when i wasn’t selected for an open call in london, jon said that it sometimes pays to be careful what you wish for, and my experience of showing locally seems to bear that out. admittedly it was down to the wire getting the radio together in time and we’d had no chance to test the setup at all when it came to battery lives and power.
note to self re showing any electronics in future: an external on/off switch is kind of essential 😀 delegating partially dismantling a piece in order to switch the power on and off and deal with ensuing loose connections really isn’t viable – so to that end i went in each morning and evening to do the necessary.
but the time i had chatting to the invigilators was really helpful in terms of feedback. initially the volunteers were somewhat at sea because they didn’t have full details on the makers of each piece or the processes involved and so weren’t always able to speak about the work to people who enquired. i wrote a few notes about my piece (in particular power issues/fixes) in the notebook but unfortunately they didn’t always get read.
on saturday i remembered i had signs that i’d presented alongside my work at the assessment and went back to the venue to put them up. i’m glad i did as at least visitors had my name/blog details and some contextual information on the piece. i’d asked that my business cards not be put out on the stand (they’re in the form of limited edition books so i’m somewhat careful about who i give them to and didn’t want them just to be pocketed by the first few passers-by). while i’ve had positive responses about interest in my piece, only one card was given out. in future i need more expendable promotional materials!
but all in all it was a successful show – even though it had to be plugged in at times the radio was functioning pretty much the whole time, which was better than i expected given the last minute making. i do think that the venue probably wasn’t my ideal audience – it was predominantly a retail show and my piece wasn’t for sale/designed for more of a gallery environment (especially in relation to the clarity/volume of the audio recordings – in a bustling setting they mostly got lost). i hope it played a part in drawing attention to our booth, but i doubt that it did anything significant in terms of raising my profile.
but hearing from the invigilators and seeing for myself the interest that it attracted i have to be happy i was there. and being able to take my kids along was unmissable – “mum! it’s got your name right next to it!” 😀 and i’m still keeping half an eye on my blog stats for a sudden surge 😀