The fifth edition of Spring1883 was rapturously received by both the Australian arts community and local general public, with record 8,000 plus visitors streaming through The Hotel Windsor’s doors 1-4 August as part of Melbourne Art Week.

Exhibiting in 24 rooms and suites across four levels of the heritage hotel, gallerists were delighted with the visible presence, interest and acquisitions made by regional, state and national institutions, as well as the Federal Government collecting agency Artbank.  

Kalli Rolfe: ‘With Spring1883, there’s an acceleration in terms of interest and interaction, conversation and conversion. This year was our most successful, with sales comparable to those at Melbourne Art Fair. Yet, what stays with me is that everyone involved at Spring1883 is so collaborative – the spirit is one of generosity and goodwill.’

Spring1883 Co-Founder and Neon Parc Director Geoff Newton agrees: ‘Coming together, we form something of a brains trust – there’s a real sense of building a better art world.’

‘We were exceedingly happy with awareness and coverage of the fair, and the high interstate and return visitation that our free admission policy encourages,’ Kate Barber, Spring1883 Co-Founder.

Building on our work with CCP, MUMA, Murray White Room and RMIT Design Hub, Communications Collective developed an integrated, publicity-focused media campaign for Spring1883.

Morris Hargeaves McInytre’s cultural segmentation model was applied to understand audiences and how to best reach them.

Unique pitches were then created and matched to key media targets – with particular care taken to promote gallerists, ensuring return on their PR investment and ongoing involvement with the fair.

Mainstream and niche coverage was secured across television, radio, print and online, reaching a potential audience of 15 million; a preview in The Design Files was a definite highlight.

Social media was used to drive awareness of and attendance to the event among existing and new audiences, with arts and design influencers supplied with social toolkits to empower sharing ahead of the event.

The outcome was significantly heightened awareness of and record visitation to the fair, as well as #spring1883 trending on Instagram locally.

Feature image by Amelia Stanwix