Reflecting on 2019 DesignPhiladelphia Festival and Getting Excited for What’s Coming in 2020!

March 10, 2020 | DesignPhiladelphia, Center News

It’s been a few months since we wrapped the 2019 DesignPhiladelphia Festival, and we are already well underway planning for this upcoming October festival. As all of our event partners and designers start brainstorming what their programming will be for this year, I felt it was important to share some important statistics about last year’s festival. In particular, how having Cherry Street Pier as our second festival hub, has created new opportunities for our festival and our local designers.

  • Festival attendance was a record 43,000 people. 30,000 of those people walked through Cherry Street Pier over the course of the 12-day festival. This more than doubles our attendance last year and the year before. Clearly, Cherry Street Pier and partnering with Delaware River Waterfront Corporation has been a successful move for us in terms of really engaging the general public about design.
  • Our social media content reached over 300,000 people throughout the year, with the highest reach immediately before and during the festival.
  • Our website is still the primary way folks navigate the festival and it had almost 100,000 unique visitors. And there were 239,000 unique page views.
  • 60% of those website visitors, were NEW this year. As we continue to do outreach all year long, we are actively working to diversify our event partners and attract new audiences to the festival.
  • We had 26 different media placements that reached 28,875,340 people.
  • Our programming was voluminous with many sold out events and a total of 145 events and programs. Even though there were many events, we were able to aggregate programming at Cherry Street Pier, the Center for Architecture and Design, and in neighborhoods on our Design Crawl evenings to improve user experience and make it easier for attendees to see and experience more in one location. 
  • Our Festival attendees tell us they primarily attend for networking, education, and FUN! They also reported to us that they discovered new designers and/or design firms through the festival, and that they loved discovering and experiencing new venues.

Looking forward to 2020, I encourage small and emerging designers/design firms to participate and respond to our call for Best in Emerging Design and/or our upcoming One Thing Exhibition. This is a great way to participate in the festival through exhibiting your work. I also encourage folks to take advantage of the Small Business Gallery at Cherry Street Pier.

In addition to our curated calls, the best events that meet/exceed capacity are often events in cool spaces, have a compelling list of presenters, involve participants in a workshop or hands-on activity, or create a cool, Instagram-worthy installation or exhibition. That’s speaking generally of course, but we promote and pitch to media most of the programs that are part of DesignPhiladelphia – and that’s our experience of what seems to “hook” journalists to be interested in learning and writing more about your event. 

To learn more about DesignPhiladelphia 2020, please feel free to reach out to anyone on our team. Also, below are links to more information about how to becoming an event partner, exhibitor, and/or sponsor for the 2020 Festival. 

Become a Sponsor

Become an Event Partner

Become an Exhibitor

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