The economy of the event designates a production method (Bologna and Banfi, 2011) based on short-term events open to the public (festivals, exhibitions, fairs, etc.) and characterised by structural instability. In this context, successful events are pivotal in the global competition for a city to be perceived as truly creative (Florida, 2002). Success is measured by attendance (e.g. the number of visitors) and, increasingly, by the social media activity an event is capable of triggering. My contribution focuses on the role of publics as producers (Arvidsson, 2013) during Milano Design Week. A digital methods analysis (Rogers, 2013) is under¬taken on a dataset of 10,000 Instagram photos along with a critical visual anal¬ysis (Rose, 2016). Through these methods I identify the communication patterns between the publics and the event’s main communication outlets, allowing me to assess the extent to which publics reproduce or resist the dominant aesthetics proposed by the Design Week brand.
Keywords: Event economy, big data, instagram, design week, digital methods