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Archive for the ‘business’ Category

Launch of AsiaWeekNYC.com is Third Website for Cultural Travelers

In antiques online, Art and the American Way, Art business, Chinese art on February 25, 2012 at 5:23 pm

I am happy to announce that we have  launched  AsiaWeekNYC.com, the third destination website from Antiques Weeks Media, LLC. AsiaWeekNYC.com will have special appeal for Chinese buyers and cultural travelers in New York, March 16 – 24, for the Asia Week auctions and exhibitions.

Billed as the “Gateway to New York’s Asia Week,”  the website provided details on the

  • Asian art auctions at Bonham’s, Christies, Doyle NY, Gianguan Auctions, I. M. Chait and Sotheby’s
  • Arts of Pacific Asia Show (60 dealers)  Stella’s Pier Antiques Shows (14  Asian art dealers), Japanese Art Dealers Association Show (five dealers), Asia Week New York’s 33 multi-venue exhibitions
  •  Asia-themed attractions such as the New York Scholars Garden on Staten Island
  • places to stay
  •  travel tips
  • Asian art news

A supporting mobile app gives visitors immediate access to events and participants.

Asia Week was branded in the 1990’s by the large international auction houses as a means of attracting a universe of buyers to its Asian art auctions.  Primarily  known for its commercial aspects,  Asia Week also has a strong educational component.  Cultural societies, including Asia Society, Japan Society and Tibet House, to name a few,  as well as  museums as focused as the Museum of Chinese in America and as well known at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, open their spring exhibits in time for the Asia Week travelers.

Additionally, a slate of lectures and seminars conducted by authorities on many aspects of Asian art is directed at collectors and museum curators. All are open to the public.  The dates and times are posted on AsiaWeekNYC.com, along with contact information for tickets.

AsiaWeekNYC.com also introduces art lovers with a passing interest in Chinese antiques and Asian works of art to regional resources. For instance, the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City is represented, as is the Walters Collection in Atlanta, GA.  Short postings of content further this introduction.

From a purely practical point of view, AsiaWeekNYC.com makes it easy for travelers to get access to the auction schedules and find the more than ninety galleries opening their doors during Asia Week.  It also provides information on Asian-themed attractions in a fast, one-stop format.

As is the policy of Antiques Weeks Media, LLC when launching new sites, a donation in kind has been given to a worthy organization. The recipient of the AsiaWeekNYC.com donation is the New York Scholar’s Garden at the Staten Island Botanical Garden.

Supporting advertisers of AsiaWeekNYC.com include the Arts of Pacific Asia Show,  Gianguan Auctions, NYC, Stella Show Mgmt. Co., and New Focus On.com, the online magazine.

AsiaWeekNYC.com invites exploration by art collectors and cultural travelers. For more information, please visit http://www.AsiaWeekNYC.com.

About Antiques Weeks Media
Antiques Week Media, LLC is the publisher of category-specific destination web sites for America’s popular antiques weeks. Sites include AmericanaWeek.com, NashvilleAntiquesWeek.com, AsiaWeekNYC.com and PhiladelphiaAntiquesWeek.com.

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Google Creative Lab’s Robert Wong Talks Design Empathy

In antiques online, Art and the American Way, business on February 24, 2012 at 2:13 pm

From these ancient walls, the best in contemporary design thought

I had an opportunity to spend an hour and a half last night with Robert Wong, of Google’s Creative Lab.  Google Creative Lab is responsible for marketing everything from Android and Chrome to Google Docs and the Nexus One.

This emissary from the Temple of the Future expressed the Google brand in one sentence: The best searches turn up, not on the web, but in life.

Notably, a young woman stood up and thanked Google search for leading to her birth mother, in Paraguay.  A series of Google search ads – then stressed the empathetic thrust of Google’s ad campaigns. You’ve seen them on TV. A father begins writing emails to an unborn daughter and the video follows the thread through age five. At the end, the final email says, “I hope to be able to share these (emails and videos) with you someday.

Life as it is. Ad design takes the remoteness out of the message and lays it in your hands.

Similarly, the Google doodles – dare anyone other than the big G. tweak its logo? – are among the most notable things about the search site.  The Les Paul doodle, for instance, on You Tube has generated gazillions of views.

Who thinks of these things? The design team does. It makes you think the Google design team exists in a world of unfettered creativity.  Yes, they are the best, the most creative. But the designs are there as solutions to marketing challenges and marketing goals.

When you take these standards and apply them to the arts and antiques trade, they don’t fade into a haze of non-relevance. They become more relevant because they demonstrate the empathy that goes into creating a need.

How often do I see ads for vintage designs and antiques that are simply unstoried photos of beautiful items. These images sit like on a page, uninviting of human contact.

