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Creative Indiana thanks The Venue for hosting our very first IDEAS Network !  The challenge Dave Coleman threw out to the Network was:

Challenge: How to get the right people aware and bring them into The  Venue?

Dave Coleman, co-owner of the Venue with son Gabe, had this to say about the experience and outcome:

“Thank you for the write-up and review of the Creative Indiana event at The Venue.  The analysis and suggestions/recommendations which resulted are impressive indeed. I know they will be invaluable to The Venue in the immediate and the long term. The process and products were great. Thanks again.”

Process Used:

The IDEAS Network started the evening engaging with each other while experimenting with the first creativity tool of the evening, Treasure Connection.  All enjoyed finding the connection between creativity and art as well as commonalities among themselves.

Participants then went on to work in teams of two to generate all the ways that they had used their own creativity to survive the previous week.  The ended the networking by teaming up with a new partner to share a difficult challenge they overcame and identified a list of steps they took to make it happen. The larger group then shared these “survival skills” with each other.

This  energetic group were on such a roll that they did not want to stop which is exactly what happens when creative thinkers get together and network!

 What we learned know about this challenge for The Venue

  • Competing with a lot of galleries
  • Off the normal trail for Gallery Walk
  • The building is in a HOUSE which may be less appealing, or more of a hindrance for customers who don’t realize it is a public shop/space
  • Need more community outreach
  • Not necessarily family friendly

What we learned about their customer base

  • Most are impulse buyers or art appreciators
  • Age 45-55 are more arts oriented.

Refined Challenge:  How to target and attract more customers? How to: Figure out who our potential customers might be.  Who are we missing?

Potential Collaborations

  • Seek out people looking to buy art for home and gifts
  • Find people looking to REFER art (ie. Local interior decorators and designers, realtors.
  • Promote Lifestyle Awareness Connection àHow art/creativity impacts quality of life
  • Who can you partner with for mutual benefits:
  • Promote your event and get others to promote you
  • Collaborate with the City and Gallery Walk
  • Put fliers in the antique malls and bring theirs to the gallery
  • Build strong relationships with other businesses

 Outreach Ideas

 More community outreach to find collaborations and potential customers by partnering with:

 IU to attract students

  • Offer internships: train art students, arts management/administration students on gallery management and marketing, applying to showcase work, how to showcase artwork and set up displays, etc.
  • Speak in classes about the procedures of gallery management and the gallery’s place in a community. Talk about what galleries look for in artists to showcase
  • Connect with art and creative outlets on campus, newspapers, blogs, publications
  • Local First, Indiana

Get out of the gallery and into the community

  • Public Art Challenge
  • Public recommendations for gallery shows

 What’s your niche? What do you offer that is unique/something special?

  • Market the Venue’s unique identity and collections (You are looking for ____, you’ll find it at The Venue)
  • Use psychographics, demographics, study similarities and characteristics of shoppers
  • Market the unique gift-giving experience, why shop for something mass-produced when you can get something one-of-a-kind
  • Create a lottery for a Venue parking spot for a month, or a discount ($1 off, etc.) to people who spend a certain amount and  paid for parking (meters or lots).
  • Tell the story of The Venue and its historic building and location.
  • Showcase the uniqueness of Bloomington artwork and keepsakes (Most made in Bloomington/Indiana



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