On August 12th, 2011, we held an artists night at our design studio in Hawthorn, in Melbourne. There were two key aspects to the night 1. Introduce people to our new company name – Kish+Co 2. Support local artists (32 in total) and create an atmosphere where art doesn’t feel intimidating and is easier to understand as well as a chance to meet the artists themselves.
If you’re planning an event, these are the mistakes you need not make and these are the cool things you could consider as well : )
1. Sourcing artists.
We interviewed all of our artists, ensured that they filled forms and brought in samples of their work. All submitted on time and were thrilled to be a part of such an opportunity. If you’d like to talk to some of them, click here for a listing.
2. Save The Date. We should have probably titled this “RSVP now”. We created a “Yes” option and a “No” option for people. This marked the start of the design styling for the event as well.
Mail out Tickets or E-mail.
We saved a lot of funds (to be used for beers later) by emailing .pdf tickets. We sent out printed tickets to key clients. We also created a map to guide people to the event and let them know where to park.
The Kish goodie bags are becoming a bit of a regular appearance at our parties. Designed by us and made for us with love by VAK Exim, they are a staple designer item which we could really sell, but choose to give instead! Every year, the goodies get even better.
This year, we had San Pellegrino water (from the lovely folks at The Catering Co), toothbrush kits from DHealth, cookies from Blossom Baking, luggage tags from Yellow Tail, necklaces from Lola&Bailey, chocolates from Pom by Pomegranate, oranges (yep, that was us!), notepads from Briamar Press, magazines from Desktop and a mixed set of postcards, flyers and coolness.
Name Badges All the artists and helpers on the night had a badge. They were quirky and cool – while neither feminine nor masculine. Ask Aggs for a detailed how to, she is incredibly patient with paper…
Signage Everything in line with the design of the event, we made signs for toilets, entry, exit and more.
Division of Labour
With so much going on, sharing the jobs and the responsibilities became immense. We used colour codes for the designers and the management team – to know whom was responsible for what. We also had an .ical file to match.
Every great event needs some good loving to keep it alive. These are the key businesses they supported us with essentials on the night. Food – The Catering Co Drinks – Yellow Tail Artists Brochures – Briamar Press Arrow Curtains & Blinds – Space
Press & exposure
We had a list of Melbournes beloved in design as well as editorial related contacts. We got a lot of love, some even in added to the Goodie bags. This is something I’d recommend doing sooner – even if its just an email, I managed to get Australian Edge and Lara Cameron to attend the event with a last minute email the week before. A lot of people did underestimate the size of the event – 400 people = no joke : ) It was a good thing Ms Critique told me to try our luck – no harm. Thanks sugar.
Help. Moral Support. Hugs.
We rallied our beautiful friends & family for the final days as well as artists volunteering through the week. We had assigned specific tasks for everyone, trying to ensure they got breaks to enjoy themselves through the night.
Our darling Aggs made cake pops for everyone, we also got photoframes for key helpers on the night and I made batches of dahl through the week to keep people fed!
Planning out Station Points We mapped out the location, where we needed key people and whom would be standing where. This ensured that when people needed help, they knew where to turn and whom they could speak to. We also realised this had to be flexible – Angela and I had to tell people that the silent auction was ending, so we needed to rally the crowd as well.
A speech ties an event together. I thought with 400 people and no microphone would make a speech impossible. Turns out, all I need are cartons of beer + a smile. Also, we learnt, it’s really important to have faces to an event and the more you can push those faces, the more you can make relationships with people on the night.
Art Related Collateral
To introduce viewers to artists on the night, we created a booklet full of the artists, their bios and a little bit about the night. It’s a stunning little piece which everyone gets as a memoir to the night. We also created certificates and purchase slips for buyers on the night. I wish we’d thought a bit further and wrapped the artwork in a branded wrap, so it really felt like an official purchase.
Other things you need to worry about, but I don’t really need to talk about : )
Updating your website
Getting a bouncer
(unlike me, we don’t recommend drinking shots the night before, cause come Saturday morning, your head will hurt)
Photography – this is key. Just as important as the event, is the post marketing of the event. Getting the photography right is essential.
Twitter updates – we found our market was more active on Twitter than they are on Facebook
Business Card Bowl
Thank god for mentors (they remind you of the most pertinent of things!) – we had 400 people coming and we needed to know whom they were and how we could get in touch with them!