The point is that to create the tipping point you need to regain a position of leadership in design – and that is what, ultimately, we are selling, whether it’s a small Tiffany dialing implement for a rotary phone or a chest of drawers – to create that position, your ads need to show empathy for people’s needs and lifestyles.

Editor’s Note: The Wong talk was part of a series called Bill’s Design Talks, moderated by the Cooper-Hewitt’s Director, Bill Moggridge.

Your Relationship With Your Publicist

In antiques online, Auction Advertising, Auctions, business, selliing antques on February 14, 2012 at 1:48 pm

It’s  Valentine’s Day, a good time to talk about relationships between client and publicist. The best ones are where roles are clearly defined and both sides of the table understand and respect the other’s role.

The spin cycle takes time.

The Spin Cycle Takes Time

When the dialog gets muddled, weird things happen. Clients don’t see immediate results in mass media. Perhaps, they are so busy – particularly in the case of auctioneers mounting monthly sales – they don’t see the results and, worse, don’t read the end-of-month metric reports. That can lead to a breakdown in communication.

We have talked about the two types of media: short lead and long lead media. The short lead media tend to be trade papers, industry blogs, social media. The coverage is immediate and targeted. Long lead media are your consumer magazines, big newspaper, sometimes even broadcast.  When the long leads hit, their impact is huge.

But the waiting can be hard. If it’s difficult for you to see immediate results, you’re not looking closely enough. Publicity grows, slowly at first and then exponentially.  So, if you hire a publicist, be ready to wait.

Case in point.  Last summer I planted a story for a client with a national publication. Nothing happened. Nothing happened. Nothing happened. And then, six months later, in January, the time was right for the story.

By then, the client had grown weary. The daily demands of the auction business consumed the young company. It got to the point they couldn’t see the forest for the trees. They called me around month five of the process and said, “We want to hold off on publicity.”  I advised against it but the client already had his mind made up. So, with kisses all around, we went our separate ways.

Four weeks later, the arts journalist from the national publication called. She was ready to run with the story and was on a deadline. What happened? There was no time to reach out to the ex-client. I had to tell the journalist to call the contact direct. She did. Her name was not recognized. The contact did not take the call. And since I had been asked to “hold off,” was off the case.

The day the story hit, I read it and all of my ex-client’s competitor’s wer named. The only company that went without coverage in that article was the ex-client. Yesterday, I received an email from one of the competitors and – guess what – they included a link to the article.

The ex-client was livid. How could this have happened, they asked when they called.  I explained they had “fired” my firm and then, when I had provided contact information, they had not taken the call.

Moral of the story: When you engage a publicist,

  • Have a clearly defined goal
  • Know the spin cycle takes time
  • Read the monthly metrics reports to know where your name appeared
  • Trust your publicist

The client-publicist relationship is as important as any other relationship you maintain.

 

Clocking Success

In antiques online, Art and the American Way, Art business, business on February 13, 2012 at 9:07 pm

It has been a while since I checked into this blog, although I’ve been posting regularly on AmericanaWeek.com … NashvilleAntiquesWeek.com and AsiaWeekNYC.com – our new destination websites.

Antiques Weeks Media, LLC, is the steward of destination websites for the named antiques week.  The sites are gateways the myriad shows, auctions, events that revolved around themed weeks.

Happy to report that AmericanaWeek.com was a huge success, given its launch was only three months prior to Americana Week.  We had good traffic, and gates at shows were up. Notably, the Shows that advertised on the destination site reported increases.

NashvilleAntiquesWeek.com, which reflected a smaller venue, held strong in its traffic too. Our co-founder was able to make the trip to Nashville and brought back some super info. The shows in Nashville feature more rustic American items. If you’d like an update, check out NashvilleAntiquesWeek.com

Now, we are populating the AsiaWeekNYC.com site. This is an International week, with a huge affluent audience. The acutions are competitive and scheduled to keep bidders hopping into cabs and chasing across town in time to watch their items of interest go off – and hopefully, into their possession.

AsiaWeekNYC.com has given a donation-in-kind to the Chinese Scholars Garden at Snug Harbor in Staten Island. This beautiful site is one of New York’s best kept secrets. It is home to an authentic classical Chinese garde, the first in the U.S. It’s situated on 80 acres of gardens, lawns and ponds.

As we grow the destination websites, I’ll be posting info here. Come back for a visit – or visit one of the sites themselves.

New Campaigns to Change Antiques Weeks

In antiques online, Art and the American Way, Art business, Twitter, Young Collectors on September 26, 2011 at 3:41 pm

Americana Week.com

I’m pleased to announce that we’re partnering with Eric Miller of Urban Art & Antiques to increase audiences for named antiques week shows across the country. The initiative is based on content, distribution and gratification.

