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Spring Arts Marketing Conference

We've created an archive of past Spring Marketing Conference agendas, with links here:

Spring Arts Marketing Conference 2009
Presented by the Vermont Crafts Council and sponsored by the Vermont Wood Manufacturer's Association

Wednesday, April 8, 8:30 – 4PM
Goddard College, Plainfield, VT


Conference Schedule

8:00 – 9:00 Registration – Community Center - Haybarn Theater Gallery

9:00 – 10:15 All Conference Keynote Workshop: Untangling the Web - Judy Dunn - Community Center - Haybarn Theater

What in the world is Web 2.0? Do you Squidoo? Is Facebook just for kids? Should you be on YouTube? Do you Twitter? The web can be an overwhelming and confusing place. Let’s sort through some of the resources available to you on the web, and learn how you can use it to help promote your business, to network, and to learn.

10:15 – 10:30 Break

10:30 – 12:00

A. The Art and Science of Pricing – Judy Dunn – Community Center - Haybarn Theater
Nothing seems more paralyzing to many artists than setting a price for their work. There are lots of formulas out there to help calculate a price for your work. Some are good, some not so good. But, pricing really goes beyond the calculations. How do you know if the price is right?

B. Marketing Art on The Web – Elissa Campbell – Community Center - Media Room
According to Nielsen Online, as of June 30, 2008, 72.5% of people in the United States were using the internet. If you thought that having a website for your business was enough, think again. The internet has evolved into a phase called Web 2.0 - a movement where websites are more interactive, allowing site visitors the opportunity to contribute and collaborate. Every day, millions of consumers visit online blogs, message boards, and social networks to discuss their opinions and experiences with others. Are you a participant in the conversation, promoting your brand? There are a wealth of online tools that you can use to advance your business – many of them free. In this seminar, we will continue to explore the following tools: Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and Flickr. I will walk you through the process of creating an account on each of these sites to help get you started. Laptops are ideal but not absolutely necessary for this workshop.

C. Strategic Marketing 101 – Glenn Ravdin – Martin Manor Lounge
The SBA defines strategic planning this way: "Too many people think strategic planning is something meant only for big businesses, but it is equally applicable to small businesses. Strategic planning is matching the strengths of your business to available opportunities, and using your strengths to mitigate threats. To do this effectively, you need to collect, screen, and analyze information about the business environment. You also need to have a clear understanding of your business - its strengths and weaknesses - and develop a clear mission, goals, and strategies. Acquiring this understanding often involves more work than expected. You must realistically assess the business you are convinced you know well.

In addition, strategic planning has become more important to business managers because technology and competition have made the business environment less stable and less predictable. If you are to survive and prosper, you should take the time to identify the niches in which you are most likely to succeed, and to identify the resource demands that must be met."

Key to this understanding is knowledge of your brand. This session will look at the basics of branding and its role as one of three pillars of the strategic planning process. Branding drives much of your marketing effort, from the message you send (like advertising and PR), the audience you want to receive it (customers and potential customers), and the media you’ll use to link the two (such as the Internet, a magazine ad or a studio tour). In the session we will cover researching and understanding your brand, how your brand positions and differentiates you, using your brand to inform your marketing, and measuring your progress.

The other planning pillars are the resources you have – time, money and people – and the works you produce and distribute. Since these are unique to each producer, we will spend the bulk of our time focusing on branding.

12:00 – 1:00 Lunch - Community Center – Lunch Room

12:45 – 1:00 Vermont Crafts Council Annual Meeting – A whole year in 15 minutes. Community Center – Lunch Room
1:00 – 2:30

A. Selling in Person – Panel Presentation - Martin Manor Lounge
The Advantages of Co-op Galleries: Carolyn Ashby – Art on Main
Niche Markets - Farmers’ Markets and Oddball Shows: Jenny Hermenze, VCC Board
Craft Shows: Mags Bonham, Vermont Hand Crafters
Open Studios: Bob Gasperetti

B. New Vermont State Craft Center Designation Guidelines – Martin Manor - Oak Room.
This workshop is aimed at representatives, staff, or board members of organizations or galleries that might be interested in applying to become a state designated craft center and will be lead by members of the Standards Group, an advisory group of the Vermont State Craft Center Overview Commission. Questions about the designation benefits and application process will be answered. Standards Group members will walk you through the forms.

C. Panel Consultations 1 – 4
Glenn Ravdin and two others will offer individual feedback on any aspect of marketing your business. Please use the registration form to reserve a spot on a first come, first served basis.

2:30 – 2:45 - BREAK

2:45 – 4:00

A. Designing a Simple Website - Jennifer Boyer - Community Center - Media Room
This workshop is for those who do not yet have a website and want to clarify exactly what will work best for their business. Jennifer will de-mystify the process and take you through the decisions involved in this important marketing move. She will also take you on a tour of websites that work and ones that don't.

B. I Love My Database! What Databases Can Do For You – Martha Fitch - Martin Manor Oak Room. This workshop will focus on designing a database that fits your business. Registrants will need to bring laptops with Filemaker or Appleworks loaded onto them. Simple uses for database information will be covered, including Mail Merge, labels, and client lists. Basic functions like importing and exporting, and creating reports will also be explained. Please bring something specific to work on.

