Milan Design Week, Salone del Mobile.Milano and Fuorisalone, are approaching… but if I have a studio or am a freelancer and want to participate in the events in the city, how much does it cost me? We tried to answer this question already two years ago in this article, and today we shall give it another try. Given the recent economic recessions and the considerable increase in asking prices for participation in exhibitions and design weeks, we also tried to refocus for 2023 with a selection of design districts and locations.
How much does it cost to participate in Fuorisalone this year? One positive aspect to be found in comparison to two years ago is transparency: today many districts make available on their website a presentation of their offerings with a corresponding price list, which is precisely why we will not go into detail about the names, but give a general overview. To get a complete picture of the investment you want to make, however, we also recommend analyzing the coverage of each individual district from the point of view of print publications and the following, the “followers” – the more it is published, the more it is worth investing into, although nowadays visibility doesn’t always correspond to a financial return.
Going into the details of costs, a famous design district allows you to participate either digitally or physically: in the former case the cost is 250 euros and includes
- the online attendance as an “exhibitor.”
- the appearance in the district’s press kit
- 1 post on 2 social channels and in newsletters
- the mailing of one’s press kit to journalists
- the support of the press office.
An additional cost is required for material development. To physically attend, the cost starts at 600 euros and includes, in addition to the services mentioned above, the district’s signaling banner, presence on the digital and physical map, and “promotion of the event at the district infopoint”.
Taking a look into a second widespread design district, the cost increases, the basic package starts from 1500 euros and includes:
- visibility on the event guide and online interactive map
- visibility on the fold-out map and printed guide
- sharing of the event form on Facebook
- social output of choice between Facebook and Instagram
- mention within press materials and press release
- presence of the event on the site in the district itinerary
- event card | brand card | designer card
Sometimes things get even more complex: there are those who offer the possibility of exhibiting according to the area needed. So to book 1square meter I need 350 euros, for 3 square meters 900 euros while for 5 even 1450 euros. In this case the services that come with the space are:
- the mention in the digital and printed booklet
- the mention in the press kit with folder dedicated to the project
- 1 post on 2 stories and 1 live interview on Instagram before, during and after the event.
The interesting part are the services not included: if I want to do a second post the cost is 250 euros, to include my event in the press tour I have to pay 1250 euros more on top of that, too.
Another Milanese design district, on the other hand, offers four packages, from the basic at 1,500 euros to the premium at 7,000 – there are also other paid services, but these are not available to buyers of the first two packages. To be fair, in this district there is also a cheaper option, the Start plan, at 600 euros, which provides visibility in the newsletter, during the press conference, with 1 social post, 1 “live story,” 1 article – proposed by the client – and shared by the district. An interesting option, even though: sharing during the press conference occurs only if you sign the contract before Jan. 15, the choice of sharing channels may lead to limitations in the choice of dates of publication of your post, the possibility of choosing the day is subject to the date of booking the time slot.
Finally, the last district analyzed to give a general overview has costs ranging from 5,000 euros up to 18,000 for areas starting from 15 square meters up to 50. Services include:
- The promotion of the project to the international press and critics
- The promotion on the district’s social channels
- The photo documentation for the press kit – thus, probably, a shooting of the project
Generally speaking, we can say that investing at Fuorisalone costs more than two years ago, perhaps even too much for a young designer. If I want to present myself with a nice exhibit, proper digital communication, some information material for visitors, the costs to be budgeted will increase – taking into account that probably to create the exhibiting object I have already invested in the development of a prototype and I will still have to bear the costs of shipping, insurance and setting up, which are almost never included in the services. On top of that, the investments don’t always provide a return from the point of view of new clients or new projects, but only visibility – assuming the journalist decides to write about you.
Having said that, we must also remember that we just went through a very particular period, marked by several economic crises that led to a general increase in the cost of living, as well as an increase in the cost of energy and materials. Even those who exhibit – as well as those who produce! – may have some difficulties.
What we should understand, however, is that the vessel (space, district, magazine) cannot be more important than what’s inside of it (designers and their work). The event, the exhibition, the publication exist in the moment there is a project to show, to talk about. What happens if the designer no longer believes in the vessel?
In any case, to exhibit during Milan Design Week always ask for more information from the district of your interest to learn more about the price list and services offered.