Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Fieldtrip Report

1. Introduction
The objective of this report is to develop skills in detecting the marketing mix used by the event, analyse and evaluating the effectiveness of these components in contributing to the successfulness of the event, and at the same time, gaining a better understanding of marketing needs for a festival/event.
The method of research used was to go down personally to attend the event and observe the kind of marketing tools they had used, the role they play to Singapore, and what value it holds for the tourism economy in Singapore.
The event which I had attended is an art exhibition organised by the National Arts Council. It is known as the Singapore Biennale 2008 which is Singapore’s largest contemporary visual arts exhibition. This year, it is held after their successful inaugural edition in 2006. The event lasted for a two month period, from 11th September 2008 to 16th November 2008. This time round, they have the largest and most provocative showcase of contemporary art by 50 renowned visual artists from local and around the world. Evoking the audience moments of surprise and amazement, this year, Singapore Biennale has a theme know as “Wonder”. The team is lead the by artistic director Fumio Nanjo bringing to us the “Wonder”.

2. Evaluation of the Effective Use of Marketing Mix
a. Product
This event is to showcase the visual art pieces by different renowned artists in the world, and at the same time extending great opportunities for local and international art communities, art business as well as diverse art audiences to interact, collaborate and engaged in the world of contemporary art. Singapore Biennale would be in its ‘Introduction’ stage because it was just introduced in 2006, its initial opening in Singapore. Hence, Biennale is still very new to most people who have yet to hear of it during their introductory opening. Parallel events are also held in line with the main exhibition to present a calendar of diverse events.
In addition, they also have their very own website to let people find out more information about the event with regards to how it came about and how to get there and other relating information which can be conveniently checked out in the website making the event accessible to anyone anywhere.
This time round, they have also included a Kids Biennale for the younger ones. They aim to develop their interest and engaging them in the world of arts through art education and outreach programme in schools. Their exhibition also features the kids drawing in a area and there are also exhibition tours whereby they can have a day out, having fun and creative activities, workshops and free gifts like balloon sculpting, popcorn, candy floss all specially planned for them. This would allow the parents to have their peace of mind when viewing the art exhibition themselves whiles their kids also have fun and is exposed to the arts.
The event have expanded itself to involve more places to feature their art exhibits and also working with more artists to bring more exciting artwork from around the world.

b. Programming
Some of the programmes that are held are, the Exhibition, Vernissage, Encounters, Kids’ Biennale, Education and Outreach, and Parallel events. It all starts with a private Vernissage that is held on the 9th and 10th of September, and the main exhibition start exactly on the 11th of September.
The main aim of the program of the event is to expose Singapore to the world of contemporary arts through sculptures, paintings, installations, new media, performances, photography, film & video, sound, murals and furniture design, promising a multisensory experience for all. Guided tours are also provided at certain timing for the people who would prefer someone to explain the art pieces to them rather than them reading about it themselves. It is useful for those people who think they will not understand arts because there is someone to explain the artwork to them.
The artistic director of the event, Fumio Nanjo is also the director of Mori Art Museum. He is also an art critic and a lecturer in the Keio University in Tokyo. He also has a lot of experience from organising numerous exhibitions, thus, ensuring that the Biennale held this time is of good quality under his lead.
With the programmes carefully planned to intrigued and reach out to the public, and also the careful selection of artistic director to lead the team, its will definitely be able to boost confidence in the audience that what they are going to experience is absolutely not going to disappoint them and makes people look forward to it.

c. Price
This mass market event has to keep its price affordable for the middle and lower income group. Hence, their ticket prices are ranging from $0 - $10. For the exhibitions that can viewed without and tickets are the ones located outdoors. The market-oriented strategy is adopted in this case, because it allows people who cannot afford to pay the admission fees to get a feel of the Biennale exhibition as well, and for people who can afford, they just have to pay more to go into all the exhibitions located at different places.
The pricing have taken into consideration the ability to pay. For example, students, senior citizens and children have 50% discounts on the ticket prices, or for the adults, who cannot afford the $10, can choose to pay $6 for a ticket without the guide book which will be given with every ticket purchase. All tickets are to be bought in cash at the ticketing booths and no online ticketing are available.
I think that it is a very good pricing strategy because if the free exhibitions are good enough, it will make people who are not willingly to pay for the tickets in the beginning to want to go view all of the other exhibits. Therefore, they will also buy the tickets to go in too. For the families who children who have nothing to do, they can also come down to the city to view the free interesting art pieces together and at the same time educate their children more about contemporary art. If they decide to go in to the exhibitions that need ticket admission, they also have student and children prices specially catered for them. Other than that, the Kids’ Biennale would help parents to ensure that the money paid for their children’s ticket is not wasted as it would promise enjoyment not only for the adults, but also for the kids.
On top of all these, Singapore Biennale had also worked with the Singapore Flyer to allow special rates for exhibits to be viewed on the flyer.

