Monday, November 24, 2008




The objective of this report is to identify how the various components of the event marketing mix had been adopted in the Singapore Biennale 2008 and to evaluate the effectiveness of the usage of these components towards the success of Biennale 2008.As well as to consider the role of Biennale 2008 to Singapore and its value to the tourism economy.

Methodology of Research

The methodology of research included a fieldtrip (Cityhall and One Raffles Quay) to both the indoor and outdoor exhibitions at Singapore's iconic landmarks in addition to the internet as a tool for research.


Biennale is the largest and most stimulating showcase of contemporary art by renowned visual artists globally happening once every 2 years. The first Biennale originates from Venice, Italy in 1895, proposed to celebrate the silver anniversary of King Umberto and Margherita of Savoy .Since then, this art festival has grown from its humble beginning to one of the largest art exhibition showcase in various parts of the world by top notched artist. Singapore Biennale 2008 is a follow up to the successful ‘belief’ theme exhibition showcased in 2006 featuring a new theme ‘wonder’.

With a curatorial team headed by artistic direction Fumio Nanjo, Singapore Biennale 2008 includes events, exhibitions and activities showcasing different types of contemporary art including sculptures, paintings, installations, new media, performances, photography, film & video, sound, murals and furniture design promising a multi sensory experience!

Singapore Biennale 2008 which ran from 11 September to 16 November 2008 were showcased in both indoor and outdoor iconic landmarks-City Hall, Esplanade Bridge, Central Promontory Site, Singapore flyer, Collyer Quay, Raffles shopping centre and last but not least South Beach Development. Singapore Biennale 2008 is also proud to present its first Kids’ Biennale, reaching out to the little ones with these aims in mind: Inspire, Instill and Engage through participation to provide them with a better understanding of art education.

Evaluation of the effective use of Marketing Mix

The experiential components of the marketing mix consist of Product, Place, Programming and People and the facilitating components of the marketing mix include Partnerships, Promotions (Communications), Packaging & Distribution and Price.

Experiential Components


Product is what the potential customers need, want, and will pay for. In Biennale 2008 art exhibition, the product presented would be the events, exhibition and activities showcasing the different types of contemporary art which promise to deliver an inciting multisensory experience. Quality of the product plays an ultimate role in creating an enjoyable experience for the customers. Thus, in Biennale 2008, artworks were carefully selected from renowned artists from all over the world. Exhibition is an intangible product which means that the customer will not be able to see, touch, hear or feel it before entering it. The organizing team had tried to give the potential visitors an idea of what to expect through various ways such as the media release and its website. This is important so as to prevent the event from suffering from product orientation.


Place will be the physical place and how it is created through design and programming. In this case, the Biennale 2008 used CityHall as one of the venue for the exhibition. In this building, all the rooms were decorated in different manners to suit the different artwork. For example, in the room featuring El naufragio de los hombres (The wreck of men) which is a video work, the setting of the room was pitch dark creating an excellent ambience for people to feel connected and with a bench at the back for people to sit and enjoy it. Another artwork ‘I’m not expensive,2008’ that plays with movement and illusion was set in a spacious brightly lit room with plenty of room for movement for viewers to move around and explore to see the movements of the figures on the 3D drawing. This is an example which shows the different setting which will create different kind of ambience ideal for different art piece through different design and programming. For the exhibition located at South Beach Development, the exhibition was in the open space. I suggest for more shelters to be build as Singapore is a tropical country where it experience lots of sunshine and rain.


It is the development of an attractive event program. Its program had also provided a significant platform for new and brilliant artists for both local and international artists. Biennale 2008 had a opening ceremony officiated by Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong marking the start of the premier international contemporary art event in Singapore. The opening party comprised of a whole range of Getai performances and public art presentation dedicated to Singaporeans and visitors at South Beach Development. The SB2008 Wonder Club and the SB2008 Wonder Lust Party were some other activities that were organised. The artistic director of Biennale 2008, Fumio Nanjo is acting like a program gate keepers. He selects the ideal artworks by brilliant artists which were related to the theme ‘Wonder’.


The interactions between customers, the setting, and the staff/volunteers constituted a large part of the event experience. When my friends and I went to the reception counters at the art exhibition at City Hall, we were greeted promptly by the friendly staffs. When we enquiry about the ticket price, she told us that the ticket is $10. She went the extra mile asking if we were students and informed us about the 50% off for students. She is a representative of the Singapore Biennale 2008 and the hospitality received will shape our experience at the art exhibition positively. The organizing team must have taken note of these special attributes that the staff should have before employing them so as to create an unmemorable experience for the visitors. The Singapore Biennale 2008 also had a team of enthusiastic and passionate volunteers and it is a good move to engage the community in this event which will bring the community closer and develop a sense of belonging.

Facilitating Components


Partnerships are partners developed based on the basis of ‘relationships and goodwill to make the event possible. Singapore Biennale 2008 had found a numbers of sponsors to fund this internation contemporary art festival. One of the sponsors is JET AIRWAYS.JET AIRWAYS fund the exhibition in monetary form for the kids’ Biennale, and this organization is advertising indirectly. The brand of this organization can be seen in all the guides given out to the visitors, thus creating awareness and a positive branding linked to providing kids a chance to understand art education better. National Art council has also contributed and supported the Singapore Biennale 2008.

