Monday, November 24, 2008


The objective of this report is to identify and evaluate how Biennale has marketed and positioned itself in the international arts map. The tourism role and economic values of this event and how it has contributed to the economy of Singapore is also looked into.

In order to find out more about Biennale, a field trip was carried out on 7 November, Friday. Research from trusted source of the websites is also looked into. The Biennale guidebook was another source for useful information regarding the event.


According to the Oxford Dictionary of art, Biennale simply means an art exhibition held every two years. Venice Biennale was the first to be founded.

In effort to increase the Art Scene in Singapore, the first Biennale was held in Singapore in 2006 and it was a great success with more than 883,000 people participating. Due to the overwhelming response, Singapore has held another Biennale this year with a different theme named ‘Wonder’. A symbol to represent the strong visual presence of this year’s Biennale is also created by a Japanese architect Shigeru Ban. Open your mind, experience the wonder and beauty of the world, be amazed by the reality and discover new truths of contemporary art. ‘Illusion is reality’ is what they hope to present to us. This event has also conveys to the public that art plays a part in our life now and art is vital in every aspect of life and has also made industries vibrant too. A total of 66 artists’ works and art collectives from more than 35 countries and regions will presents both Asian and international art practices. The art pieces will be presented in multiple sites, mainly three mainly venues.

Experiential Components

1) Product

Biennale has offered us many tangible products ranging from drawings, photographs, projection, three dimensional art pieces and the description of each and every piece of artwork. Out of these products, I am most satisfied with the description of the art piece provided outside each of the exhibition hall as it gives me a greater understanding of the art piece I am looking at. At the start, the staff also gave us a guidebook which I think is very useful in allowing the event consumers to understand more about the event itself and the background of the various art pieces. The kids’ biennale was one of the items that I find it very interesting and I believe has attracted many people to there. There were also some hands on artwork like the making of the windmill there for event consumers to participate in.

2) Place

The presentation of artworks are mainly in three venues - South Beach Development, City Hall, and Marina Bay which represents the past, present and future of Singapore respectively. It reminds people of the significant past as you travel from City Hall to South Beach Development, and to imagine Singapore’s vibrant future when you are in Marina Bay. They were also all also within walking distances and hence, I think it is rather convenient. The use of multiple sites and new location is a good strategy of market expansion and penetration and bring about the right mood and satisfaction to the customers.

However, I personally feel that the three locations of three main venues were quite difficult to find. Although there were direction boards to guide us to the event venue, they were not very useful. The directions bring us to no where such that the directions given were all ambiguous and they were pointed to the wrong direction. Therefore, a lot of time was wasted in finding the event venue and thus, leading to frustrations.

Nonetheless, one of the sites that I am impressed with is the art piece that is located at the Raffles City. That art piece has definitely attracted tons of people as it is like the center of attraction. It has chosen the right location in presenting its art piece as it would definitely arouse people’s curiosity and make known to them of this event Biennale.

3) Programming

In order to present a meaning to the audience, Biennale has come out with a theme named ‘Wonder’. The theme sets the audience thinking about the beauty of the world and the discovery of new realities. It makes the audience interested, tantalized and arouses their curiosity of contemporary art and the ‘Wonder’ of Biennale. The theme ‘Wonder’ reflects on their mission and what they hope to achieve.

One of the innovative sites would be the fog sculpture under the Esplanade bridge. Together with the scenic view of the Merlion walk and Esplanade, an art is displayed in the midst. This would be a perfect location in terms of its physical environment and its site as it blends with the event and supports the theme ‘Wonder’.

4) People

Biennale would definitely not succeed without people and hence, having people in the event is very important. There were staffs stationed in some of the exhibition hall to assist audiences like us and the tourists. They were also rather friendly and approachable as they guided the participants along like where to proceed next and will not hesitate to answer to their queries though I feel that there could be more interactions with the event consumers and the service providers. Hospitality from the staffs is vital as it immediately shapes the consumers’ perception.
On the other hand, I also think that there is a lack of interaction with the artists and event consumers. If I were the event consumer, I would definitely be interested to know more about the artists involved. I think that they should have conducted a conference or press meetings inviting some of the famous artist to share with the public about their art pieces. I believe this would further create awareness to the public as well.

