VHS outreach during "the crawl"

Hey y’all, some of us have been discussing what to do about VHS itself during the eastside culture crawl (nov14-17). For those who don’t know, the crawl is an event where artists in east van open up their studios, and thousands of people walk around buying stuff and just generally ogling. The new VHS location is right in the middle of crawl territory. VHS is definitely going to get a high level of walk in traffic during the event, but I want to discuss something besides just walk-ins.

As a hackspace, we end up giving lots of tours to people who are, for lack of a better word, tourists. People who have no interest or inclination towards making anything - but are still curious. Its a noble activity, but its efficacy towards increasing our membership numbers is questionable.

My thesis here is that people who are actual working artists - in other words, makers - are more likely to see value in joining the hackspace. So with that in mind, I will propose, and in fact myself volunteer, to do an activity which I hope will bring more makers to VHS. Instead of sitting around in VHS while a crawl goes on around us, I propose that we go out INTO THE CRAWL and promote the fuck out of VHS to the other artists. Lots of artists have studios in the area, but don’t have a 3D printer or a lasercutter, or just don’t know how to use them. Lots of artists might balk at the price and rules of makerlabs, and not know that theres another game in town. These type of conversations will probably be a welcome relief to crawl vendors who are used to clueless suburban “karens” haggling over tchotchkes. This is what I plan to do with my crawl-time.

So who’s with me?

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Hell yeah

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Yes, let’s do that thing. I’d suggest double-sided postcards or posters using our usual robot poster, and just adding a bunch of specific description about who we are and what we do. I did up a Q&A one-sheet a while back, we can tweak that for this audience.

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Smart strategy. We should print off the map at the space and tag areas as we hit them. IE we dont all give the same studio the pitch 5 times; not that repetition is bad, but helps spread the load.

Top marks @Metal_Janet for having the handout postcards sorted

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if we want to get in the crawl, we still can. we just need artists who are willing to shell out $180 and exhibit with us

we can also just open VHS and not say we are affiliated with the crawl. If we aren’t selling anything then its just another day of regular VHS business.

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How many are needed again? Was it 3?

I think just 1 artist is required but I would expect anywhere from 1500 to 3000 people over 4 days so plan to have folks at the space for the duration. Thurs and Fri Eve, all day Sat and Sun.

Technically this is supposed to be the artists full time studio. I.e. not just a pop up shop to sell stuff for folks.

If you are interested in registering https://culturecrawl.ca

I’m in the crawl again this year but I’m doing it at Colab where theres 8 other artists participating. That way the cleanup, social media posting, site prep work etc is spread around. If more folks are interested next year I’d be up for doing it out of VHS.

I started a FB group chat between you and Phresha - I think she was interested in vending

I think it very worthwhile to cultivate a good relationship with the Crawl.

The following is just my opinion so take it or leave it.

For what it’s worth the Artist community in Vancouver is small. If you just set up to sell stuff but are not the actual artist making this stuff, or you are not registered as a crawl artist, or you are not based out of East Vancouver and VHS in particular in someway then I don’t think that will go over well with the Eastside Crawl organizers. They will find out as they visit all the sites and all the artists during the crawl.

You can have as low ad one. We currently have two people with interest.

X_x

Regarding Phresha, she’s a long-term hackspace key holder who uses the laser to make jewelry. She does the cutting at the hackspace but finishes it at home. I don’t see anything wrong with her vending, but it’s up to her to arrange it.

Regardless, this thread has been derailed. I don’t want to spend my crawl weekend sitting around the hackspace waiting for people to come in. I would rather go out and check out all the other spaces that I’m not a part of, spreading our gospel. I want other people to do the same. We should look at the map and divy it up so we don’t waste time prosthetizing to the same people over and over again.

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During last year’s crawl, Tradeworks was not able to officially participate as we were a school and not an artists studio. We just stuck of a couple of sandwich boards at the end of the block and in front of the facility to draw people in from the 1000 Parker vicinity. We had quite a few people drop by to take advantage of the activities we had going on.

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I would be interested in vending in the future if that’s a thing we can do. I can’t right now due to work permit stuff, but once I get PR I’m down for sharing booth fees with hack space people at events, even if it’s not events out of VHS directly. I make ear flourishes, which are ear cuffs/earrings of a sort that hook behind the ear.

Also outreach is a great idea, I’d be down to help evangelize as I explore the crawl!

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I think that if we were going to do this as a location on the Crawl, we needed to do it when we were still able to get added to the map. I agree with Adam, I think our resources this year are best spent reaching out to other Makers, with just a minor presence maintained at the space to catch the people who are interested in us.

Next year we can go all-in.

Besides which, if we can get our logo and branding sitting in a bunch of people’s studios around town, so much the better.

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If someone can email me a pdf or Word doc of a generic VHS poster I can print some 8.5x11 posters on our colour laser printer and post them in the maker shop and textile lab where I work at the Wilson School of Design at Kwantlen University.

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Awesome! I’ll get those to you in a week or so.

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