When the first lockdowns and restrictive measures were imposed in many Countries back in February and March, museums were among the first institutions to offer virtual tours and digital alternatives to their IRL experiences. This speaks volumes about humanity’s need for beauty and art and we might derive some comfort from it, particularly when assessing our priorities in the light of the current situation. And yet, this doesn’t mean that all is well among visual artists around the world: sure, it may be relatively easy to explore the Uffizi Gallery or the Louvre and enjoy digital versions of humanity’s greatest masterpieces, but what about contemporary artists? How can photographers, painters, concept artists, and sculptors get themselves noticed, how can they reach their existing or potential audiences, buyers, and collectors, while events are still intermittent and new lockdowns are looming? Much like the rest of the event industry, they have turned to technology for help. Virtual exhibitions and vernissages are not just possible, but easy to access, convenient, and extremely effective. Here’s how they work.
How virtual exhibitions can save art
Virtual exhibitions are immersive events, allowing visitors to explore a 3D virtual gallery and experience works of art down to the last detail without any of the health risks connected to attending an actual event. Our virtual events platform Hypersmarter offers a highly interactive and immersive experience, in which visitors can simultaneously acquire a wealth of information on the artist and the individual work of art while looking at the pictures, photographs, or installations on display. Because of the slower pace and increased intimacy of this experience, a deeper, more thoughtful approach is encouraged, in which the visitor can take in every facet and every detail, delving deeper into the meaning and the technique of each individual piece.
Target broader audiences with a virtual exhibition
Art enthusiasts will be familiar with the feeling: there are so many interesting events around the world, from major festivals to individual vernissages, and there is never enough time (or money) to see them all. While people will travel halfway through the globe to see the Venice Biennale, it is much less likely that fans of a contemporary artist will be able to follow their events in person, unless they happen to take place within a relatively small radius. Virtual exhibitions are to visual artists what Myspace and Youtube were to musicians: they go beyond geographical constraints, allowing artists to target potential admirers and collectors all over the world.
Interactive, accessible, real
But what about interaction? Surely the best part of attending a vernissage or an exhibition is talking to the artist, finding out quirks and facts about individual works of art, bonding with fellow art lovers and collectors while sipping a glass of white wine? While each visitor to a virtual exhibition might have to fix their own drink, everything else is perfectly possible. Our virtual events offer a variety of tools to facilitate the interaction between exhibitors and visitors. Artists and gallery owners will be able to set up desks and stands, organise webinars and press conferences, chat with visitors individually or collectively, answer questions, and take offers.
Cost-effective and sustainable
Art exhibitions are rarely cost-effective, particularly for young artists who have yet to make a name for themselves. The logistics tend to be quite complex and expensive, and gallery owners often struggle to break even. Virtual exhibitions are rather different: all the expenses connected to renting a venue, setting up the exhibition, lighting each piece correctly, providing catering, and cleaning up afterwards are swapped for a clean and easy package comprising a customisable virtual space and a wealth of available interactive features. Moreover, while a traditional exhibition or vernissage will only allow the organisers to keep track of the actual sales, virtual exhibitions are entirely trackable, offering insight on which pieces got the most attention or exposure, what contents were downloaded, what information was shared or requested and by whom. Are we saying virtual exhibitions will be the future of art, even after this crisis is over? Probably. While we know we will gladly return to IRL experiences as soon as it is safe to do so, we also believe that once tried, the perks of virtual exhibitions will be hard to let go.