Facilitating Components

5) Partnerships

There were quite a handful of sponsors in this event. Singapore Tourism Board was also one of the preferred sponsors which I believe has greatly promoted this event. Government agencies like the Land Transport Authority and Singapore Land Authority has also played a part in supporting this event. Solid partnerships are important as it will lead to the success of an event and I strongly believe Biennale has established that strong relationship.

6) Promotion

Biennale has promoted its event through various ‘communication mix’. It has advertised itself in particular magazines like the Asian Art and Culture magazine, by having banners around Biennale venues, in mobile platforms such as taxis and through the media (public relations) by holding press releases to create awareness to the public. Media publicity is preferred as it provides unpaid space in the media and reaches out to the various markets directly. During the Grand Prix season, it has also been actively giving out brochures at the Grand Stand, hoping the create awareness among the tourists and thus encouraging them to participate in this event during their stay in Singapore as well. It has also created an official site ( and a blog ( through the use of e-marketing. A symbol for this year’s Biennale is also created at Central Promontory site at Marina Bay. It is an advantage as it makes an intangible event more tangible people who wish to enquire more about this event. All these communication mix are aimed at conveying a brand value to the event consumers and allowing the event to establish a relationship with them.

7) Packaging and Distribution

Biennale has successfully merchandised itself as a single market offer (a service bundle). This event took place concurrently with the Grand Prix season which is a major highlight that has attracted many tourists. Thus, Biennale has packaged itself with Formula One and encourages the tourists to participate in Biennale during their stay in Singapore. Furthermore, Biennale has also positioned itself in the hub of Singapore, alongside with many other famous attractions like the Singapore Flyer, Esplanade, Merlion Park, Singapore River and Marina Bay. Thus, apart from participating in Biennale, it also allows the tourists to experience the scenery, attractions and the future development of Singapore. As a result, it has positioned itself effectively in its current markets and thus attracting more tourists.

Tickets can be purchased at the ticketing booths of mainly City Hall and South Beach Development venue only. In my opinion, I think that they should use intermediaries to distribute their tickets. Examples of intermediaries would be the travel agency and ticketing agency like Sistic. Using intermediaries will definitely bring about advantage to the event in terms of the broader distribution network. It will also let more tourists know that there is such event ongoing in Singapore. In such a technology savvy country, I also think that online ticketing should also be used as event consumers will not need to queue up to purchase the tickets. Not only will it be more convenient, it also minimizes frustrations from the long queue and ease assess to the event.

8) Price

Biennale has used the market-oriented strategy to achieve its event objectives. The event is targeting at various markets. Market-oriented uses differential pricing, such that in this case, one ticket price entitles the consumer to visit all three venues with just one fixed price. Hence, I think that the ticket price is very affordable. Not only that, some the Biennale venues like the one in the Raffles City is free of admission which I think is a very good strategy. There were also some promotions involved which make the ticket price even more affordable. Since the perceived benefits are higher than the perceived costs in visiting this event, therefore, the net value the event consumers perceived is very high, resulting in a positive net value. In this way, the consumers will feel that visiting the event is very worthwhile and would not feel the pinch in paying.


Tourism Role

1) Place Marketing

One of Biennale’s tourism roles is its place marketing. It has offered the tourists an opportunity to visit this event; on the other hand, it has also allowed the tourist to experience Singapore’s landscape and culture as well they travel down along the various Biennale’s venues. With its state-of-the-art buildings and beautiful skyline, it would definitely create positive images of Singapore. Upon showcasing the upcoming future developments in Singapore, there is also a high possibility of attracting foreign investments in the future too. Therefore, it has made Singapore as a place to work, live and have fun.

