Art Show - Mailing List
You probably want to invite certain artists to display in your show. You need a way to contact them. If you plan to send invitations, you need addresses, whether snail mail or e-mail. You need to start gathering these in advance. You can often get them from other shows, ASFA, art web sites, etc. (though not all artists want their contact information shared, which complicates matters. See Art Show - Contact Artists). Postal addresses are harder to obtain than e-mail addresses, but stay valid longer. Restrict your mailing to artists doing the kind of work you want in the show – mailing other artists only wastes your time and theirs.
Times have changed. In 1994 we only kept postal addresses, and we'd mail invitiations to 150 artists to get 55 artists in our show. A good mailing list was vital. In 2005 the same show has to turn artists away even without sending any mailing or email at all or posting notices anywhere except our own website* . You still probably want to have a mailing list, but now you're as concerned with email as snail-mail addresses.
Both the Post Office and the Internet share two problems:
- They change. Postal addresses have a half life of about five years; Email has a half life of maybe a year. It's hard to keep them current. At least the Post Office may forward a letter or notify you of a changed address.
- Some percentage of your mail will be returned even when it has a valid address.
Email is cheaper, faster and easier. It's also more likely to be out of date and not everyone has email. You may as well collect both types of address. Note that not all artists want their addresses given to anyone else, and that some have multiple addresses, only one of which is for giving out to the public.
- * I suspect this is due in large part to a Yahoo email group called SciFiFantasyHorrorSpace_ArtShows (it's a long name, but explicit), which you can find at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SciFiFantasyHorrorSpace_ArtShows. It's got over 1600 members (as of 2005)(though of course most just lurk) and is a good resource for artists interested in the convention art show circuit. It's helped quite a few new artists break into the con circuit, and helped others send to more cons.