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Survey on the


The questionnaire __________________________________________________ A few months after the end of the XVth Biennale de la MÊditerranÊe we asked the artists who participated in the events of Thessaloniki and Rome and our members to fill in a questionnaire on the Biennial. Through the questionnaire we wanted to collect evaluations, recommendations and opinions from those who participated to the Biennial with the primal aim of improving constantly the event. We’ve created two questionnaires, one addressed to the artists and focused on their perception and knowledge of the event, as well as on their judgments on the organizational and technical aspects; the other was addressed to our members and it focused on the selection criteria and the new format based on two host cities. Both targets were also questioned on the strengths and weaknesses of the Biennial and were invited to express an overall opinion on the event.

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The questionnaire __________________________________________________ We’ve sent the questionnaire to the 252 artists (selected trough the official call) from 25 Countries, and to the 145 representatives of the member institutions. We got back 83 questionnaires from the artists (32% of the total) and 30 questionnaires from our members (20% of the total), and from almost all the Countries.

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The artists __________________________________________________

The profile of the artists shows a slight majority of men (54%), aged between 25 and 30 (64%) and working primarily in the Visual arts (63%)

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The artists __________________________________________________

In accordance with the distribution of the disciplines between the two cities and the duration of the two steps of the Biennial, most of the artists took part in the event of Thessaloniki (77%)

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The selection __________________________________________________ The artists’ selection took place mainly through a public call (49%) or a direct call (23%)     Members gave us also a detail of the artists’ attendance to the public calls. Considering the international relevance of the event, the percentage of applications received by the members doesn’t seem very high. Nevertheless, due to the local nature of the calls, it would be useful to know the trend of applications from past years to have a more precise view of the artists’ attendance.

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The Biennial ___________________________________________________ When asked about the promoter of the event, more than half of the artists declared they didn’t know its identity (53%). Moreover, from the answers of those who declared they know it, it’s evident that sometimes they confuse Bjcem with the local promoter. This confusion may be in a measure the result of an incomplete communication, considering that the majority of the artists said they know the Biennale mostly through friends (35%) and social networks (25%).

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The Biennial ___________________________________________________ Those answers bring us to make a first reflection on the ability of Bjcem and of the members to highlight the tasks and responsibilities of the different promoters involved. Obviously is necessary to improve both the communication with and through the members; furthermore the Association probably needs a more personalized communication, both through the social networks and the corporate website, in order to strengthen its identity. A first step in this direction has already been made: right in these days we are working on a new version of our website, which will be simplified in contents, allowing a clearer and cleaner surfing and, for the future, we intend to have a wider control on all the aspects related to communication.

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The Biennial ___________________________________________________ The artists were then asked to express an opinion on the relationship with both local partners and the executive Bjcem office. In both cases the judgment was good, even if a small percentage express an unsatisfactory judgment, which means that there’s still work to improve the relation with the artists and increase their satisfaction.

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The new format ___________________________________________________ Members were questioned about the new format based on two host cities.

The majority of respondents expressed a positive level of satisfaction. The most appreciated aspects of this format are the dynamism and the fact that the division in two cities makes it economically more sustainable. For the 37% the new format is satisfactory but needs some improvements, especially regarding the connection between the hosting cities and a rethinking of the disciplines’ subdivision. Nevertheless, an important 23% does not express a positive judgment. The members complain first of all about the difficulty in sustaining a

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The new format ___________________________________________________ double-organizing effort. Furthermore they have the perception that artists lose visibility and that this format causes the loss of the opportunity to establish contacts and relationships both personal and professional. Several of them finally ask for the creation of common areas where artists can meet and discuss. We share their opinions and had the same feelings during the Biennial: it’s our purpose to overcome all those difficulties because we truly believe in this format and we want to improve it. For instance, for the next Biennial, we’re working to set up the conditions that will guarantee a longer hospitality to the artists and, at the same time, to encourage the opportunity of exchanges and meet.

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The theme ___________________________________________________ The theme of the Biennial was symbiosis? The 88% of the surveyed artists were aware of the theme and, among them, more than the half (55%) said that the work presented at the Biennial was conceived and built especially for the occasion and that it was inspired by the theme.

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The theme ___________________________________________________ The idea to have a theme to follow was important because it gave the Biennial a basic unity, linking the works through a common concept and not only by the belonging to the same discipline. For the next events we want to increase the relevance of the theme, which has to become the strong and coherent root that connects all the works. For that reason we’re planning to assign the artistic project to some curators, who will select the artists and define the program according to the theme. We’re already developing this idea on the occasion of WEYA (World Event Young Artists) and we’re sure this would be the first step in view of the Biennial 2013.