2) Tourist Attraction

Next, Biennale would serve as the role of a tourist attraction. As an event, it would definitely attract people from all over the world, especially people who love art to participate. Therefore, it has attracted tourists to stay in Singapore. Not only that, they will also visit other famous attractions in Singapore as well. Thus, this will increase the tourist arrivals, tourist receipts and tourist length of stay during this period of time.

3) Image Maker

Next, Biennale would also be as the role of an image maker. It would change people’s perception of Singapore as a dull and boring city. After they have come to Singapore, they would realize Singapore is actually very lively city, bursting with excitement. Thus, it would definitely be an eye-opener for tourists.

4) Catalyst

Another tourism role would be the role as a catalyst. It acts as a catalyst as it also supports other attractions in the vicinity, some examples will be the Esplanade and Merlion Park. As a result of this event, it will also stimulate the more tourists’ activities like accommodation, shopping mall (Raffles City shopping center) and food and beverage.

5) Animator

Last but not least, it would be the role as an animator. In this case, the art exhibition would be the animator. It encourages first and repeat visitors to come to Singapore once again.

Economic Values

With its various tourism roles, Biennale will definitely bring about great economic values to Singapore and thus, benefiting our country.

As I said earlier, this event will attract people from all over the world (especially art lovers) to Singapore and thus, tourists’ arrivals will increase. Therefore, this event will definitely generate tourism revenue and contribute to the overall gross domestic profit in Singapore. It also increases tax revenue as well. As a result, Singapore’s economy will continue to boom and be in a healthy financial position. Participating in another event will also mean that the tourists will need to extend their length of stay and hence, generate more on tourism revenue again. Tourism revenue generated by tourists will be from food and beverage, accommodation, transportation and other recreational activities. Apart from that, they will also take the opportunity to visit other regional tourism destinations and attractions in Singapore as well.

Upon visiting the various venues of Biennale, the tourists will get to know more about Singapore’s glorying past, vibrant present and exciting future. Therefore, during their stay in Singapore, the tourists will come to realize that Singapore is actually a lively and vibrant city with many upcoming exciting developments coming along. Singapore is an entertainment hub as well. They will be able to witness the success of Singapore with its corresponding events. As a result, they will be more than willing to visit Singapore once again, thus having repeat visitors. Nevertheless, they will also spread good word of mouth to people in their country too. Consequently, it promotes tourism in Singapore.

As a result, it brings about employment creation to the tourism industry as well. With increasing tourists in Singapore will mean that more people need to be employed to cater to the need of these tourists.

On the other hand, holding events will also bring about business opportunities. By holding an exhibition for Biennale, it can allow the various artists from all over the world with a strong platform for displaying their expertise, hosting potential investors and thus promoting new business opportunities and events. With new investors and business opportunities, Singapore will be used as a base for hosting events in the future. Singapore will also have to chance of hosting business events in the future as well. This greatly benefits our country and bringing it into greater heights.

In a nutshell, hosting events like Biennale in Singapore will definitely bring about great benefits to the economy of our country. However, in order to the benefit from this event, it must first prove to the event consumers that it is a successful and well-planned event. Therefore, in this report, I have discussed how the 8ps’ of the marketing mix has contributed towards the success of this event Biennale. After evaluating, I have realized the importance of the marketing mix and how it has contributed to the success of this event Biennale. In my opinion, I think that most of the marketing mix are effectively utilized except for place, people and packaging and distribution which I feel can be further improved on. All in all, the majority of the marketing mix was effectively use and thus it has contributed to the success of Biennale. With its tourism role, it has definitely brought about economic values to Singapore.

On the other hand, I was glad that I was able to participate in such an event as it was indeed an enjoyable and good experience. I personally like the theme ‘Wonder’ as it really arouse my curiosity. After looking at the various art pieces, I think they really supports the theme ‘Wonder’ and I was really impressed by how the artworks are displayed.

Appreciating the art itself is a form of art. Now, I am looking forward to the next Biennale that will be held two years later.