Promotion (Communications)

This refers to the full range of ‘communication mix’ e.g. advertising and sales promotion. One of the forms of advertisement is through the booklet which is given out to viewers of the F1 grandpix. This is to create awareness of the Singapore Biennale 2008 and draw potential customers both internally or externally to the exhibition. Clearer directions to the iconic sites where the exhibition are displayed should be given. During the field trip, my friends and I saw a signage between the Esplanade and the river. It was supposed to be leading us to the bridge where smoke will be emitted during dusk. However, my friends and I went there during the afternoon and we combed the whole area but we could not find any exhibitions. This led to frustration among us making the whole experience less enjoyable. I suggest for signs to be put up stating the timing that the smoke will be emitted so as to inform the public that it will only be activated during dusk.

Packaging & Distribution

Exhibitions can be distributed through intermediaries of various types. One form of intermediaries is through the teachers in primary school. The teachers organized trips to the Kids’ Biennale and guided tours can be provided if they registered in groups earlier on. This will not only benefit the visitors for being to go on a guided tour, the organizer will also be able to have prepare extra manpower in advance if it is required and they will be able to have an idea of the response to the exhibition. Destinations can package with other attractions and services to make it more attractive. The compass which is the Asia’s grand tour to visit five major exhibitions in the Asia-Pacific region within one and a half weeks is calling out to art lovers who will be interested to see all the different Biennale in this region.


Price is the exchange of value to experience the event. The general admission ticket fee to the exhibition of Singapore Biennale 2008 is $10. Concessions are available to students and senior citizen at 50% off. An additional $ 21 per adult ticket, $ S$20.65 per child or student ticket or S$23.60 per senior citizen can be top up for admission to the Singapore Flyer. These are some of the prices that the event organizer set for the art exhibition (product). The concessions for students at half price is a good move to encourage the youth, future leaders of our countries to come to the Biennale 2008.This will widen their knowledge and giving them a unique experience of the excitement, dynamism and profundity of contemporary art.

Evaluate how well the event has used the marketing mix to its advantage

This event has used its advantage to its advantage quite well. Firstly, in my opinion, the activities are organized to the advantage of the locations of the exhibitions. As the exhibitions are scattered all around the city area , it is a good idea to organize a Biennale Race, a hands on activity to appeal to the youth as the organizing team might be constrained by the limited space they have in door.

Secondly, in the area of promotion, the organizing team was able to anticipate and promote the Singapore Biennale 2008 in the booklets given out and websites during the F1 Grand Pix. By doing this, the Singapore Biennale is able to reach out to a large market both locals and foreigners. Singapore is perceived by foreigners as a monotonous and boring city, through this event, Singapore’s international image as a vibrant city to live, work, play can be further enhanced.

Thirdly, the Singapore Biennale 2008 also managed to capture a niche market, the art lovers. A
new idea, Art Compass 2008 is proposed by the leading contemporary art events in the Asia-Pacific region; the Biennale of Sydney, Gwangju, Shanghai and Singapore Biennales and the Yokohama Triennale. The event used its uniqueness (arts) and sells it to the market which it appeals to. This also led to the arrival of quality visitors for the Biennale 2008.

Fourthly, the Singapore Biennale 2008 is able to price its tickets at a reasonable price for its targeted market. An example will be the 50% concession for students; one of the major target markets for the Kids’ Biennale is the students. Providing a cheaper entrance fee has made it possible for more students to come and visit the Biennale.

Last but not least, all the other marketing mix had also used the marketing mix to its advantages to a certain extent.

Tourism Roles of Events

Place Marketing

It is to create positive images, improve quality or life and to attract residents and investors.
Singapore Biennale is a major event and it will receive considerable media attention. Articles on Singapore Biennale 2008 had been published by channel Newsasia, art magazines and many more. This will raise awareness of Singapore globally and place Singapore on the international art maps. In Singapore Biennale 2006, more than 883, 000 people saw the first edition and it generates more than 1000 press articles. Residents will also be attracted to Biennale 2008 as the art pieces displayed are by globally renowned artists. Parents can bring their children to the Kids’ biennale to educate their child in the midst of having fun as well for a weekend outing. They can lead an enriching life through all the different events and thus, improve the quality of their life.

Tourist Attraction

It is to attract quality tourists, spread demand, increase visitor spending and length of stays. Compass (Asia’s grand tour to visit five major exhibitions in the Asia-Pacific region) will bring quality tourists to Singapore who is art lovers. A successful Singapore Biennale 2006 will draw back past visitors with a new theme ‘Wonder’. This will spread the demand to participate in the inaugural Singapore Biennale 2008.Tourists might lengthen their stays in Singapore if they want to visit the exhibitions which are situated at iconic landmarks of Singapore. The Singapore Biennale is spread over the city area and tourists who had visited the exhibition can head to the nearby shopping malls like Suntec City for shopping or for food. This will lead to increased visitor spending as they spend on admission fee to get into the exhibition as well as spending in our shopping malls.

