I placed myself in the second task area for this assignment, which focused on creating an opportunity for our audience to see/interact directly with the works we had produced in the studio. As a group we decided early that the best way to encourage the most interaction was with a screening; somewhere modern, outside of the university, where the works could be screened and discussed afterwards over drinks in a casual and welcoming environment. I believe we definitely achieved this goal.
[1. Describe the exact role you took on in ‘finding your audience.’]
Finding an audience for online video has its inherent struggles, as the medium is so new and still developing.
As a group we sat down early to discuss who our audience was, and how we would target them; or how we would ‘find’ them. It was clear from this discussion that we all had a similar idea of our audience: young, both males and females, technologically literate. Education is not essential for our audience, but merely suggests those who are educated would perhaps appreciate the works more.
In essence, my role in finding our audience was to encourage discussion within the group, and then to nail down who this audience was and how we were going to reach them. As the studio is an online one, it was determined reaching the audience via online means would be most effective, and could be supported by print materials.
[2. Highlight the exact tasks you have undertaken in this role.]
My main role for the event was photography, but I also assisted in the lead up to the event with promotion and logistics. Katrina designed the posters for the event, which aimed to promote the event as a casual screening of experimental online video works. They were intended to come across as light hearted, with one of the posters making comedic references to the dying technologies of the walkman, the pager and the obsolete first mobile phones, which have been replaced with more contemporary technologies and mediums. I consulted on the designs of these posters, and assisted in their distribution around campus and at local hot spots, such as Melbourne Central.
During the event I acted as one of the photographers, aiming to keep the photos casual and relaxed, and depict the event as such. I believe I performed well in this role, as I have experience photographing similar events in the past, and was not phased by having to approach people for a photo. Most of the photos turned out well, with the exception of a few that were a result of the low lighting of the event space. I feel I coped with this well, however, and am pleased with the photos.
[3. Who was the audience you were/are looking to attract?]
From our first meeting, the group determined our audience was going to be difficult to define. Online video is still quite niche, and hence narrowing down our audience became difficult. As a benchmark, I believe our target audience to be young, males and females, and to be relatively technically literate. As mentioned, our specific target audience is also likely to be educated, as our works may be appreciated by those with a formal education more than those without.
As the works were online, the broader target audience would be open to a variety of demographic locations, but as the event was a screening in Melbourne, those local to Melbourne are obviously crucial to the target audience of the event.
[4. What strategies within your category have you developed to ‘find your audience’?]
Considering the online nature of the studio and works, a large focus of finding our audience was through online tactics. Facebook was useful in finding a young audience interested in experimental art, and enabled the class to invite friends and family easily. The event was a local Melbourne screening, and hence needed to be targeted at local Melbournians more so. We did this through posters around the university and the Melbourne CBD. Ultimately word of mouth works well with these sorts of events, and I believe this attracted a large amount of our audience, whether they heard about it through Facebook or via traditional word of mouth.
[5. Reflection on the effectiveness of the material and approach you developed/completed. This might include data on the number of people who have attended and any other comments you receive about the events/website etc.]
We approached this task knowing that online video is somewhat out of the norm. As a medium, it’s particularly hard to define, and furthermore, hard to explain to an audience. With that in mind, the event we wanted to hold centred on being modern, and less connected to a pool of university works, but more to an experimental medium capable of making audiences think. Having the screening at Loop Bar – located in the Melbourne CBD and a home of regular arts screenings and events – gave our event a casual and welcoming feel, which saw an audience of approximately 50 people. Given the small size of the venue, and the niche medium that is online video, I was really pleased with the turnout.
The screening itself ran really smoothly, and our audience gave very positive feedback regarding the quality and enjoyability of our work. The works were a great mix and entertainment and experimental, and that seemed to be appreciated by our audience. Launching the website after the event was also effective in bringing back that audience, and reaching a new audience who were unable to attend the screening for one reason or another.
Overall the screening event was successful in its aim to attract an audience, entertain and enlighten that audience, and provide an enjoyable and casual atmosphere. I believe I helped capture some of these moments during the event, as well as contribute to discussions, finding our audience, and marketing to that audience.
View the better photos I took during the event here.