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"How to" presentation good or bad for business?

Discussion in 'Picture Framing Business Issues' started by cwphoto, Sep 20, 2012.

  1. cwphoto

    cwphoto CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    In addition to picture framing, I do quite a bit of fine art reproduction (Giclee' printing and copy). I have been asked on occasion to give instruction to our local watercolor societies for example. These are folks who use my service. I was asked recently to give an instructional demonstration on copy work.

    To me, instructing people how to do something I charge money for it is counterproductive to getting business, but a pier in the business disagrees. Explaining something like color management or conservation framing I would think would be helpful to business, but when it comes to actual techniques I would think this should be discouraged. He takes the position that when people find out how difficult things really are, and what goes into a certain processes, it actually encourages people to turn the work over to a shop. I'm wondering if anyone has been approached with this kind of thing and how you dealt with it?. It's been said that an educated consumer is one of the best consumers--comments?

    Troy
     
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  2. stcstc

    stcstc SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    i do it everytime i am asked in a heartbeat

    publicity is publicity

    out of every presentation i have done i have gained business

    even if some people learn it or are inspired to do themselves, there are always some that will jsut come and pay you
     
  3. JWB9999999

    JWB9999999 SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I understand both sides. In general I enjoy sharing knowledge. I've only been asked once to show people how to frame. I declined. However I've also given two presentations on framing, explaining what goes into it and some of the available choices.

    For me the question is, "What is the purpose of the talk? Who is the audience?"

    In the first case where I declined, the audience was a group of artists who wished to learn how to mat and frame items for themselves so they would not have to go to a frame shop and pay someone (me) to do it. That's clearly NOT to my benefit. It's also not good for their art, as they don't have the proper tools to even do the framing but will use what they have anyway (can we say masking tape and cardboard, anyone?). I'd love to teach them about how to care for their art when framing it, but that's not what was desired; they wanted to be able to use whatever they have lying around the house so they wouldn't have to pay a dime to put their art in a frame.

    The two talks I gave were to audiences consisting of businessmen and women from the local area. In this case, 90% of them had never been in a frame shop before, and the few choices I showed them already blew their minds. They had no idea there was so much involved in it, and grew to appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into it. THESE talks netted me new customers both times. And I would happily give more such talks in the future.

    I'm not going to teach someone how to put me out of business. I will teach anyone about all the wonderful possibilities that a custom frame shop can offer them.
     
  4. John Golden

    John Golden CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    I teach a framing class at the local community college. I have gained many contacts and customers through this process....
     
  5. Kirstie

    Kirstie PFG, Picture Framing God

    I teach Preservation Framing to the advanced printing class at our local community college each year. They love it and we always get customers from the class. We also have a DIY element to our shop. After people realize how much is involved, many will choose to have the work custom done. If anything, these talks give a behind-the-scenes look at just how complex our craft is. I would jump at the chance, and I always do. It is fun, and certainly profitable. You could add in a few preservation framing tips as well. Do the Optium scratch test with a group of participants--pass it around and let everyone have a go--and you will impress your audience and win customers. Hold up a water white glass, MG, CC, and Reflection control, and show your audeince the differences. There are so many ways to jazz up a demo and keep your audience interested. Lots of fun.
     
  6. Luddite

    Luddite PFG, Picture Framing God

    I keep very few secrets. I have done many Q&A panels on art,mostly 3-d related. I usually go so far as to even have a prepared hand out sheet with info and web sites on where to find materials and supplies for said subject! I love it! Several people have even been motivated to try it for themselves. I have absolutely no fear of losing any business to anyone that has started this way.It actually pays back by opening other sources for me to find things I might not have found otherwise. Just because you are telling how something is done doesn't mean the audience will do it,or be proficient if they try. L
     
  7. John Golden

    John Golden CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Amen!
     
  8. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    No secrets here. Generally, the artists, photographers, and consumers who show up at public-access or group-sponsored lectures know all about the wrong ways of framing. When they realize the harm of rubber cement, corrugated boxboard, masking tape, and other destructive parts & procedures, they can understand the difference between professional framing and amateur framing.

    The more my customers know about framing methods and materials, the more they appreciate what we do. The education helps them identify the good, the bad, and the ugly of framing.
     
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