Image Maker

It is to create and enhance themes and combat negative imagery for attractions, resorts and destinations. It is to create positive images, improve quality or life and to attract residents and investors.

Singapore has always been deemed as an effective and efficient country thus giving the perception of her being a monotonous, strict and boring city. With Singapore Biennale 2008, positive images will be created. An international art festival will be perceived as providing quality exhibitions and something interesting and worth participating in. Thus removing the label of Singapore as a boring city, and enhance Singapore’s international image as a vibrant city to live, work, play.


It is to stimulate infrastructure, assist urban renewal, stimulate business/trade and support other attractions. Singapore’s civic district will be transformed into a bustling arts and cultural hub, City Hall will be converted into a world class national art gallery by 2013.This is an example of how Biennale raise the awareness of the rising demand of the art sector and this infrastructure will support this art sector. The Singapore Biennale 2008 not only provided an opportunity for the young artists, curators and arts business to showcase their talent, it is also a platform where they could be picked by other international exhibitions and brought to a greater height in the art industry.


It is to encourage first and repeat visits at facilities, resorts and attractions. Singapore Biennale 2008 is an inaugural contemporary art festival; a change of theme for every festival will be required so as to attract repeat visits to the festivals. In the past Singapore Biennale 2006, the theme focused on’ Belief’ and examined the ways in which people’s belief are reflected and explored through contemporary art. This time round in Singapore Biennale 2008, a different concept is explore- ‘wonder’. To engage in wonder after belief means that there is a re- confirmation with conviction of one’s position in the world. This will draw people back to Singapore Biennale as it a different theme and yet it’s somewhat like a continuity of the previous theme.

Economic Value

Singapore Biennale 2008 is a kind of creative industries that Singapore is actively pursuing. Being a small city with a limited labour pool, Singapore has identified the creative economy to be an engine for the economic growth of the country. Through Singapore Biennale 2008, Singapore is able to show its prominence as an international visual arts hub to the world. This will allow the creative industries in Singapore flourish and attract more investors to Singapore.

Art Compass 2008 is a travel packaging device to encourage contemporary art lovers to visit the Biennale festivals in the Asia- Pacific region in an organized itinerary. It is proposed by the leading contemporary art events in the Asia-Pacific region. This will attract quality visitors to Singapore who has the passion for art. During their stay here, the visitors will stay in our hotel, eat in our restaurants, just like any other tourists. This will increase the tourism receipts and lead to the growth of the tourism industry in Singapore.

Singapore Biennale 2008 will also provide new opportunities for Singapore artists, curators and arts businesses but also establish Singapore as a hub for exchange and collaborations for the global arts community. Through this festival, the artists and curators will stand a chance to be picked by some other international exhibitions. These talented artists and curators from Singapore will then be renowned and able to carve out a successful career. The art business in Singapore will continue to develop as Singapore moves closer to becoming an international visual art hub. This will help to boost our economy as a whole.

Singapore Biennale 2008 has also created more job opportunities for the local workforce. Different types of jobs requiring different levels of skills will be created e.g. the furnishing of the exhibitions to display their art will be done by the carpenters/designers; the lighting firms etc will be able to earn a living from this event. Due to the bankruptcy of major banks in the USA which leads to closing down of many firms, the economy is adversely affected. This festival is able to create more jobs and attract more people to come and visit. Tax Revenue will be increased as the government charge a tax fee when these art works are imported from the other countries in the airport.


After my visit to Singapore to Biennale 2008, I realized the trend of art becoming a part of people’s lives. In this exhibition, I find many pieces of artwork which were truly amazing and commendable.

In my opinion, Singapore Biennale 2008 had effectively used the event marketing mix to a large extent which contributed significantly to the success of the festival. The usage of 8Ps had helped the organizing team to a large extent, from the simplest core product, the related promotional work, the setting of price, people who were involved, how it programs, the sourcing of partnership, the distribution of the packages.

All these had brought Singapore benefits such as the increase in tourism receipts and tax revenue which led to positive economic growth and a higher confirmation of our ability that placed us quickly on the international arts map. This will help to change the perception of Singapore as an efficient and boring city to a vibrant city full of life!

As the nation progress, its economy is moving away from its traditional manufacturing and electronic bases to the financial services, telecommunications, life sciences, tourism and the creative industries. Singapore Biennale 2008 is one of the activities we can engage in to move
towards an industry that uses more of labour, services and brain as our small country do not have any natural resources and constraint by the limited workforce and a relatively small land area.

Overall, the event marketing mix had been very useful to the planning of the event, Singapore Biennale 2008

Pictures :D

‘I’m not expensive,2008’

Black Field View 2008(Back view)

Black Field 2008(Front View)

D.84 Little Guilin Singapore, 2008 with me :D

Drawings from Kids' Biennale

Me and Ying Ying in front of City Hall

View of Fantasmas from Blue box.

Me and Ying Ying at One Raffles Quay


Assessed on 17 November 2008

Assessed on 18 November 2008