Group of artists founded the Adelaide Fringe Festival in 1960.The festival was open to everyone and was the beginning of a platform for artists to try out new things and interact with fellow artists. The event had hosted 52 art exhibitions by 1964 and by 1975, the focus changed to the development of culture in South Australia. By the 80’s the event had widely grown and in 1988 international artists were allowed to join, and it gave a great experience to both the audience and local performers. The festival changed in 1993 to become The Adelaide Fringe to broaden its scope. The event became annual in 2007 (Higgins-Desbiolles 2016). The event has grown enormously, in 2011 1.45 million people joined, and there was an increase of 11% in ticket sales. The Adelaide Fringe boosted South Australia’s economy by $48.2 million in 2012.In 2013 the Fringe started running for four weeks hence delivering an economy boost of $68.8 million. The event has grown to become one of the largest and is a champion of independent artists.
The event does not have a curator who picks shows hence everyone can participate. The event builds innovative thinking and talent. The 2017 Adelaide Fringe Festival took place between 17th February and 19th March (Volpato 2014). The event constitutes of over 1100 shows like the poster competition, Fringe parade and fringe awards night, standup comedy and music in different areas of South Australia. This report will look at The Adelaide Fringe Festival of 2017 and describe the best and worst experience and how these can be improved.
Goals of the event
The Adelaide Fringe has the following goals:
To have fulfilled artists-The fringe aims to attract all types of artists from all over the world (Higgins-Desbiolles 2016). There is no curator involved. Hence, all types of artists can display their works and get opportunities to learn by interacting with fellow artists.
Thriving Venues –The fringe uses diverse locations all over South Australia. The aim is to have all the venues packed with viewers.
The engaged Audiences-The festival aims to keep its audiences engaged throughout by giving them a clear festival program and easy directions hence they are able to attend as many shows as possible.
To Wow-The festival aims to surprise audiences and have them at the edge of their seats due to thrilling shows and events (Volpato 2014). They want their audience to have memorable experiences that will make them keep going to the festival each year.
To be financial stable-The Adelaide Fringe festival aims to be financially stable hence creating a platform that will attract a large number of audiences who will purchase festival tickets.
The agile Organisation-The festival aims to be successful in whatever it does and to be flexible and adapt to any internal or external changes that it may face.
Description of Adelaide Fringe Event
Adelaide Fringe Event is the second largest open access art festival in the world. The event runs for over four weeks. The event has over 3,500 events taking place in 376 venues. Anyone with a show is open to register and take part in the Australia’s largest art event (Michaela, 2010). According to Fringe eNews (2017), the event is a delight to everyone who takes part in it as it has attracted artist from all over the world and is inclusive of homegrown talent. Adelaide Fringe event include comedy, circus, dance, film, music, and visual arts among other forms of art.
The event takes place in the city of Adelaide and is staged in many places such as empty buildings, parks, hotels, theaters and town halls. The Fringe Parade is a brilliant celebration that marks the beginning of the festival. The artist showcase exhibits their talents at Funhouse in Rundle which is the central point of the event.
Figure Artists performing at the Adelaide Fringe Parade
Adelaide Fringe Festival involves diverse forms of arts which attract different categories of audiences including, families, children, adults (Jones, 2014) the event targets local citizens as well as citizens from other nations. It also targets to attract both Australian artists and international artist to take part in the event.
Event Advertising and Promotion
According to Truettner (2016), event marketing can be described as a process of developing themed exhibits, making displays or making presentations with the aim of promoting a service or a product. Marketing an event can be done in various ways depending on the audience targeted. Events that target large audiences need to use viral marketing strategies. According to Edmunds (2017), viral marketing involves the use of technology to market products through the mass media. Using social networks in marketing makes sharing easy, and thus it reaches the target market easily. Adelaide Fringe event the mass media techniques to market the event. The following are the marketing methods that the event used.
