Making an impact at your Degree Show (live tweets)

How to make a great first impression on potential employers, commissioners and buyers at your RCA Show. With Rachael Stevens, Jessica Rayner (Printmaking 2012) and J Paul Neeley (Design Interactions 2011). Live tweets from FuelRCA's Show seminar held at RCA Kensington on 2 June 2014.

  1. "The most important thing during the show is to always be around... doesn't matter how many coffees you have to have"  http://fuel.rca.ac.uk/videos/showing-your-product-at-its-best-0 
  2. How to make a great impression at the show, with @rachael_stevens and ex RCA students Jessica Rayner and J Paul Neeley, starting soon!
  3. Jessica and J Paul will introduce themselves, Rachel will give a presentation, then we shall return to the ex grads!
  4. J Paul:Design Interactions, won the Deutsch Bank Award, working on graduate project
  5. Jessica: 2 years out from Printmaking, exhibiting and making work, co-authored book called The Metabolic Landscape, residency in Iceland
  6. @rachael_stevens has worked in the theatre, worked with Penguin, Birkbeck, The Old Vic
  7. Actors can be a template to help people communicate. Communication and coaching are the things Rachael focuses on now
  8. Effective communication is key to ensuring your talent is seen, enabling you do drive your career forward
  9. The workshop will focus on: Knowing what success looks like, and celebrating it; the essentials of effective communication
  10. Rachael will also talk through self sabotage, and self compassion. Compassion is essential for long term career success
  11. Jot down the worst fear about what may happen at the final show...
  12. Ice breaker - give your name, where you would rather be tonight and the first thing you will do when the show is over
  13. Do you know what you want to get out of the show? Hardly anyone does, but its essential you know do, helps prevent anxiety and regret
  14. Why you should have a goal…if you don't have a goal, then it doesn't matter which path you take. Its essential you know, so people can help
  15. Is the show an end point? No, it is the first of a series of steps.
  16. What makes a good goal? Needs to be under your control and smart - make it specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and has a time limit
  17. Think up a few goals for yourself, that if you achieve, you will feel like you've accomplished something out of the show
  18. Turning up everyday at your stand may be one of them, handing out a certain number of business cards per day may be another
  19. For those that aren't graduating now, think about goals you can set yourself now, to achieve before next year, what can you do over summer?
  20. Now that you know what your goals are, how are you going to achieve them?
  21. Bringing people into an engagement with your work is often people's goals. Communication = relationships
  22. Effective communication is always two way. Visitors may think of you: Who are you and what do you want? Can I be interested in this journey?
  23. Look at the show as a way of finding out who you are… take a risk and present yourself how you want to be seen.
  24. Which signals are you giving? 7% of what we communicate is based on WHAT we say, 38% is based on HOW we say it
  25. 55% is based on WHAT we DO as we say it - non verbal signals are key. Eye contact is crucial in building trust and a bond
  26. It's so important to ask the visitor questions as well as answering theirs. Find out who they are, what they are interested in.
  27. Most people's favourite subject is themselves, this can help you get past your shyness and build relationships, and your career
  28. Listen! We don't do this enough. "The best way to understand people is to listen to them": Ralph G Nichols
  29. Role play - prepare the answer to this question: 'So tell me a little bit about you and your work…'
  30. …Think about what inspires you, what you are most proud of in the show and what would you most like to do with your talent after the show
  31. Tell the person next to you your thoughts and they will then tell you if what you thought you were communicating was in fact received.
  32. What can derail you…? Self sabotage. Practical reasons i.e. things under your control. Psychological i.e setting unrealistic standards
  33. This is a lifelong journey but looking at your 'gremlins' can help you overcome them.
  34. Unhelpful thinking patterns include: all or nothing thinking; over-generalising; disqualifying the positive; 'catastrophising'; minimisation
  35. Critical words make you feel guilty before you've started. These includes words such as must, should...
  36. Does your worst fear you wrote down earlier fit into any of these patterns?
  37. The answer is self compassion: journalling, i.e. becoming aware of your gremlins; asking yourself what a compassionate friend would say
  38. Meditation, give yourself little breaks. Affirmations/Mantras - look at the negative voices, what would counter these?