d. Place, Physical setting, Processes
Singapore Biennale 2008 is held at a few different location including indoor and outdoor venues which are of walking distance between each other. The two indoor venues are at the historic City Hall and South Beach Development. These two venues have totally different ambience and environment which helps to create a different feel, providing distinct colours to the experience and engagement of the artworks. The outdoor exhibitions serve as a link between these two indoor venue and they are the Marina Bay Area, the Singapore Flyer and the Central Promontory Site. The water body of Marina Bay would serves as a focal point in connecting these works as the audience journeys from City Hall to South Beach Development and vice versa.
As we walk through the outdoor exhibitions, it made us want to hurry and get to the other indoor exhibition to find out more about what is held in place for us. They are really able to get us engaged and intrigued us completely. Along the way, we also get to enjoy the few beautiful types of scenery in Singapore. Hence, I think they have really chosen the location very successfully and carefully.
The tickets can be purchased at the two main indoor venues on the day itself. There is no online ticketing provided and personally, I think I that it is also not necessary because there is no limits on the number of audience allowed to go in, and the ticketing booth is very efficient, so there is not a need to do any advance booking.
There is a wide array of services that is provided in place near the exhibitions. Some good examples are the many choices of Hotels, Shopping Malls, and other tourist attractions like the esplanade and Merlion etc. There is also ease of transportation there because it is located in the city area, hence, trains and a lot bus services, parking lots are available in the area. The city area can be considered a very strategic location to hold the exhibition because not only a lot of tourist visits that area, but locals as well. On top of that, there are also a lot of hotels available in the area. Thus, explaining the huge number of tourist flow.
However, I feel that their re-entry security is not very well-done, as we were told that we are allowed to revisit the place on other days, and we just have to flash the tickets before out entry at both indoor venues. Other people could have just passed their tickets to their friends, and their friends could therefore enter for free. They could perhaps write down their particulars on the tickets, so with each entry they will just flash their ID with the ticket for verification to reduce the number of cheats.

e. People and Partnership
The organisers of the Singapore Biennale have engaged their own team of artists and also volunteers and intern students to help the out through the event. The volunteers and interns would help in the usher of crowd and sales of tickets at the ticketing booth, and also guarding the art pieces making sure that no one is spoiling the art pieces. The exhibitions are within walking distance; therefore, it would help to ensure there will not be traffic congestion for the public when they move from one place to another. So it will not cause any inconvenience for the locals, which will result in the local’s detest.
The event has worked with quite a number of partners and sponsors in order to bring to us this event. Most of them are solid partners and a wide array of sponsors. Being such a huge event, it is not very hard for them to find people to work with or people to sponsor them. Other than that, being put together with Singapore Biennale would help the companies to create a different image.

f. Promotion
With “Wonder as their theme, Singapore Biennale 2008’s planned message is “let the enchantment begins 11th September to 16th November”. They have also organised other parallel events in line with their main event to promote during this period. As the event is also held during the ‘Formula One’ period, hence a lot of advertising is also done during that period. For example, giving out of brochures, and putting up of posters in a lot of prominent area in the city. They have also press release and media publications to help them promote further.
In addition, they also have ticketing promotions for the audience. Some examples of the promotions held are, free admission for your loved one when you come with them, ticket promotions at the Singapore Flyer and also discounts at various F&B outlets located at the Singapore Flyer.
Signages are also available everywhere in the city area to lead the audience to the exhibits. The free exhibits that are located outdoor would also serve as a tool to promote for the event because it will be able to evoke curiosity in the audience to want to find out more. The event is also highlighted in Singapore’s fortnightly arts events guide, and the guide book they issues with every ticket purchase are also part of their promotional tool used. Words of mouth would definitely play a very huge part in promoting for the event throughout this two month period for Singapore Biennale.

g. Packaging
The event has package itself with travel packages to Singapore Biennale and the other participating Biennales in other part of the world. It not only provide the details the tourists would need know when planning a trip here, it also offer travel packages to other part of the world to participate in the other Biennales. Something that comes with the purchase of tickets would be the F&B discounts you get to enjoy and also the discount you can get when visiting the newly opened Singapore Flyer.
I think that it has packaged itself to be very attractive along side with the other promotions they offer, and it is very successful in attracting more audience.

3. Tourism role and Economic value of Event
The Singapore Biennale has definitely played a part in portraying Singapore as the Arts and Entertainment Centre on top of the business image we have already successfully portrayed. It is something the Singapore government have been actively trying to promote. It helps Singapore to go from the stagnation stage of the Butler’s cycle to rejuvenation stage when this new image is introduced because people would visit again for another purpose.
Besides that, the event is held at the City area in Singapore, promoting the attractions we have, and also showcasing our Marina Bay Area that is currently under construction to get ready for the Integrated Resort that is going to be open in 2010 in Singapore. Part of the exhibition is also showcased on the Singapore Flyer, hence, it also helps to publicise and generate more revenue for the Flyer when tourist goes on board the capsule.
The success of holding this event would help to create a good word of mouth for Singapore and more art exhibitions and events could be held here subsequently, generating more tourist receipts.
Hence, the Singapore Biennale actually plays a huge role in affecting tourism and economy in Singapore.

4. Conclusion
After visiting the event, I am very impressed with the whole event. It is able to achieve its aim they have set, and as an audience, I think that the event is worth going to and will definitely go back for their subsequent event. Therefore, I would say that the event is held very successfully with careful planning from the selection of venue to the use of resources and the usage of the marketing mix to their advantage. The few marketing mix have work together very well which contributes to their success.

5. Appendices

Outside the Indoor Exhibition (proof of visit)

An Exhibit of the Kids Biennale

The car seems to be moving as we talk towards it.An outdoor Exhibit outside Raffles City Shopping Center
You can see somthing different on the picture behind the blue screen.


  1. Singapore Biennale 2008. (2008). Let the Enchantment begin 11th September 2008. http://www.singaporebiennale.org/ Last accessed 21st Novemember 2008.

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