Print Media-The Adelaide event uses different forms of advertising to market its event. The first method used is print media. The event is advertised in a matinee guide, which could be picked by families in various venues in South Australia (Jones 2014). This targeted families and the young at heart and gave guidance on various shows and activities that could be attended by families and some shows specifically target kids. This causes a pull motivation, as the matinee is colorful and instantly draws one’s attention (Di Benedetto & Kim 2016). Posters were also used, and some of the shows targeted adults only and were rated 18 and above. The motivation factor for the audience was that some loving adult shows. Hence, there is a pull motivation, as they want to experience new shows.
Figure –Print Media Adverts
Electronic Media-The event is advertised through TV commercials and radio advertisements. This gives it wide coverage, and it attracts people from all over Australia. The target, in this case, is both artists and audiences (Quinn 2013). Billboards were also used to promote the event. This creates a push motivation for the artists, as they have to perform to build their careers. The audience experience pulls motivation as they get attracted to new events. Some, however, have push motivation, as the people performing are their family members hence they have to support even if not fans of the particular show.
Figure -Electronic Media Adverts
Social Media-The Adelaide Fringe used various social media platforms to advertise its 2017 event. Their page on Facebook has over 78,000 followers hence reaching a wide number. They also used Twitter where it has over 57,000 followers and youtube which had a different variety of videos targeting different audiences, adults, families, and kids (Quinn 2013). Social media mainly targets the millennials, as they are the ones who have the highest percentage of social media use. The audiences will experience pull motivation due to the attractiveness of the adverts used, and it appeals to their emotions.
Figure -Social Media Adverts
Promotions-The festival also used various promotional activities so as to advertise. Different shows were advertised for example standup comedy and acrobatics and these targeted different kinds of audiences, for example, some shows targeted kids, some targeted families and others targeted adults (Jones 2014). The promotions offered various packages, which were adequate for families, and tickets that included meal packages were sold. There was a pull motivation as families were attracted to a variety of new shows that they could watch together as a family.
The Best Experience
According to the peak—end rule the judgment that people make over an event mostly depends on the feeling they had at its peak or the most intense point of the event and not the average or overall experience of the event (Kemp et al. 2008). My experience at the Adelaide Fringe event was like no other. It was the most thrilling event in my life. Where could I have gotten an event with all most every piece of art known, diverse talents and near to perfect hospitality? The Adelaide Fringe event once one of a kind and at the end of the event, I felt that I still needed more. Simply the event was packed with many entertaining events that I even had difficulties on choosing which event to attend because each event was unique and entertaining. The Adelaide Fringe event 2017 gave a chance to experience some of the finest artists from Australia and other parts of the world. The Fringe ceremony on 18 February 2017 gave a glimpse of what the event would be like. The parade hosted over 1,500 artists in the colorful laminated Adelaide Night market which made it the most wonderful scenery I had experienced before. The venues where the events were being held were colorfully decorated making them very attractive. Different shows by musicians, comedians, acrobats, actors and other artists made the event even more exciting.
According to Dutta et al. (2008), people keep memories of events that had an intense emotional influence on them. One of the events that created memories that will last a lifetime was the theater act by group ‘Fauna. The attractive factor was the high level of acrobatics that was used by the members in their demonstration. Each of the team members also embraced an animal character, and there was exquisite attention to detail hence making it an excellent show. Each performer uses facial expressions and gestures, which portray certain meanings. There is a musician who plays acoustic music hence drawing one deeper into the whole experience. Just like animals, some of the crew is very protective of their personal space yet others are like predators, constantly hunting and stalking. Others were fighting for dominance and mimicked the playfulness of animals, birds, and insects. I was kept on the edge of my seat especially when some of the acrobats were doing balancing acts with single arms. I felt like I was in a real forest, watching the animal kingdom and how they behave in their different habitats. The acoustic music played on the guitar also drew me further into this experience.