  39. 'Noone is going to like or admire my work', an affirmation would be tempering this voice, countering it...
  40. Such as 'not everyone will like my work, but I have had enough positive feedback from others to believe that my work will attract interest'
  41. Go back to your worst fear - think up an affirmation for this now
  42. "Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it" Maya Angelou
  43. Jessica Rayner  http://www.jessicarayner.com  will now talk about her experience at the RCA show in 2012
  44. Jessica felt like she was just at the beginning, and tried to take full advantage. Communicating was the biggest issue.
  45. Used the MA to find an audience for my work, the show was a launchpad, this is what I can do, can anyone help me? Selling was also important
  46. So many goals, others included finding galleries and commissions, exposure.
  47. This was all overwhelming, first goal: to have conversations with people
  48. Success often happens through degrees of separation… invite everyone, use Facebook, make your name familiar to people via social media
  49. Success often happens through degrees of separation… invite everyone, use Facebook, make your name familiar to people via social media
  50. When you do invite people, put someone's name at the beginning. If you do know someone put a personal note at the top
  51. Outside of the art world there are other people you can invite. Anyone who's name or career looked interesting. Pinpoint the audience.
  52. Preparation tactics: business cards, stagger them, have some reserves, restock every morning. Postcards are nice to give out selectively
  53. Website! Online presence is SO important! If you love something you want to find out more, you may be this for someone else
  54. Think about what you are doing afterwards. Do you have a studio afterwards that people can visit you in?
  55. Selecting the work: Jessica is a big planner! When it comes to the show, things change. Also be open, have contingency artworks incase
  56. Get advice from everyone, ask everyone what they like. Listen, and then ignore them!
  57. Going with what you think in the end will confirm it for yourself.
  58. Think about what your priorities are: the gap between sellable work, conceptual work and academic work is smaller than before
  59. Don't be too critical about what people want.
  60. Expected the unexpected. Get help from family and friends!
  61. Pricing: go higher than you think, and drop yourself down a few pegs. This is a stepping stone, you can only go up. Be approachable in cost
  62. Feedback from audiences: Jessica was there everyday! You have to make sure you are fully involved.
  63. Be around, be present. One collector only bought work because Jessica was there.
  64. J Paul: designing life for happiness. Quantified every aspect of life. Experiments to try and optimise happiness.
  65. Changed sleep pattern, diet, exercise (treadmill desk), began looking at material possessions and measured their usages against happiness
  66. Realised that happiness is socially constructed. Beliefs about happiness changed. Had a lot of data from these experiments.
  67. Realised that happiness is socially constructed. Beliefs about happiness changed. Had a lot of data from these experiments.
  68. Question was, what do I show?! Realised it was me, I was the experiment. Set up a treadmill and shared data.
  69. Show for J Paul was a brilliant experience, to share, network.
  70. What did I want from the show? My goals became critical at the show.
  71. Have multiple pitches! 5 seconds (as people walk past), 30 seconds, 2 minute, 5 minute, 10 minute versions!
  72. BE THERE!!!! Shocking how many people spend two years on working on something, and let it sit there alone in the gallery.
  73. Being able to express your work to difference audiences is also really helpful.
  74. Network, make friends, build associations. LinkedIn and Dribble has been very helpful - an easy way to communicate professionally
  75. Having classmates at show - knowing classmates work to help them out if they aren't there one day. Support and team effort.
  76. Always have your ASK, know what you are looking for in a conversation. Primary (a job etc) a secondary (do you know anyone?)
  77. Have things press ready! Website working, bloggable, business cards etc.
  78. Trade up coverage - reach out to smaller blogs, then you can work your way up to larger blogs
  79. Frames: whoever you speak to, the work can change completely, there are different hooks for different people.
  80. Follow up: show is short period, don't expect everything to happen at the show
  81. Things take time. This is the beginning. Be patient.
  82. Don't worry: don't be nervous. You know more about your work than anyone else. This is an opportunity for you to share your passion.
  83. Remember that you are the expert. Being nervous is selfish. Sharing and teaching people about your work is selfless!
  84. Rachael: last comment of J Paul's: try not to worry. Be kind to yourselves.