Connected Space, in partnership with RISEGallery, Croydon Business Improvement District (BID), Croydon Council and White Label Creative, developed an urban wayfinder application to support a major outdoor cultural exhibition celebrating Andy Warhol’s works. The application helped increase engagement with art in the public realm, at the same time as providing in-depth user behavioural analytics to demonstrate return on investment.
Organised by Croydon’s award-winning RISEgallery, and supported by Croydon Council, Warhol Croydon celebrated the work of the iconic US artist, Andy Warhol, who died 30 years ago this year. The ground-breaking event saw thousands of tourists, residents, artists and school children take part in events throughout September, including an exhibition of the artists work, film screenings, lectures and workshops which brought the iconic American artist to life.
One major part of Warhol Croydon was a unique street exhibition of specially-created giant-sized artworks by leading artists including Ron English, Dan Cimmermann, and The Dotmaster displayed in prominent locations across the town.
The project had two key aims. Firstly, to remove barriers to art, helping the community engage with art in a way which they may have never done so before. Secondly, to bring more people into the borough, presenting a new face of Croydon to the public and helping to change the perception of the town while it is being transformed in a regeneration project worth £5 billion.
However with multiple events coinciding with each other, and with limited resources available the Warhol Croydon team had a few challenges. Firstly, they had to work out how to provide people with information on the move, and making sure they had the same experience as they would if accompanied by a guide. Secondly, with a significant amount of time and resources expended on the exhibition, and with a plan to holding future similar events, there was a need to quantify data and show a return on investment.
Considering these needs, Connected Space developed an urban way-finder application. Built on the company’s proprietary IoT Smart City technology platform and development frameworks, the Warhol Croydon app included a live-mapping powered ‘guided tour’ of the street artworks around the town, with images and audio descriptions of each installation. It also included the ability for users to ‘Stamp’ themselves in at each location, earning a trophy to share on social media for collecting all 12 stamps – adding an element of gamification to the app. As well as these features it also included information on the other events happening across the town, and the option to give feedback on their visit.
Behind the scenes, the app collected deep user behavioural analytics on the number of visits, the duration of single and total visits, and the number of repeat visits. As well as information on routes, dwell times, engagements, and feedback from visitors. This helped show return on investment to the event sponsors and gave vital information to help build the case for future exhibitions.
Kevin Zuchowski-Morrison, founder of the RISEgallery, said: “It’s the first time we’ve had an app to support an exhibition and it was a great tool to have at our disposal. Not only did it give visitors an experience they could only have otherwise had by taking part in an official tour, it also gave us vital information we wouldn’t be able to gather in any other way, helping us evaluate the project and justify future exhibitions.”
- Total downloads: 974
- Best day for engagement: Saturday 17th September: 67.8 hours of use
- Avg engagement per user – 1 hour 13 mins
- Most popular installation (based on number of check-ins) – ‘If Warhol Came To England’ – Peter Dunne
- Dwell time (time at each installation) – 11 minutes
- Longest time to complete – 17 days
- Most popular route – unsurprisingly the route suggested with people using the route finder to find the next installation
- Most unusual route was the route which took 17 days to complete, between 12.30 and 1.00 one user went to see one of the installations, presumably on their lunch break