Ultimate Prep List for Open Studio Events

Ultimate Prep List for Open Studio Events

Finding yourself scrambling every time you have an open studio event at your studio. This week is the ultimate list for getting yourself prepared. 

Pro-Tips: Pull out your calendar and begin plotting these task items each week prior to the open studio event so you know when each task will be completed. That way, you can stay on task and prepare for the open studio event but are also able to balance your daily schedule.

Hanging up and organizing yourself with a big calendar (preferably hung in a visible location or in your workspace) can help you stay on track. Keeping everything digital is great, but sometimes out of sight means out of mind, especially when you’re planning an event. 

Writing the tasks on post-it notes or with a pencil on your calendar makes moving task items around easy. That way when the postcards don’t come in on time from the printer, you can push addressing and sticking the stamps on to the following week.

While this list is planned for 6 weeks before the open studio, you can always re-work this list to fit your needs and timeline. 

6 Weeks Before the Open Studio


  • Collect and organize addresses and contact for personal invitations or mailed postcards
  • Update email contacts for email blasts and newsletters. Organize emails from business cards, networking events, mailing lists, and correspondence, and enter them into your email database (Mail Chimp, Constant Contact, or just your contact list) 
  • Check inventory levels of promotional items including postcards and business cards and re-order items as needed. If you don’t give yourself enough time here, you may need to pay for rush shipping later. 


  • Make or complete any new artwork or product
  • Check inventory levels for any merchandise or product that you need to make or order


  • Report any facilities issues to the building management

5 Weeks Before the Open Studio


  • Increase social media engagement. Update any outdated information on social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram. Do not open any new accounts, work with that you already have.
  • Finish organizing email and address contacts that you started last week
  • Survey building for signage needs: studio door signage, hallway & elevator signage, front door signage


  • Make or complete any new artwork or product


  • Note any furniture moves you want to make or rearranging of your space 
  • Make any large studio changes such as painting walls or repairs.
  • Patch holes in the wall from previous artwork display

4 Weeks Before the Open Studio


  • Print off address labels, purchase stamps, organize envelopes for postcards, or invite mailing
  • Continue  engagement on social media accounts, increase in posts, commenting and sharing information
  • Start executing signage needs: designing or printing directional signage, promotional signs, or door signs for your studio


  • Begin finishing artwork before the open studio
  • Frame or photograph any new work
  • Determine display needs


  • Continue cleaning and rearranging space to best fit your open studio. 
  • Replace any burnt out light bulbs in your space

3 Weeks Before the Open Studio


  • Design an e-blast on Mail Chimp, Constant Contact, or any other email services with information about the open studio event, prepare to send it out 2 weeks before the open house
  • Create social media event and send out a digital invitation, post now to build interest and share the event
  • Prep mailed invitations: stuff envelopes, handwritten notes, stick stamps on postcards, etc. 


  • Prep and package artwork and merchandise for sale: Bag prints, label items, price stickers on product, etc. 
  • Create a visible price list and or signage for your space
  • Start designing your space and walls with your artwork display

2 Weeks Before the Open Studio

Refreshments & Ambiance

  • Plan out refreshments that you will serve
  • Make shopping list
  • Determine any comfort needs of your visitors, will you need a space heater to warm your studio, will music be played during the event? 


  • Continue prep & packaging of merchandise and artwork
  • Pull out or set up displays that hold merchandise or art including easels and merchandise fixtures
  • Install your art on the walls and complete your display 


  • Place any unnecessary items into storage or tuck them away for the event
  • Bring anything to your studio event space that you need on hand for the event – card tables, additional seating, table cloths, radio, etc. 
  • Begin to merchandise and stage your space


  • Publish online social media, share event, and promote open studio
  • Send out an e-campaign newsletter 
  • Send out personal mail invitations

Week of Event

Refreshments and Ambiance

  • Purchase food this week, feel free to do this sooner for non-perishable items or food.
  • Have napkins, cups, or plates available
  • Trash liners

Technology & Register

  • Charge Square Reader (if its the newer model)
  • Pack your phone, charger, or tablet
  • Charge phone or tablet 
  • Make sure internet connection or WiFi works and is reliable

Finish Cleaning Studio

  • Pick up clutter caused by studio prep and display install
  • Wipe down surfaces
  • Finalize merchandising and beautifying space


  • Final online promotional campaign
  • Posts daily on social media leading up and through the entire event

After the Open Studio

  • Make a list and recap successes and opportunities of the event
  • Note changes to this calendar that better benefit your timeline
  • Track sales
  • Clean up and put display away

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