Although we ended 2016 with a negative balance, the Kunsthal managed to survive economically challenging times. Year after year, the Kunsthal is always flexible, with a huge amount of perseverance and ingenuity in finding partners and means for realising its exhibition and activity programmes.
Kunsthal Rotterdam Business model
The Kunsthal covers more than half its operating budget with its own revenues. Despite the enormous competition with partner institutes for corporate funding and sponsoring, the Kunsthal has again succeeded in forging valuable partnerships and generating generous donations. The Kunsthal formula, targeting a wide audience with a varied, high-contrast programme, is the foundation for a business model where large scale exhibitions are used to finance those on a smaller scale.
The upward trend in store revenues also continued in 2016. The concept of the Kunsthal store is now further developed with a special focus on growth by means of expanding both our in-house store and sales through other channels. The latter was already put into action in 2016, when part of the Lindbergh merchandise was also available at the Rotterdam Tourist Information stores and the department store De Bijenkorf. The number of commercial receptions and events at the Kunsthal, both in the Auditorium and in the café, rose again in 2016. An increasing number of companies found their way to the Kunsthal as a location for organising receptions or other events. Apart from our sponsors, we were happy to welcome many other companies in 2016. Find out more under the header Receptions.
New Business Development
The Kunsthal brand is among the top twenty museum brands in the Netherlands and it is now time to spread it around the world. After all, the Kunsthal has excellent connections, original ideas and the right business instinct for marketing a great product. The challenge lies in the fact that the organisation is unable to draw on its own collection. As part of its business model, the Kunsthal aims to produce travelling exhibitions by intensifying its international connections, focusing on special collections and artists, and collaborating with collectors and guest curators. The first traveling production of the Kunsthal, the exhibition ‘A Different Vision on Fashion Photography’ of renowned photographer Peter Lindbergh, will run through renowned museums. After four venues, this investment has been repaid, which generates new revenues for the Kunsthal. In the future the Kunsthal aims for more exhibitions in its ‘international suitcase’.
Kunsthal business circle, friends first and Kunsthal circles
Besides the sponsoring and subsidies that are often assigned to specific exhibitions, the Kunsthal has a programme for involving companies and individuals in its activities. It is subdivided into the Kunsthal Business Circle, Kunsthal Friends and the Kunsthal Circle. Participants of these circles pay a yearly subscription fee or donate a fixed yearly amount. In 2016, with our newly recruited fund raising staff-member, we started to work on a new donation model aimed at involving more private patrons in the Kunsthal. The Friends First Programme offers extra benefits such as sneak previews, reserved seats and meet & greets in exchange for a yearly contribution. For patrons with deeper pockets the Kunsthal set up a special programme. The bronze, silver and golden Circles were developed to increase the Kunsthal’s financial vitality. This group of very committed individuals is growing steadily. Read more under the header Kunsthal Partnership.
The economic spin-off from dynamic cultural institutions that are a great asset to the city of Rotterdam, such as the Kunsthal, is of enormous value. Our own audience research shows that 70% of the Kunsthal audience combine their visit with shopping, eating and drinking, staying in a hotel and/or visiting the Markthal. The large amount of media attention that was caused by, for instance, the international opening of the Lindbergh exhibition, and the boost generated by the international guests on social media, had an invaluable impact on the city of Rotterdam. When taking the entire exhibition programme into account, consumer spending in the city could mount up to over 7 million euros on a yearly basis. The Kunsthal also employs dozens of Rotterdam-based freelancers and companies for realising its exhibition programme, designing and setting up exhibitions and marketing. Mutual reinforcement between the retail trade and the Kunsthal is already taking place on a regular basis, for instance in the form of collaborations with the Bijenkorf and Margreeth Olsthoorn for the Peter Lindbergh exhibition.