We begin with New York’s  Americana Week.com, which comes up in January and kicks off a year’s worth of shows and commercial exhibitions. From Americana Week.com, we are branding the other weeks that so far have been comprised of multiple campaigns, each geared toward one established audience.

By trending towards a larger picture of the weeks and providing the first overview of them, ever, we will be serving the trade no one has attempted before.

We’ll be reaching out through informative content, much of it provided by the dealers and experts who join the campaign.

The website is destination oriented, even offering tips on places to stay.

We’ll be reaching out via social media, with targeted messages.

And, come Americana Week itself, a mobile app will let people on the go know where to go.

AmericanaWeek.com Travel Tips

You’ll find more about Americana Week at Americana Week.com

The second round of the program is already in place as we begin to negotiate Nashville Antiques Week and you’ll find that information at Nashville Antiques Week.com

Be sure to keep up the show weeks at Twitter: @americanaweek and @nashivlleantiquesweek.

@americanaweek

Like us on Facebook at Americana Week and Nashville Antiques Week.

To get involved as a sponsor, partner or advertiser, drop me a line at regina@americanaweek.com or eric@americanaweek.com

Both Eric and I are looking forward to making these weeks stronger than ever before.

Create Success by Association Now

In antiques online, Art and the American Way, Art business, business, Chinese art, Media Planning, selliing antques, Young Collectors on August 22, 2011 at 1:47 pm

I read in the NY Times that $1 stores are the new haunt of the middle class. It’s  instant gratification  2011 style. But that’s not good news for antique dealers and auctioneers who want to encourage shoppers to spend.  There is a way out though.

It is called “aspirational marketing.”

You see it all the time on HGTV, where realtors and decorators have created formats that make people want to buy a home, and redecorate the one they have.

You see on American Pickers, where Mike Wolfe makes junk look good. And if you think he’s not following  up those marginal picks with merch – check out his website’s line of accessories. The  guy is making people aspire to be him!

And later this week, the Keno brothers will launch Buried Treasure and people will get turned on to their brand of knowledge.

What these shows have in common is that they  educate  consumers.

They also have a distribution format – national TV – that gets the word out to millions.

And what happens then? The educated in the distribution pipeline are not content with what they learn – they want to own something that reflects their new-found knowledge.

Or, success by association with a product.  Your product, be it antique chair, Chinese jade, contemporary art.

Aspirational marketing. It doesn’t preach to the choir or attempt to mine an already established audience. It reaches new audiences and turns those new audiences into buyers.

Why? Because human nature being what it is, people want to be close to the things they like. And if they impress a friend or  boss in the process-so much the better.

So, think about aspirational marketing and how it can boost your sales.

And if you need expert guidance, you know where to come. PRT3 has several aspirational campaigns going now. There is room for another.

New York’s New Auction Houses

In Art business, Auction Advertising, Auctions, business, Chinese art, Cool Exhibitions, Young Collectors on August 15, 2011 at 2:28 pm

The last ten months have seen four neighborhood auctioneers spring up in Manhattan, or just across the 59th Street bridge, in Long Island City. At this rate, NYC will soon become the wholesale auction capital of the United States

Roland Auctions in Greenwich Village

Refreshingly, most are generalists. (Of the two that specialize, Hong Kong Auctions – which has been around for about 5 years – handles only Chinese, particularly paintings.  Gene Shapiro Auctions on the Upper East Side specializes in Russian art, with  successes in American and Continental art.)

Among the wholesale houses, the properties come from estates on Park Avenue, Fifth Avenue and the nearby tri-state area. They run to the types of items rich people collected in the 60s, 70s and 80s. For instance, mid-century modern designer furniture by Hans Wegner, Finn Juhl, Tomi Parzinger and others is being spit out by the truck load. Modern paintings too.

The condition is often excellent and while the provenance must often be discretely handled, almost all the auction houses state the addresses property was taken from.

Because most of these guys run monthly sales, you can’t buy glossy  image laden catalogs, so it is imperative to visit their websites often.  The sites tend towards bare bones, linking to catalogs posted on Live Auctioneers.com. The best way to see what they are selling is to visit the previews.

  • Hutter Auctions is on the West Side in midtown, not far from the Alvin Ailey School of Dance. It’s in a warehouse building, so you can’t peak in the windows. You must take the elevator and poke through a warren of holding rooms. Best buys tend to be traditional furniture, much of it by big name manufacturers.
  • Capo Auctions in Long Island City bills itself as a neighborhood auction houses. It draws from Long Island estates and recently featured weird items from the old Steinway Mansion. I can’t say what their best buys are but it’s easy enough to find out by checking the website and clicking  to prices realized.

