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Star man makes exhibition interest rocket

May 2, 2013 |

The forthcoming David Bowie exhibition in London is the V&A museum’s fastest selling show in its history.

With pre-sale tickets for the show surpassing 50,000, what changes can other exhibitors make to their planning to blow our minds?

One: Get the timing right

A new album released after ten years just when the exhibition opens can’t be a coincidence. Whether it was the chicken or the egg that came first, the duel release meant a media landscape dominated by Bowie talk. Cue increased awareness of the exhibition and increased pre-sales.

Two: Give them something new

Unseen footage. Never seen before items. Unearthed material. The key to the exhibition appeal is in the unusual and new, whist taking advantage of the old. Many of the media reports focus on the multi-media approach making the most of a personal ‘unseen’ archive. Those at the launch event reported that although they felt they knew ‘everything about Bowie’ before, they came away with new ideas and fresh thinking on the subject. And wanted to go back. Whatever the subject of your event or exhibition, applying the same principle of ‘what’s new’ for the audience can be key to ensuring interest.

Three: The stars (are out tonight)

David Jones was probably the only celebrity not present at the launch of the exhibition. For most of us stretching to Tilda Swinton may stretch the marketing budget a little, but the concept can apply on a smaller scale. It’s just about getting the right people on launch day to attract interest, create noise and offer a credible independent endorsement.

Four: Tell everyone it’s selling out

Nudge theory is gathering apace in communication fields. The ‘do this, other people do’ appeal to our herd mentality works well within the press release issued by the V&A. They get a strong second bite at the cherry in respect of additional media coverage, and create an additional rush for tickets. Not a bad tactic!

Our bank of tips and ideas for event planning and engagement is full of ways to add a bit of fascination to your exhibition, event or conference.

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