I am more aware of events I can link marketing the art and shop into. Originally at this time I would have just started Purbeck Art Weeks, but this has been moved to September. Today saw the start of Dorset Art Weeks for a fortnight – I have not entered this because it is much more of a financial investment and I don’t think my art fits their profile as it does for Purbeck which is of course my local area.
I signed up for ‘We’re good to go’ as we came out of Lockdown One in June 2020. I submitted a risk assessment about being covid aware and how the shop when I was in it would manage the safety of customers and myself as staff. Ideally this would have been a joint discussion with OA, but as all ideas I suggest are denied I didn’t bother and just did for my own days (ridiculous I know).
The advantages of the scheme for me has been being able to display a national symbol that show I am taking covid safety seriously. Risk assessments were a familiar form to me from my years of teaching and planning trips and events.
Also Visit England have a link into ‘Visit Dorset’ which I also invested in a membership for in 2020 and again this year as the most visited tourism website for Dorset tourism. The Visit England and We’re Good to go scheme have issued regular updates explaining government regulations so that I have been able to adjust the measures I am taking as a shopkeeper (again it would be best if on 7 days a week we had the same system…) . This means that in addition to regularly reading the gov.uk guidance documentation for shops I have advice on what can / can’t be done. It has meant changes of signage for me at different points. I chose to go with a screen to serve customers from so I could be behind it without a mask, I then adapted my drawing board to go on the counter and used an old picture frame to provide a screen for that too. This allowed me to work in colder months without a mask which often caused my glasses to steam up which is an impediment if trying to draw in any sort of detail (screen…another disagreement…so I had to then make a stand to put said screen on and I have to remove every time the shifts change artist in the shop).
So, English Tourism Week, why use that as a marketing vehicle for the shop? Well, Swanage is a town that depends on it’s Tourism income over s 3 to 4 month period to generate most of the income that enables businesses to get through the winter. During lockdown on a number of occasions when visitors would not follow covid guidelines, the keyboard warriors locally would criticise visitors. I welcome them, they are key to my business being profitable. However,at the same time I don’t have much time for people who risk communities by breaking regulations imposed to help us all – but this can be applied to locals as well as visitors and they are usually a very small minority who won’t follow any rules.
So the “week” started today and runs for 10 days to include the Whitsun bank holiday weekend to May 31st. I am working 6 of he 10 shifts and it adds an additional reason to engage customers in conversation about where they have come from – today that was Sussex, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire. Derbyshire on Wednesday. Visitors are interested in the local landscape – a key element in my work.
So that’s the background and why I am referring to it on my shop days – does that seem logical to you, dear reader?<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-123416164-5466-60cd9963ec9fd' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=123416164&post_id=5466&origin=andyknillart.com&obj_id=123416164-5466-60cd9963ec9fd' data-name='like-post-frame-123416164-5466-60cd9963ec9fd'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>