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Technics and logistics ___________________________________________________ We asked both the artists and the members their level of satisfaction concerning the set up of the works and the hospitality. ARTISTS

MEMBERS

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Technics and logistics ___________________________________________________ The judgments are positive: the 83% of artists and members judged the set up more than satisfactory, while almost the totality of both the target has judged the hospitality more than satisfactory. Nevertheless, there has been some problems regarding the set up, with an important 18% of the artists and 13% of the members who have judged unsatisfactory or poor the technical aspects. Even if the set up problems may have concerned only few artists and were due to the peculiar characteristics of their works, it’s obviously important to guarantee the same technical support and level to all the artists, in order to provide them the opportunity to present their works in the best way. Our objective for the future is to guarantee the complete satisfaction to all the artists, considering that the quality of the set up and of the presentation of the work for us is the bare minimum goal to achieve.

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General satisfaction, strengths and weaknesses ___________________________________________________ Both artists and members express a positive satisfaction with the event. However the level of satisfaction of the artists is higher than the one of the members, who express more satisfactory than good level. We want to increase our members satisfaction and, for that reason, we’re investing lots of time and energies (like this questionnaire) to know what they expect from us and to deepen the commitment to our projects. ARTISTS

MEMBERS

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General satisfaction, strengths and weaknesses ___________________________________________________ Strengths The most appreciated aspect was the opportunity to meet artists and organizations from all over Europe and the Mediterranean area (72% of the artists and 70% of the members). Artists valued also the opportunity to participate to an event with an international reputation (51%) and the opportunity to travel and explore new experiences through the arts (37%), while another valuable asset both for artists and members was the opportunity to promote the artistic work (26% for the artists and 70% for the members). ARTISTS

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General satisfaction, strengths and weaknesses ___________________________________________________ MEMBERS

Weaknesses The weaknesses confirm the previous critics to the technical aspects (36% of the artists, 30% of the members) and to the new format (27% members), although both the target agree that the weakest aspect at all is the promotion (48% for the artists, 47% for the members). Furthermore, among those who indicated other weaknesses (34% of the artists, 13% of the members), the most recurrent one is the lack of moments of exchange between artists.

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General satisfaction, strengths and weaknesses ___________________________________________________ ARTISTS

MEMBERS

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Promotion and communication __________________________________________________ Analyzing the comments of the artists about the weakest aspects of the Biennial, what they complain about the most is a lack of promotion and a poor presence of audience, journalists and professionals, with the consequent difficulty to establish professional contacts. To plug this gap, it will be important to work on the promotion in the city/cities where the Biennial is going to take place, looking after the involvement of the public and the local professionals. To achieve this objective we’ve decided that, from the next Biennial 2013 in Ancona, Bjcem is going to run directly all the communication aspects. This will allow us to draw a complete and homogeneous strategy, focused on the contents and well structured in the timing. Following this direction, right now we’re working directly on the redaction of the catalogue of the Bjcem artists who are going to participate to WEYA. Moreover, we’ve decided to grow our staff investing on a person who’s going to work on communications. ___________________________________________


Promotion and communication __________________________________________________ We’ve involved also our members, asking them for suggestions on what are the best way to promote the Biennial. The results highlighted the importance of social networks (47%) and international media (33%).

Surely, in order to increase the interest of the audience, we need to improve the use of the social networks and of the website, but it would be necessary also to think on other kind of initiatives to captivate the attention of the professionals. We’ve started to update our database and mailing list and we intend to focus

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Promotion and communication ___________________________________________________ our energies on the fundraising, in order to improve our placement and generate new opportunities in terms of visibility. Our members are also doing promotional efforts: the 53% of them invests on the organization of promotional events, such as exhibitions, performances, workshops, meetings and press conferences with a national relevance, which happen before and after the Biennial in the Country of the member.

This is doubtless a good initiative but unfortunately it is not practicable for all the members in terms of organizational effort.

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Promotion and communication ___________________________________________________ Finally we’ve asked both the targets to evaluate some of our communication instruments, such as the catalogue, the website of symbiosis? and the Bjcem website. ARTISTS

MEMBERS

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Promotion and communication ___________________________________________________ ARTISTS

MEMBERS

Each of these instruments resulted well known and appreciated and, in general, all the opinions were positive. That means that, to improve the promotional strategies, is necessary to integrate the tools we’re already using with new ones, able to intercept new targets.

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Donors ___________________________________________________ We asked the members about Bjcem donors. Less than 50% among them knew our donors and their activities. When we asked an opinion about the activities they promoted during the Biennial, the judgments expressed were quite prudent.

Donors are fundamental for our work, so we need to make an effort in order to make their activities more visible and appreciate.

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Conclusions __________________________________________________ This questionnaire has been very useful to focus on the issues of the Biennial and of our work in general. Lots of the points that have been raised were already subject of an internal reflection and, in some case, we were already working to solve or improve them. In general the reception of the Biennial has been good, both from the artists and the members, who filled in the questionnaire with the spirit to help us to improve: the criticisms were precise and detailed and lots of people left very helpful comments. So, we could highlight the weaknesses in promotion and communication, as well as the problems some experimented with the set up. We also had an interesting overview on the members’ opinions on the new format, that gave us some important ideas on how to improve it. Now that we’ve focused on the issue we’ve to start working in order to improve them. ___________________________________________

Xv Biennale de la Méditerranée - Survey Results  

An analysis of the results of the questionnaire for the artists and the members who partecipated to the XV edition of the Biennial

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