In recent months, virtual art events have grown significantly to the point of becoming a fundamental tool for institutions, artists, and spectators. After the closure of the exhibition spaces, the virtual medium is gradually establishing itself as a legitimate way of promoting cultural knowledge. Below, we will look at the following tips for a successful online art event, whether for autonomous artists or consolidated spaces. Technological knowledge is of vital importance but art puts creativity and aesthetics to the test, concepts that depend on human value.
1. Establish objectives and value
Before undertaking any project it is necessary to have defined the vision, objectives, and identity of the gallery or exhibition. This will create coherence and will be exposed in the curatorial design including the artists who are part of it. This is closely related to the value, that is, what makes it special and what differentiates it from other similar proposals. The concept is fundamental to maintain over time, it gives life to the idea. A successful exhibition must create expectations, play with the emotion, and excite the viewer. It must be suggestive with emotions and reflections. It should not leave intuition aside, as the works of art speak for themselves, which means that an exhibition should never force the concept.
2. Defining potential virtual users
In relation to the previous point, it is necessary to carry out a market analysis that implies knowledge of the competition. But one of the sediments for the success of the design of a virtual event is the user, taking into account their needs and making sure they have efficient and effective content. Many spaces include content with various levels of complexity aimed at the expectations of each type of user. Generally, the most common profiles are researchers and art specialists, artists, students, or interested virtual tourists. Other factors such as age, interests, educational level, geography, etc. must also be taken into account.
3. Planning the exhibition space
The main thing is to design the structure that consists of the distribution of the exhibition spaces. Each one can represent a complete exhibition, a part of the exhibition related to a particular theme, a museum gallery, etc. The subspaces can be used to divide the exhibitions into smaller groups, focused, for example, on a particular theme. The exhibition spaces consist of two types of elements: Virtual Galleries and Cultural Objects. For their creation, preliminary research into the project will be taken into account, as well as research into the themes to be considered in relation to the representations.
4. Digitalization of the exhibition space
It is important to understand the complexity and form of the works that make up the event. We could roughly say that the type of visualization is divided into two types: two-dimensional and three-dimensional. For each group, different techniques are used, for example, for simple 2D and 3D objects traditional photogrammetric techniques can be used utilizing a high-resolution digital camera and different lenses depending on the size of the object. As for the more complex 3D objects are digitized using laser scanners.
Once the objects have been digitized, virtual navigation can be created using Quicktime VR, a technology developed by Apple. In this way, the virtual visitor will have the opportunity to observe the works in 360º. This is a dynamic option; it is more economical, easy to use, and efficient. Another option is the 3D Studio Max technology that achieves a more photorealistic result. One of its advantages is that visitors can access a more interactive experience. But it all depends on the type of work to be exhibited and how it should interact with the user.
5. User interaction
The exhibitions can be static or interactive depending on the objectives and the investment in the technology. But in online media, the most important thing is always the user experience. It must be clear when only images and explanatory texts are sufficient or when the use of multimedia elements and hyperlinks are necessary. On the other hand, navigation can be free. This means that users can create their own route, defining the direction, objects, speed, and time they will spend in each virtual gallery. Or rather, navigation can be assisted by the help of a window with a map, where the place to be visited will be chosen by clicking on the map. But beyond this, a virtual exhibition must allow for fluid interaction with the interface (no dead spots or slowed down navigation), must have an intuitive design and a good balance between learning and entertainment.
6. Adjacent/educational proposals
In addition to the exhibition, the visit should be complemented by educational and entertaining activities. This serves to test the educational effectiveness and measure the impact of the virtual exhibition on its visitors. Some examples are Quizzes, hidden treasure, or seminars. These proposals are designed to increase the motivation of the viewer.
This is a fundamental part of increasing the arrival of the project. The main medium will of course be online. Not only is the use of social networks important, but also forums, newsletters, mailing campaigns, creation of blogs or websites that increase visibility on the network. The audiovisual material has also become in recent times one of the most efficient resources. However, we must never forget the offline spaces and the importance of building bridges with legitimate and related spaces that redirect the traffic.
8. Loyalty of the virtual visitor
Virtual spaces tune up their audience and must show their cultural value to those who may be interested. But keeping the audience coming back with new proposals is as important as getting prestige and repercussion.
With the proliferation of virtual art events, it is not uncommon for a new generation of collectors to be more interested in non-traditional proposals. Novelty is the bait factor to attract the attention of fans. It is not necessarily about creating something new, but more, a process that modifies existing elements, ideas, or protocols, improving them to generate greater impact.
10. Evaluation of the project
Usability evaluation is fundamental to understanding the highs and lows of the project. It will take into account: learning ability, efficiency, memorization, errors, and satisfaction. According to these guidelines, a system must provide feedback and visibility of the system's status, using simple language and offering clearly marked options. The simplicity of the user interface elements is required to minimize the memory load to be applied by the navigator. Finally, user assistance must always be available. The visit to the virtual art exhibition should be pleasant and productive.