Thursday, January 26, 2012

VIP 2.0

There's a clock on the website for the VIP Art Fair, counting down the days (and hours, and minutes, and seconds) until the fair begins. Our booth for the fair is almost complete (just a few minor tweaks left), and we're delighted with the way it's turning out, but we were talking in the gallery the other day and I was surprised to learn that I'm not the only one who that clock has a way of making feel anxious. Hurry up! it keeps saying to us.

Despite the lack of physical involvement, it can be a lot of work setting up a virtual booth. How much work really depends on what you're willing to put into it. There is much to be gained, for example, by offering the text about your artists and their work in multiple languages, VIP being a truly global event. And while we have English, Spanish, Turkish, Russian, and even a bit of French, German, Irish, and Italian among those of us in the gallery, you try to translate "fantastic compositions depicting organic, inorganic, synthesizable, theoretically feasible and nano-nonsensical molecules" into all those tongues. (Yes, I know, the obvious rejoinder is "why don't you try writing that in solid English first." :-)

As I've noted before, for our gallery, VIP 1.0 was a really big success. And, as with other art fairs, after you've been through it once, all the logistics are actually easier the second time.

But yes, as was widely reported, there were some challenges when VIP launched its inaugural edition. As Will Brand has noted on Art Fag City, though, the team behind the world's first online art fair has taken some serious steps to ensure smoother sailing this year:
this year the fair will be on Amazon’s EC2 cloud. VIP, though, is going further than that, forming an internal tech team from scratch to re-design every piece of the site. “Every piece of code has been rebuilt internally,” Kennedy told AFC, from the database architecture to the front-end. Thankfully, this includes chat, which last year ranged from moderately dysfunctional to actively debilitating.

The second step is the user experience. VIP has hired a full-time User Experience Director, a sign of their seriousness about improving the interface and a step more websites ought to take.
Link
The thing is, as any art fair organizer can tell you, sh*t happens during these events. (The electricity went out in a 3-block radius just as we were beginning a tour for some very important people at the Moving Image London, for example. In the first NADA Art Fair, the lights went out as well, and we were showing paintings by flash light.) The question to my mind has never been "did everything go perfectly," but "how did the organizers handle it when issues cropped up"?

As we approach the launch of VIP 2.0, and virtually pop in and out of our booth, the experience just gets better and better. We are sincerely impressed with how the VIP team has moved the venture forward. I hope you'll join us online and see for yourself.


Dates: February 3 – 8, 2012
Times: Begins at 8:00 AM EST on February 3
Ends at 11:59 PM EST on February 8
Location: VIPArtFair.com
Tickets: Visiting VIP 2.0 is free with site registration and login.

Register for access to VIP 2.0

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7 Comments:

Anonymous Gam said...

Ed,
could you not simply include Google translate into the web portion?

and then anyone could translate on the fly into 60 languages. You lose control of the translation of course, and there may be the possibility that you lose your linkages - need to do a quick test - but its simply a copy and paste in to the code to have access to almost any language translation.

the scale person is great!

Sounds fun - best of success!

1/26/2012 10:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Gam said...

if you want the code to paste in to try:

http://translate.google.com/translate_tools

1/26/2012 11:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Running with The Big Dogs! Go Team Winkleman !!!!!

1/26/2012 03:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stop with the hype already. VIP Art Fair was NOT the first online art fair. The big art world was SLLLLLL OOOOOOOO WWWWWWWWW to turn on the to Internet. It was the first involving prominent galleries BUT not the first online art fair.

1/27/2012 12:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hype??? Look man. Edward is our Friend. He is on the same playing field with Larry G. I will say it 3more times.

He is on the same playing field with Larry G.

He is on the same playing field with Larry G.

He is on the same playing field with Larry G.

Go Team Winkleman !!!!!

1/29/2012 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

You're very kind, Anonymous, but I think that's overstating the case. We are delighted to be in this context and do hope you'll all visit the fair.

Other Anon, I don't know about any previous online fairs, though. Can you point me to them?

1/29/2012 02:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"He is on the same playing field with Larry G."

I think you mean Ali G.

1/31/2012 10:25:00 AM  

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