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Event Marketing to Build Intergenerational Community

Art has long connected people, from Baby Boomers to the MTV generation. Whether your clients like to peruse paintings in a museum or scroll through digital Instagram galleries on their cell phones, creating and discussing artwork can help to establish a common ground. With that, art shows have become one space that attracts multiple generations. 

Business leaders can tap into this intergenerational interest by hosting an art event to raise money for a cause or charity; increase awareness about an issue important to your staff; or generate income for local artists. These events can also become an economic driver in your area, as well as showcase your company and community,

Art as Common Ground

Art show attendees are interested in more than wine and cheese events. The most successful art shows offer interactive art experiences, such as creative art projects for children and families, paint-and-sips, VIP events with monies donated to charity, and family fun-runs.

“Art shows are opportunities for creative thinking, from event marketing to content creation and website designs,” says Cindy Leines, Founder and CEO of CEL Marketing PR Design. “Those engaging experiences attract attendees of varying ages, who, ultimately, buy artwork and support other businesses in your community during the event. It becomes a win-win-win.”

Cindy Lerick, Art of Events LLC and past President of International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA), agrees.I’ve hired CEL to promote my events since 1999. There is no better company. Together, we re-positioned the Uptown Art Fair in Minneapolis and took the Saint Louis Art Fair to a new level of success with major sponsorship, local and national media coverage. In addition to drawing a crowd, the media focus they place on individual artists has helped attract high-level professional artists and qualified buyers. Always prepared, CEL’s crisis communications are extraordinaire.”  

The CEL Team has previously partnered with three organizations — Greater Wayzata Area Chamber of Commerce, Saint Louis Art Fair and ArtFest Fort Myers — to develop content for and promote their juried art experiences. Here are five strategies that contributed to their successful events:

Partnerships and Sponsorships

As with any event, partnerships and sponsorships are a key component. Not only does it provide financial support, but partner companies serve as promotional springboards, too. You can double your reach when they share your event content and information with their internal and external audiences. The Greater Wayzata Area Chamber of Commerce’s popular Art Experience is proof of that, with nearly a dozen partnerships. By producing an event that continually exceeds expectations and turns a profit annually, leaders have established the event as a premier option for local sponsors. Tips to keep in my mind:

    • Develop a valued-added sponsorship package
    • Nurture your business relationships before requesting sponsorships
    • Deliver on what you’ve promised in your sponsorship package
    • Publicly thank sponsors whenever possible
    • Involve sponsors in the event, such as being an event emcee or providing artist introductions or creatively being in front of their target market
    • Personally thank sponsors after the event
    • Provide sponsors with a data-rich event recap


People love a good story and behind-the-scenes peeks. Get to know your juried artists and share their backgrounds, how-to lessons and the inspiration for their artwork. Ideas include:

    • Art in Action videos, showcasing artists as they work on projects
    • Get to Know Our Artists series, featuring a photo and a quote about their work
    • Q&A sessions, either written responses or recorded interviews
    • Artist media interviews like this one about the featured artist at ArtFest Fort Myers


First and foremost, attendees want to see, buy and experience art. However, while they’re spending a fun day out with friends and family,, they want to participate in other activities, too. Music and performance entertainment plus a few razzle-dazzle activities include:

    • Sip-and-Paint
    • Signature event drink
    • Food with art appeal (names, signage or serving distinction)
    • Gallery or booth walks with commentary 
    • Make-and-Take crafts
    • VIP lounges
    • Branded photo booth stations, positioned in high-traffic areas
    • Signed artwork


Broadcast and print media, social media and digital advertising are more than “nice-to-have” promotional tools. They’re an expectation from event attendees and sponsors.

TV news interviews are flipped into online interviews that include links to the event and artist websites. With social media, Facebook and Instagram are tops for event marketing because you can use the platforms to share event information, highlight artist work, and boost engagement with daily interactive posts.

Also, consider:

    • Buying digital Google ads
    • Promoting your event with digital Facebook ads
    • Building a Facebook event page
    • Incorporating SEO keywords onto your website to increase reach
    • Using tools within social media like Instagram reels and Facebook stories to offer behind-the-scenes glimpses and highlight day-of activities

Community Engagement

Since art shows have become intergenerational, stretching them into your community, both before and during the event, helps raise awareness and increase interest. Be cognizant of activities and events that expand your attendance and participation. The more innovative, the more the community looks forward to the next year’s experience.  Set the stage this year for artists and attendees to put it on their calendar for next year!  Ways to incorporate your community include:

    • Meet-The-Artist events
    • Art displays at local libraries, businesses or breweries
    • Artist visits or mentoring for a day at local schools or youth recreation centers
    • Community mural painting

Published on: May 4, 2022