Over the past year, Otherwise has been collaborating with Expo Chicago to translate the vision of the art fair into a powerful and clearly articulated brand. We created a social media program that reflects a world-class art fair on a global stage. We built excitement around the fair, generated interested on the part of galleries and sponsors and established Chicago as a destination for the international art market.
The Seen, Chicago’s international art blog, serves as a living journal while positioning the fair as a leader in collaborative new media in the art world. The Seen carves out a space for dialogue and reflection within the contemporary art community, solidifying itself as a resource for art connoisseurs and enthusiasts alike.
From September 20-23, 2012, the inaugural Expo Chicago debuted at Navy Pier. The Otherwise social media team covered the fair through video interviews, live tweeting, Instagram photos, Facebook posting and blogging on The Seen. With multiple contributors covering the fair from every angle, Otherwise curated authentic content that incorporated different points of views and varying perspectives.
Expo Chicago opened with Vernissage, a preview benefit for the Museum of Contemporary Art. Guests experienced a first look at artworks presented by over 100 leading international and contemporary art galleries. Vernissage raised $350,000 and opened Expo Chicago at Navy Pier to more than 3,000 people. Otherwise was on the scene, filming the press speech, blogging, posting photos and live tweeting throughout the event.
Expo /Dialogues was a series of panel discussions throughout that fair featuring speakers such as noted art critic Jerry Saltz and LA-based artist Sterling Ruby. We live tweeted the talks, documenting the highlights and allowing our audience to virtually follow along. We also covered off site programing such as collector tours and museum exhibitions. During the fair, Artadia: The Fund for Art and Dialogue, announced the Artadia Awards 2012 Chicago. Otherwise was the first to announce the winners through The Seen, live tweeting and a video release.
Otherwise captured the fair through video, the ultimate storytelling medium. Video clips allowed us to extend our messaging and coverage through interviews with leading international gallerists. These videos were a way to show “behind the scenes” looks at Expo Chicago.
We strategized to use Twitter as a live newsfeed that captured all of the action and allowed us to directly engage with our audience in real-time. We live tweeted during Vernissage, across the floor of the fair each day, from off-site events and throughout the Dialogues’ series of lectures. With a growing audience, Twitter proves a valuable medium to our brand building.
Instagram is a dynamic platform that we leveraged to effectively communicate the fair in a visual manner. We used Instagram to depict the fair, showcasing the artwork, gallery booths and overall feel of the fair and its visitors. We posted photos in real-time of what we saw, offering our audience an opportunity to virtually walk the aisles of the fair with us.
Through Facebook, we provided access to interviews with leading galleries, photos from the fair and coverage of off-site programs and events. Facebook was a powerful space to aggregate all of our coverage into one portal to express the unique look and feel of the fair. The Expo Chicago Facebook is evolving into a strong network of engaged audience members who actively seek to stay connected with the fair.
From inception through their first year, Expo Chicago is an enriching and rewarding project to be a part of. Stay tuned to our work as we continue towards September 2013.
Emmaline Niendorf is a Content Manager for Otherwise Incorporated.