Figure Fauna Group Advert
Such experiences and others like the gymnastics and tricks by Fringe act cabaret Barbu, circus events by 360 Allstars, concert series and visiting venues such as the Garden of Unearthly series which had colorful unique theatre tents were stunning and met the goals of the Adelaide Fringe of making audiences have a ‘wow’ experience, having thriving venues, fulfilled artists and engaged audiences. The audiences had a wow experience due to the type of high-quality entertainment from the best artist.
The Worst Experience
According to Oliver (1980), expectations-disconfirmation theory argues that expectations and perceived performance lead to after purchase satisfaction. Purchase satisfaction results from positive or negative disconfirmation between expectations and performance. If an event outperforms the expectation of the consumer, this is considered as positive disconfirmation which will result in post-purchase satisfaction. If an event fails to meet the expectation of the consumer this is considered as negative disconfirmation thus there is a high chance that the consumer will not be satisfied. Fringe event tickets were being sold online which I thought would be an easy task. This experience had many hitches as I purchased some tickets online early enough so that they could have them posted to my mail. The tickets were to be posted within seven days but took some time to arrive.
According to Halstead (1999) Expectations of the consumers’ shows the expected behavior which can be predicted. Consumers use expectations to compare to evaluate performance and form disconfirmation judgment. I expected to that there would be enough sitting spaces and didn’t expect to find long queues in the event. However, I felt very disappointed to arrive at some events and get no sitting space due to the crowds. Due to this, some of the shows took the time to start as crowds were airing complaints, as they did not have seating space. It also led to queues due to the company trying to reschedule some of the tickets to other dates or trying to give alternative tickets for other shows. One would also arrive at a show and realize they are not interested anymore or they had attended enough of the same type of show, and the Adelaide event did not accept to change tickets for other shows. This made me feel very frustrated as I was forced to sit through hours of standup comedy, some of which I found to be quite boring. I realized that some of the events did not have proper descriptions hence one ended up purchasing many tickets of similar types of shows.
I feel that The Adelaide Fringe did arrange the ticketing activities in a proper manner as they did not do demand forecasting appropriately. This led to underestimation of the crowds that would attend certain shows and also overbooking. The company did not also ensure that there was proper and adequate advertising for all the shows. Some shows were over-advertised than others hence leading to overcrowding in some areas and lack of crowds in others. Capacity management was not done efficiently by the company hence leading to overcrowding in some areas and the event staff getting overwhelmed.
The worst experience does not meet the festival’s goals of creating a wow effect, engaging audiences and to have fulfilled artists. Customers do not get a wow effect once the ticketing experience becomes unpleasant. They will also not get engaged if they reach and event and find that it is overcrowded. The artists will not be fulfilled if their audiences are not happy.
The Adelaide Fair needs to have proper ticket planning in place before organizing any event. The company should be able to look at its previous events and be able to forecast demand for the next event. The company should also have refund and exchange arrangements for cases of overbooking that are not the fault of the customer (Solomon 2014). Advertising for the shows should be uniform and aggressive. They should market all the shows equally and should have detailed and proper explanations on each poster and the ticket-booking platform. This will enable consumers to have awareness on what kind of show they are booking. Capacity management should be effected, and they should ensure that all customers are accommodated appropriately into the shows that they have booked. The company should also have a very stable system, which should constantly be monitored especially when the festival is about to happen to ensure issues like double debiting of customers does not occur (Baker 2014). The mailing system should also be efficient so that tickets are delivered promptly for those who prefer to have their tickets are sent to their mailboxes.
