Each year we get approached by numerous brands wanting to plan an event for Art Basel. We always start the conversation with the question, "What do you want to achieve from this event?" We ask this question because Art Basel is an oversaturated week full of brands trying to capture peoples attention and the large budget events with paid celebrities and expensive activations tend to win out. There can be some benefit to getting involved in Art Basel festivities, but it is really important to analyze the goals and motivation behind the desire to participate. For fashion and beauty brands especially, the goal should be to build brand awareness and generate some content that will come in search for Art Basel as an SEO play and also to demonstrate the "cool factor" that your brand was involved with the week.
Expecting big sales from pop up shops, tons of media coverage of your fashion show or an event full of bloggers may not be realistic unless you are partnered with a big name marquee brand, have an incredibly unique event planned or have guaranteed attendance from an in-demand celebrity.
Zkipster, an app that PR pros use to manage guest lists tracked the check in rate from this year's Art Basel (2015) and the attendance rate was 39% for events held on Miami Beach close to the main art fairs and 29% for events held in the design district. These are really low numbers and the agency you work with needs to understand the market and have a firm grasp on this. If you are not serving free alcohol, your attendance numbers will be even lower. What does that mean for you as the client? If you want 100 people to attend your event during Art Basel, you will need between 250-300 RSVPs and closer to 400 if you are not serving free alcohol.
When you are researching to find an agency to help you plan an event for Art Basel, it is incredibly important to find an agency that really understands how the week works and make sure you find the right fit for your particular event. There is not a one size fits all agency and many agencies in Miami have local contacts, but don't have national and international contacts. Many NY agencies may have national and international contacts, but may not have a strong list of local contacts. Our agency is very careful to only take on projects that align with our area of expertise and where realistic goals and expectations are set. We have been involved with Art Basel and had an office in Miami from inception, so we know how the week has changed and evolved and have a very strong handle on what to expect. If you are looking to plan an event for Art Basel and are looking for a PR firm, consider an hour consult with us, where we help review your plans, give you ideas on ways to amplify efforts and conserve costs and tell you honestly whether we are the right fit for your brand's activation plans.