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Today will again be cultural in our blog. With Kirsten Mascher, we host the project manager of German Multimedia Award and organizer of the media festival. With an average of 3,500 visitors and more than 45 interactive stations, the media festival is one of the most interesting events in Germany. Kirsten, herself, will tell us precisely what happens at the media festival and why an event app fits perfectly into this concept.
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LineUpr: Hello Kirsten. Thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Please introduce yourself and the Media Culture Festival.
Kirsten: Hello, my name is Kirsten Mascher and I am the project manager of the German Multimedia Award mb21 and associated media festivals. The competition will be 20 years old this year and since 1998 has become a forum for digital media culture. It is aimed at children and youths up to 25 years old. It offers young media makers a platform and a networking opportunity and looks for digital, net-based, interactive and cross-media projects and productions. Our nationwide event partner is the German Children and Youth Film Centre (KJF)
Every year in November, the media festival takes place in the Technical Collections Dresden in Dresden – with participatory actions, media art projects, the presentation of partners and the awarding of the German Multimedia Award. The Media Culture Center annually curates over 45 interactive festival stations (interactive stations, media art installations, indie game forums, retro game exhibitions, award winners of past years, etc.) for the visitors of the media festival. The festival has an average of 3,500 visitors annually and is experiencing increasing regional, national and international attention. It is known for interactivity, exchange and family flair.
LineUpr: How much time and work do you spend, on average, on the planning of the event?
Kirsten: Preparations and follow-up work are done all year round for the German Multimedia Award mb21 and the media festivals.
The planning and conceptual orientation of the media festival begins in the first quarter of the year. The competition runs from April to August, with jury meetings in September. At the same time, financial security is sought, the festival programme is curated, communication with new and old partners is done, public relations planned and implemented, catering organized, helpers coordinated, etc. and the festival takes place in mid-November.
Both projects are intensively supervised by 2-3 employees of the Media Culture Center. In addition to interns, voluntary social year culture, and volunteer helpers, the number of helpers for the festival has increased to around 60 people.
LineUpr: What makes your event special? What added value do you offer the participants?
Kirsten: The festival is a platform for creative people and offers large networking opportunities for award winners, interested parties, game developers, trade visitors and network partners. It provides a wide range of creative media works done by children and youths, sample projects, impulses and inspiration for everyday school life. Families especially appreciate the variety of offers to play together and the encouragement to share through media.
LineUpr: Have you used event apps in the past? If so, what are your experiences? If not, what was against the use of an event app?
Kirsten: No, we did not use any other event app before LineUpr. We became learned about you through Fanny Peter and were very excited about your concept. Thank you again at this point, for your support in recent years. It is indeed very pleasant to work with you. The app has high user-friendliness in the back-end, is intuitive and fun to use!
LineUpr: How did you use LineUpr before, during and after the media culture festival?
Kirsten: We distributed the app to the public through all possible channels before the media festival. On websites, on social media, through posters and flyers, to our partners, supporters and sponsors and of course in the invitations to our guests.
At the event, the app was mentioned in the foyer at the cash register. We were able to record a year-to-year increase in usage. We offered visitors the festival programme via the app, information about the people involved and their projects (the lineup) and information about promoters and sponsors.
LineUpr: How did your visitors react to the app?
Kirsten: Those we talked to loved the app. We didn‘t do a large scale survey among the visitors, but we should plan that for this year.
LineUpr: Keyword Challenges. How do you deal with the trend of digitalization? How will this development change your event in the future? Will you try to take a look at other events?
Kirsten: We would like to switch to a digital festival programme, but we have not done so as yet. On the one hand, this is due to the complicated visitor guidance in the house and our wish that the festival stations will be noticed and recognized in addition to the usual range of technical collections. On the other hand, we have assessed our audience according to the broad age structure and an in-hand flyer for orientation in the house is necessary. Pertaining to our partner festivals in Austria, Switzerland, and Hungary, we are the pioneers with a festival app and so it can be challenging to take a look at others there. 😊 We will continue to keep our eyes and ears open and above all, work on our concept.
LineUpr: Is there a crazy story about the last media culture festival that you would like to share with us?
Kirsten: Every year, the preparation and running of the media festival is a crazy story itself. 😊 Every year we are pleased with the small and big visitors, who are enthusiastic about the offers and would like to come back the next day. Every year, my particular highlights are getting to know the mb21 winners, working together in the team and with the Technical Collections Dresden and our legendary, annually newly created elevator music! 😊
LineUpr: Thank you, Kirsten, for the lovely interview. If you would like to know more about the Media Culture Center or the Media Festival, you can surely find it on their website, their Twitter or Facebook profile.
We look forward to this year’s edition with you.
The competition “German Multimedia Award mb21” is sponsored by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, the state capital Dresden and other partners. Organizers are the Media Culture Centre Dresden and the German Children and Youth Film Centre (KJF).