Dear Jason,

Thank you for the great class. I wish I would have known these things when I was a gallery co-owner. There were 11 owners and we were not trained in selling, just learned by experience. I know there were times like you mentioned when I could have done more to close the sale. However I am armed with new info to use at outdoor events and show openings.

Perhaps that is another subject. How to promote yourself and your work during a a show’s opening reception that includes your work.

I did type a question at the end of your broadcast:
How does one handle friends at an event that want to chat.  However, there are people looking around in your booth or at an opening that you would like to interact with. Any thoughts for a graceful transition?


Joey F.

My Response:

Thanks for attending and for the feedback. Great question when friends want to chat you up and I run into exactly the same thing in the gallery. I have found that being direct is the best way to deal with the issue and I will grab a friend’s arm while they are in the middle of a sentence and say, “Excuse me, I’ll be back,” and leave them. They will understand the importance of what you are doing and won’t be offended (if they are you can start working on getting new friends!) Your number one priority when participating in a show is your customer, don’t let anyone get in the way.


What Would You Do?

Have you ever had to walk away from friends at an art show? What do you think is the best way to handle this situation?

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