Effective Exhibition Planning


Sample Caption for MMU image.

 Audience Analysis Considerations.

The audience for this exhibition will consist of :

  • Invited professionals representing the graphic arts industry.
  • Critics for example reporters from local newspapers, websites and bloggers.
  • Friends and family of the exhibitors.
  • Casual visitors i.e. General public.

The needs and objectives of each of these groupings is individual and attendees will be looking for different things from their visit depending on what their intentions are. From the exhibitors viewpoint the goal is to try and identify which group is being represented and respond appropriately.

Friends and family are likely to be the easiest group as they are there to be supportive of the artists however this is not necessarily the case with all attendees. For example a reporter may be doing a series on the state of education in Britain and could be looking for negative issues or stories depending on how to they wish to present their story. ” Poor state of higher education reflected in graduate show” or “Next generation of artists demonstrate outstanding potential” could be headlines from the same event depending on the opinion, political leaning or standpoint of the reviewer. That said it can be expected that the vast majority of people will be there with a positive outlook.

Attendees from industry will be potentially evaluating work but students for the possibility of future employment either on a commissioned basis or in a full time role. Accordingly all aspects of are being measured, even subconsciously,  from the quality of the exhibit to your personal appearance, interpersonal skills and the manner in which you represent your work as its effectively an interview – even if you don’t realise it!

The last group the casual visitors / general public are in fact potential customers for those photographers looking to create a career as a portrait photographer and should be treated as such, it would be a good idea to try and capture contacts details which could be done either by offering a promotion – say prize draw for a bottle of wine / free photo session or a simple visitors book.

 Evaluation of Work to be shown

Background to the selection of work has been included in the sections on preparation of work but in summary the images chosen for the display boards and portfolio are designed to appeal to a wide audience from those simply interested in photography as an art form as well as the professionals in the audience by exhibiting a range of technically competent and attractive images. As photography, in common with other art forms, is highly subjective the expectation is that different images will appeal to different sections of the audience and therefore in an exhibition open to the public its important to demonstrate a broader range than might be the case if it was a very specific invited audience.

The “Home Grown” images demonstrate  the ability to interpret a creative brief and deliver a set of images with a common theme but that are interesting individually. Whilst the MMU images have been selected to show technical skills in the studio to create pleasing images.

The portfolio expands on these themes by showing the complete “Home Grown ” series with the background of each image, further examples of studio work with MMU and then extends the range of techniques undertaken by including landscape, street photography and specialist genre such as infra red images. Also included in the exhibition is an example of written work, an essay on “War Photography Crimea to Vietnam” to demonstrate the ability to undertake targeted research on a specific topic and then write appropriately on the subject.

Collectively these elements are designed to demonstrate rounded skills designed to appeal to a range of potential employers and clients.

Steve Edwards

May 2015




This entry was posted in Exhibition Management.

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