Making an event – part 2

In my last post I wrote about an art fair event in general. Where we’re coming from, where we are now, problems we are having today.

In this post I’ll be showing you how hard it can be to make everyone involved happy. And you will have to make three parties happy:

  1. The artists, who want to sell art.
  2. The sponsors, who want to see many people at the fair looking at their ads.
  3. The visitors, who want to see good artists with art that they wanna buy.

The hard part is that these are depending on each other. Good artists want many visitors/sales. But you will need enough money (sponsors) to bring them visitors. But sponsors will only give money, if they think there'll be enough visitors.

So the hard part is money on this one. If you're starting out on an event, no one knows you and thus no one will promote you for free.

So the key to make everyone involved happy is money. Where is it coming from? For our event it's something like:

~40% Artists
~15% Public sponsoring
~8% Private sponsoring (companies)
~38% Visitors

Where is it going?

~40% Building walls for paintings
~40% Salaries of people who work at the fair
~5% Promotion, Ads, …
~10% On fair events (Performances, Music, free Catering)
~5% Catering

You will see, that we had to spend almost half of our money on building walls for paintings over the last two years. And this is the right thing to do, because the art is the center of the fair. Without artists and their art our product – the fair – would be dead at an instant.

But, you can not make it profitable, if you just spend 5% on promotions and ads. So this is what we are doing for the 2017 edition.

We are trying to re-use the walls, we've build so far. This might cut wall-costs by 50%.

We try to get a raise on all our sponsorings. We try to double public sponsoring and add another 50% on private sponsoring.

We keep reducing the costs by betting on technology rather than printed tickets, a catalogue and such.

All the money we don't need to spend or save will go to ads and promotions this year. But still, we'll have to plan very carefully. Why? Because advertising is very very expensive. Especially if you're thinking about outside ads. To do a so-called city-light campaign in a city like Magdeburg for a week you're looking at ab 20.000 Euros. You can add that up yourself for 3-4 nearby cities you want to do the same with. And maybe you want to do this for more than one week. You can easily spend 100.000 Euros on that. Well, our overall budget is well below that.

So what will we do? We'll try to go less main-stream. We'll setup our own art-newsletter for central Germany. Do some ads in art magazines and try to get articles. Do a little bit of the outside advertising. And see, what happens.

This is basically what KUNST/MITTE looks like today. As September is approaching there are probably a few updates coming up. If you have any questions about it, just drop me line to catch me on twitter.

Next up, I'll be introducing Timelog, my time tracking web application.