C. Panel Consultations 5 - 8

About Our Presenters
Judy Dunn studied Chemistry, and later received an M.B.A. in Marketing and Finance. She spent thirteen years working in industrial sales and marketing. She ran a business making custom window treatments for five years, and spent some time dabbling in writing and illustrating children’s books. In 2003, she stumbled on to polymer clay, and has been entranced ever since that first encounter. Her work has been featured in several national publications, advertisements, and has won several awards, including being named a Niche finalist in 2009.,

Jennifer Boyer has been a potter in Vermont for 31 years. She co-owns the Artisans Hand Craft Gallery with 5 other craftspeople. She also has a web design business called Jennifer Boyer Web Design and has made over 30 sites for clients in Vermont and across the country. She has served on the boards of Vermont Craft Council, Vermont Hand Crafters, and the North Country Studio Conference, and is currently the chair of the Standards Group of the Vermont State Craft Center Overview Commission.,

Elissa Campbell has been working as a professional bookbinder for the last 9 years under the business name of Blue Roof Designs. She has worked as an art therapist and as the information systems manager for the Craft Emergency Relief Fund. Elissa is currently serving on the boards of Vermont Hand Crafters, Book Arts Guild of Vermont, and the Art Therapy Association of Vermont. She is a new member of the Standards Group for the Vermont State Craft Center Overview Commission. As a self-professed computer geek, she has a strong interest in helping artists to embrace technology to further their businesses.

Bob Gasperetti of Bob Gasperetti Furnituremakers, lives and works in Mt Tabor, serves as a board member of the Vermont Wood Manufacturers Association, and is a founder of the Guild of Vermont Furnituremakers. His furniture is inspired by Shaker, Mission, and Arts & Crafts styles, and uses wood harvested by sustainable methods. He has been participating in Open Studio Weekend since it began in 1992 and has served several times as regional coordinator for his area.

Glenn Ravdin - 2Ns (pronounced two-enz) is a marketing consulting firm specializing in branding, market research, and facilitating your strategic marketing planning. For 22 years Glenn was with Paul Kaza Associates, the marketing communications agency in Vermont that he joined in 1983 and resigned from in January 2005. Glenn was with PKA more than two decades, serving for the last 14 years as Senior Vice President – Marketing. Glenn has a wealth of experience in education, tourism, food products (primarily dairy and maple), manufacturing, government, media, health care, wood products, professional services, non-profit, retail, and wholesale.

Carolyn Ashby is the director of Art On Main, a non-profit, community-supported, artist-cooperative gallery committed to supporting the creative endeavors of individuals through the exhibition and sale of art and craft, community events and outreach, and through professional development for artists.

Martha Fitch is the director of the Vermont Crafts Council, a member of the Vermont State Craft Center Overview Commission, a founding member of the Artisans Hand Craft Gallery, and a licensed art teacher. She is a 1997 recipient of a Vermont Arts Council award for service to the arts in Vermont. As a veteran of many database battles she can pass on the knowledge that resulted.

Jenny Hermenze has been practicing the Japanese art of katazome, stenciling with rice paste on fabric and then dyeing, for nine years. She is on the board of the Richmond Farmer's Market and the Vermont Crafts Council where she serves as conference chair and secretary.

Mags Bonham is the owner of Really Unique Creations and the administrative brain behind Vermont Hand Crafters. She has recently be featured on the HGTV show "That's Clever". Bonham’s work has been published in several books and magazines. She is a juried Member of Vermont Hand Crafters and Frog Hollow. She is also a member of the Vermont Arts Council, Vermont Crafts Council, and the National Polymer Clay Guild. Currently her work is available online at her own website and on her newly launched site: Before her move to Vermont in 1998 Mags had a 20 year career in Retail Merchandising with Macy’s, May Co. Department Stores, and J. Crew Group’s Popular Club Plan catalog.

About the Site

Goddard College presently occupies the site of what used to be a sheep farm in the mid 1880's owned by the Martin family. On the National Register of Historic Places, Martin Manor features hardwood panels and carved stone fireplaces, a covered patio and looks out over a boxwood maze surrounded by stone walls built by local stone masons. Everywhere, craft and art are evident in the reflecting pools, gardens, fountains and buildings.


From I-89

Take 1-89 to exit 7. Go straight off the exit, through three sets of lights and bear right, toward Montpelier. Turn left at the bottom of the hill. Bear right at the Y onto Rte 2 and follow signs toward Plainfield. In East Montpelier, bear right at the blinking light and go about 3 miles. As you come into Plainfield, turn left onto Rte 214. Take the next left into the upper parking lot at Goddard. The Haybarn theater is located up the driveway and to the left of the parking lot and is where registration will be held.

From Rte 14

Traveling south from Hardwick on Rte 14, turn onto Rte 214 in North Montpelier. Follow Rte 214 past the first Goddard College entrance and turn right into the second Goddard College entrance, then follow the directions above.