Biggest problem facing Adelaide Fringe Festival
One of the biggest problem facing Adelaide Festival is recent complains from some artist who have been taking part in the event. For instance, UK comedian Alex Dubus complained about the low attendance of audiences in smaller shows which he said was caused by free tickets from larger venues. Dubus vowed to quit the event after seven years of participation (McDonald, 2016). Mr. Dubus posted on Facebook his frustration about the festival. Several artists have complained about the declining number of audiences in the festival because the audiences are not willing to pay for the tickets. Some of them have also decided to pull out of the coming events (Richardson, 2016)
Figure Mr. Dubus photo on Facebook
SWOT analysis table
· Strong Brand Presence
· Years of Experience in Event Management
· Good Customer Service
· Event evaluation mechanisms
· Inadequate Staffing
· Weak Ticketing Processes
· Weak IT system
· Advertising Loopholes
· Second Largest Fringe Festival Globally
· Untapped Global Market
· Financial Capacity
· Established Advertising Network
· Changing Festival Environments
· Customers not willing to pay
· Similar Festivals at Similar Time
· Withdrawal of artists as they feel they are not benefiting much
SWOT Analysis Discussion
The Adelaide Fringe festival has established a strong brand presence. The festival is annual hence; people are able to identify with it. Over the years, they have created a strong brand due to offering a platform for all types of artists to express themselves hence they are viewed as very accommodating. They also have numerous years of experience in event management. This has given them knowledge of handling such a huge event, and this has made it a strong company. They also focus on customer service by ensuring that their customers are always attended to. Due to this, many customers get attracted to attending the event, as they know that if they encounter nay problem, there will be someone always to assist them. The company also has event evaluation mechanisms that help it to gauge event performance (Baker 2014). They seek for feedback during events, and this has helped them to improve on many areas hence making the festival better as the years go by.
Figure Social Media Survey Request
The company suffers from inadequate staffing during the period of the festival. They get to hire volunteers every year during events, but sometimes this is a challenge as they are only able to get a limited number of people to assist. This sometimes affects the customer service and event management processes as the staff gets overwhelmed, as they have to handle a lot of areas. They also have a weak ticketing process as sometimes events get overlooked. This is due to poor demand forecasting. The IT system is also weak especially at festival periods due to too much traffic on the website. There are also advertising loopholes as some events are not publicized adequately. This leads to poor attendance and underselling of tickets. Some events are also not described well at the time of advertising.
The Adelaide Fringe festival is the second largest fringe festival globally, and due to this, it has an opportunity of partnering with many companies to sponsor the event. This enables the event to get free publicity. The festival also has a large untapped global market. Most of the attendees are citizens of South Australia, and the worldwide tourists are still minimal. The festival, therefore, has an opportunity of tapping into global markets. The Adelaide Festival has the financial capacity to carry out a large event (Baker 2014). The company has contributed immensely to the economy of Australia and due to this getting government sponsorship is not a problem. Ticket sales are mostly outsold hence the company is able to finance itself from this. The festival also has an established advertising network, and this plays a huge role in event management as advertisements are through many channels hence reaching a wide audience.
The threat facing The Adelaide Fringe festival is that the environments keep changing and this can affect the event in various ways. Legislation and rules keep changing. Hence they have to keep up. Customer and artist need also keep changing. Another threat is that customers feel that they should not be charged for these events hence some of them are not willing to purchase tickets (Rojek 2014). There are also similar festivals in Australia at the same time, and some of these affect the numbers that attend the Adelaide Fringe. Some key artists are also withdrawing as they feel they are being paid much less than what they get at similar events. Artists have therefore withdrawn from attending the festival.
The Adelaide Fringe festival should take advantage of its strengths and opportunities to make the festival better (Baker 2014). They should go on with ensuring that event management is carried out effectively by making sure traffic flows, people with special needs are well taken care of, and that event signage is adequate and helpful to audiences.
The company should also ensure that the ticketing system is streamlined so as to eliminate all loopholes and that there is uniform and clear advertising for all categories and acts so that customers know what they are choosing. The event should be evaluated through feedback forms and questionnaires and observation during the festivals so that loopholes are identified and sealed on time. This will also help the festival committee to know which areas audiences like most so to improve on them.
Event management and planning is key to any event. All aspects must be taken care of if an organization is to have a successful event. Organizations must plan everything well so as to ensure that audiences are captured. Event evaluation must also be done to identify customer needs and any gaps that the organization may be overlooking. Identification of good and bad aspects of an event helps organizations to improve on any future events that they may have.
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