Best advice – visit these venues and bid. As of this writing, you are competing mostly with dealers and that makes good odds that you will get what you want at a decent price. Another thing, often the items that don’t sell at auction get posted to 1st Dibs, where their  price increases.

Suze Orman, WWD, Antique Sellers

In antiques online, Art business, business, Drive Website Traffic, Media Planning, selliing antques on June 3, 2011 at 4:19 pm

Last night on PBS, Suze Orman gave the nation permission to NOT spend money. Her coinage is “Stand in your own truth.”

This morning, WWD (the fashion retailing bible) alerted readers that “Retailers Brace for Tougher Times.” Their resources said a spate of sales is forthcoming.

Retailers Face Tighter Times

Tor the clientele PRT3 serves, the real news is in the sub-text.   The competition is much broader  than you thought.  It includes  retailers who cultivate current customers and mine new audiences with  sales, promotions, discounts and special offers.

Your best defense is a good attack. Get your sales machine in gear now. When back-to-school cost increases  hit their peak, people will be less inclined to spend.

Your campaign for customers should begin today.

Longer days offer you longer selling hours.  Take the tombstone our of ads and promote a benefit. Or test the frequent shopper model. Go for collective buying power – test  a coupon on Groupon.

Collective Buying Power

In outreach efforts – social media, eblasts, Twitter, Facebook – optimize your communications with bona-fide reasons to spend.

Of course, there’s nothing better than building name recognition through a daily blog, press releases and articles.

Bottom line: borrow ideas liberally from the big boys,  the retailers who cannot afford to sit out a season.  As people start to take in Suze Orman’s “stand in your own truth” advice, they will base buying decisions on affordability and future gain.

Finally,  Ms. Orman says the foundation to healthy family economics is spending with cash.

Now that’s good news.

Discounts Rule on Facebook Fan Pages

In Art business, Auction Advertising, business, Drive Website Traffic, selliing antques on April 24, 2011 at 3:30 pm

When it comes to how art and antique dealers and other businesses see Facebook, there seems to be a major disconnect.  C-level officers and fans see things differently.

The IBM Institute for Business Value Analysis recently released results of a 2011 CRM Study, and the fallout leaves plenty of room on to make better use of your Facebook page.

To put a few of the more common perceptions in line, let’s start with the fact that more than 73% of business owners believe fans come to their Facebook page to learn more about new products. In contrast, only 51% of fans actually use Facebook fan pages for this reason.

71% of Facebook fan page owners load the page ups with general information because they believe that’s what fans want. Only 53% of fans log on for general info.

61% of site owners think fans come because they want to be part of a community.  Only 22% of fans want to be part of a corporate community.

How Business and Fans Disconnect on Facebook

The closest fan page owners and fans come to being in sync is when it comes to actual purchases. 60% of businesses believe fans like them because they want to buy something. 55% of fans come to purchase.

The main reason fans come to a business page is to for a discount. 61% of your fans come for the discount and 60% of fan page owners realize this.

The new results of the what may be the most comprehensive social media study to date is sure to make all of us re-think our use of Facebook fan pages.

That said, see you on Facebook. (BTW, we recently posted discounts.)

P.S. To enlarge the image above, click on it.

What Sellers Should Know About Facebook Now

In Art and the American Way, Art business, business, Drive Website Traffic on April 22, 2011 at 3:34 pm

As the rush to Facebook becomes more defined, the ways to use it are becoming more refined. That is, the metrics have been long enough to provide answers about how to best use Facebook, when to post and what your “likes” expect from your page. (I’ll address expectations in the next blog post.)

Here are the new ground rules for making the most of Facebook.

The best day to publish is not a weekday. It’s the weekend. Good information that is published on Saturday and Sunday pulls in the widest audience.

The best time to post is 8:00 a.m.  Like you, people are more receptive to information before they get caught up in the day’s activities.

The content that gets the most traffic is related to sex. Since you’re selling antiques, the best content is positivity. Coming in at third place is learning. And coming in at last place, work.

The most sharable word is Facebook. Since you’re probably not going on and on about FB, other words with a high share rate are: why, most and world. Video, health, how, big, bills, says all rank about the same in shareability.

The least shared words are vs, apple and review.  Down, poll, Twitter, game and york are next in line for least shared.

And, here’s a clincher, the best frequency of posts is every other day. (Whew! That gives us all more time to get some real work done.)

Since it’s  Friday , I’m going to hold my next post until Saturday morning at 8:00 and then I’ll share some positive information you can learn from  on Facebook.  And you can be sure to find out why, most things that happen in the world of antiques are big news.

Be sure to check PR To the Trade out at Facebook.