We were responsible for organising and promoting an art festival on Teesside that would incorporate pop-up exhibitions in unusual places, such as shop windows, banks and office blocks. The event needed to be 'guerilla style', so we had to go from a standing start of zero awareness to attracting at least 100 submissions by recognised artists in just four weeks.
We used social media to create a heated debate on the subject of art in the North East of England and chaired the discussion for a week, before delivering the news of the upcoming festival. By this time, because of the discussion we had initiated, we were being followed by around 700 artists.
At the same time as engaging the arts community, we used contacts within the local authority to arrange one-to-one meetings with targeted members of the local business community, to provide support and to source pop-up exhibition space.
Once the artwork was submitted to a judging panel and the exhibition spaces secured, we launched a social media, poster and press campaign to bring the event to the attention of the wider public.
We attracted more than 300 entries from established artists (three times our target), exhibited in 17 locations, including House of Fraser shop window, Debenhams, BBC Open Centre, Boho 6 and Middlesbrough Town Hall Theatre, engaged active support from 36 local businesses and generated 172 volunteer hours.
The press campaign resulted in seven newspaper articles, five radio features, nine online features and a feature article on the BBC England web page. Our content was also Tweeted by BBC Online. By the start of the festival, just two months after launching from zero awareness, we had 1000+ followers on social media.
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