So as to not suffer from product orientation, the choosing of the performances put up during the festival becomes very crucial. It is important to note what the potential customers need, want and will pay for. In this case, arts lovers come from all age/interest groups. Catering to all age/interest groups, the arts festival of both countries chose to showcase works and talents from local, Asia, and international. Even though they might have chosen different artistes and performing groups for their festivals, the idea of providing a wide range of different arts to attract more potential customers is the same.
Hong Kong Arts Festival held its performances at typical concert theatres, arts academies, cultural centres, auditoriums, studios and concert hall. Naming a few, we have HK Cultural Centre, HK Academy of Performing Arts and HK City Hall theatre. Singapore, in comparison, held some of the events at unique locations, like the newly opened Marina Barrage, train stations, shopping malls, National Museum of Singapore and Singapore Art Museum, not mentioning the expected locations like Victoria Theatre, Esplanade Theatre, and LASALLE College of the Arts. By having events held at places like shopping malls and train stations, by-passers would be exposed to the world of arts without having to pay a single cent. Hence, the festival would be promoted in an even larger scale here in Singapore.
HK Cultural Centre
Singapore divided the festival into five different segments this year.
They were Dance, Music, Theatre, Fest Connect, and Visual Arts. The categories of Dance, Music, Theatre and Visual Arts are straightforward. Fest Connect was all about school programmes, festival chats, festival forums and festival workshops. The purpose of Fest Connect was to build stronger links with schools and communities to enhance greater understanding of festival programmes, artists and festival-making.
One of the festival workshops, "Cullberg Ballet Dance Workshop by Jane Hopper".
In Hong Kong, there were five segments programmed for the festival, namely Dance, Theatre, Opera, Music and Family. However in Hong Kong, the programmes were all about performances and showcases. In my opinion, Singapore Arts Festival would be able to reach out to more people, and to the community more through programmes that include interactions with the people off stage.
Both Arts Festivals brought in wide range of international talents, attracting a wide range of audience. But through Fest Connect activities and heartland locations for performances, Singapore attracted more than arts lovers, but students, communities and onlookers as well.
Singapore Arts Festival had official partners like Channel Five and Okto TV Stations to promote the events held, and had Coca-Cola Light as the official Sparkling Beverage. For premier partnerships, there were Singapore Tourism Board, Singapore Tote Board, Shaw Foundation and PSB Academy. Major sponsors included Raffles City shopping centre, Vivo City, PUB, and SMRT, to hold performances at, so as to attract people from the heartlands and shoppers from the city into celebrating the festival together.
Coca-Cola Light(official sparkling beverage for Singapore Arts Festival)
The Hong Kong Arts Festival was made possible with the funding support of The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust and the Leisure and Cultural Services. Supporting organizations included Hong Kong Tourism Board and Hong Kong: Asia’s World City to promote the event.
People could actually sign up to become members of Singapore Arts Festival. Upon presenting a ArtsFest Club Card or ArtsFest Ticket, we could enjoy discounts and offers at local Marina Mandarin Singapore and many other F&B outlets. Similarly in Hong Kong, people could sign up for “Hong Kong Arts Festival MasterCard” to enjoy a 6 or 10 month interest-free instalment to pay for Festival tickets, and exclusive privileges like perpetual annual fee waiver, a welcome gift, 5% discount plus interest-free instalment and 0.52% cash rebate.
Packaging & Distribution:
Both Arts Festivals had the venues for the events held and local tourism board, as good channels to make the event well-known. Tickets for Singapore Arts Festival were available at SISTIC, which provided internet booking, telephone booking, and sales at SISTIC authorised agents. Counter booking were available HKT Internet Ticketing Service, HKT Telephone Credit Card Booking, HKT Outlets Counter Booking and Overseas Fax Booking for Hong Kong Arts Festival.
For Singapore Arts Festival, there were package discounts(4 or more shows – 15% discount, 2 to 3 shows – 10% discount), 20% discount for full-time students, NSFs and senior citizens, group bookings and school bookings. For Hong Kong Arts Festival, discounts were made available at advance booking period. Full-time local students could purchase up to two tickets for each performance during advance booking period and adults might bring a maximum of four children/students to each performance provided that at least one standard price ticket was purchased. The pricing for both events were quite acceptable and standard.