Last December we exhibited and sold our work at the Nimmanhaemmin Art & Design Festival (NAP) festival in Chiang Mai. The exposure was great and the experience was positive overall and although we made some sales it was clear that what we were offering at the time was not well-suited to the event. Rather participating in NAP fair again this year and tailoring our work to achieve smaller-sized products with less complex patterns and a lower price-point we decided instead to do something different: we applied for a space at Chiang Mai Design Week hosted by TCDC (Thailand Creative & Design Center).
Chiang Mai Design Week (3rd – 11th of December 2016) is set to feature a wide array of designers, studio, crafters, makers and artists predominantly from Thailand and South East Asia. As the event works to showcase and promote each brand’s identity and vision as opposed to generating on-the-spot sales it seems to be a perfect opportunity for us to really show what we are capable of without worrying too much about whether it will sell. One of the best things about last year’s NAP festival for us was all the follow-up work that came as a result of people who stopped by to chat, took photos and contacted us later for their projects. Hopefully TCDC will allow us to do more of the same at this event.
Something that really must be mentioned at this time is the high level of organization and personalized care which we have been experiencing from TCDC (something which is all too often left to be desired when working in Thailand). The actual event is in December and already there have been several large meetings, presentations and workshops aimed at keeping everybody on track and helping them to present their brand effectively. The designs and placements of the booths are decided on, documents detailing all the optional furnishings and light fixtures are emailed to participants on time, questions are answered and everything mostly feels well-structured. 50% of the work to be exhibited must be completed and inspected on this date, 75% on another date, additional items or furnishings must be proposed and reviewed to make sure everything “flows” into a particular aesthetic, etc. Last weekend we were invited to a 4-day workshop aimed at guiding and assisting the participants in making individual mood boards which will be hung in the booth to showcase the inspirations, processes and vision of the brand and products they create. At this workshop everything was provided. Materials, tools, guidance, working space, laser printers and great background music to bop our heads along to while creating our mood board. A month before that two vans of reporters arrived at our house to photograph and interview us about our work. This was for promotional purposes, something the organization is doing for exhibitors participating at the event. Really incredible. And the best thing? Everything is entirely free from beginning to end. We pay nothing for the promotion, guidance, booth structure, furnishings and this opportunity to present our work. Many businesses and organizations here in Thailand can learn critically valuable lessons from the way in which TCDC operates and treats its artists. We only hope we can meet their expectations with our own work in December.