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At this time of year, many people look forward to how their industries and markets may change in the coming 12 months. I have had little time to dwell on this thanks to being happily busy with sales. However, I have noted other sets of predictions and find myself agreeing with many of them. Among the most insightful regarding the art and antiques trade are those from Antiques Roadshow expert Mark Hill, written in partnership with the CEO of the company he now works with, Ronati.

Here is what they have to say:

Business on the go. Technology will continue to develop to help dealers become even more versatile in using their time well. As they get out and about more on buying trips and away from their desktops, the need to turn round stock at a faster rate will become a priority. That means that technology supporting the trade will become increasingly mobile.

Expect more hybrid events. Timed and live auctions have merged to create hybrid events, virtual viewing rooms now complement live gallery exhibitions, and even fairs are finding ways of presenting art and antiques in more than one way. Business will look for opportunities that are effectively “inoculated” against lockdowns and travel bans.

Lines will become more blurred between traditional forms of service provision. Auction houses have long acted as dealers via the private sale, while dealers now hold auctions. Fair organisers will look to expand their interests beyond the fixed term of an event by supporting exhibitors in other ways. Other businesses will also look to cast a wider net of influence.

Continued next week