Silicon Valley Contemporary

Art Fair
San Jose, CA

Background
Silicon Valley Contemporary is the first art fair in the heart of California’s technology industry mecca, connecting select international exhibitors with this highly desirable market through innovative programming and events. SVC brings together innovators and influencers from the worlds of art and technology, including curators, collectors, museum directors, international artists and art dealers, CEOs, and angel investors. The fair offers the public an opportunity to see the how the newest technological innovations are impacting art practices around the world.

SVC approached A&O based on the recommendations of our previous clients as well as the mutual contacts from A&O’s founding in the Bay Area. A&O was selected in part for our adept navigation of new media vernacular, but also because we had been working with a number of clients already operating at the intersection of art and technology. As early adopters of technology’s place in art and the world at large, A&O was a natural fit.

Challenge
For the past five years, the art world had taken part in mainstream conversations about the importance of not only reaching a tech audience but also earning their respect, philanthropy, and patronage. With the art world so noticeably intrigued by the tech world and vice versa, SVC sought to close the gap between the two by getting the media’s attention and ultimately engaging, if not molding and grooming, a new kind of collector. SVC therefore proposed to launch a brand new art fair aimed at reaching tech audiences in the heart of San Jose, a location with no historical art context and whose demographic market was outside of the top five art economies in the surrounding area.

Solution
A&O was brought on two months before the commencement of the fair, leaving little time to spare. As such, A&O delivered accelerated and hyper-focused national and local campaigns on a tight deadline. We designed and strategized a media tour to complement our traditional public relations outreach strategies, inviting and hosting five key art world journalists for three days in San Jose. We provided them a 360 degree experience that included a tour of the San Jose Museum of Art, the private Niles/Pereira Collection, and the Pier 24 Collection, as well as VIP access to SVC’s Opening Night Vernissage and a unique dining experience in San Francisco. In addition, we heavily messaged the fair as an opportunity for both the local community and enthusiasts from the extended Bay Area to take part in a fair experience engrained with local color. To reach our targeted tech audience, we communicated language that clearly emphasized the core values of collecting and patronage and then proceed to engage with them on their own terms via programming driven by technology and new media, such as the Moving Image Experience.

Results
Through A&O’s quick, calculated efforts, we achieved media placement in over 80 major news outlets for art, general interests, and tech, with press featured in Art in America, the San Francisco Chronicle, Gizmodo, Wired, Vice, KQED, Page Six, Al Jazeera, Artspace, Artnet, and Monocle. The media tour was deemed a critical success by the key journalists, who mention how it enriched their stories by informing them of the parameters of the current art landscape and the inevitable sense of competition that comes from living in the shadow of San Francisco. More importantly, central figures from our targeted tech audience, including top executives from Adobe, Apple, Applied Systems, and Salesforce, not only attended the fair but also acquired works from many exhibitors. With favorable, positive media and an observable attendance of tech entrepreneurs and key figures, our client reported satisfactory results.

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Photo Credit: Joel Moses Photography