26 Jul, 2009

Creative? Then you can stay here for free

Posted by: admin In: Creative Review

It’s often said that in order to have a vibrant culture, a city needs the presence of a creative community – so why not tempt that community to come to your city with the offer of a free bed for the night?

Creators Inn is a project initiated by Swedish fashion brand Elvine and design agency Next Century Modern. The idea is to give free short-term accommodation for creative individuals, the aim being to promote the local area and attract travelling creative types whose presence contributes to the cultural life of the city. Guests are offered wireless internet, towels, bathrobes, slippers and grooming products all free of charge. All you have to do is go online and explain why you deserve a free room. The project has been running in Gothenburg so far, but is about to expand into Stockholm.

Among those taking up the offer so far have been the blogger and songwriter Momus, as well as soul musician fomo, garage band The Vibrarians, Niklas Astrom guitarist in the band EF, fashion designer Sara Forsberg, artist Olaf Olsson, lesbian electro MC/JD duo Fagget Fairys, and Japanese artist Mako Ishizuka.

We asked Jesper Larsson, the man behind the Creators Inn project, to explain more:

CR: Could you give us an insight on what you look for in people who can stay at Creators Inn for free?
Jesper Larsson: We have a very wide definition of creators. The reason for coming to town is more important than the title on your business card. We try to support up and coming creators of different kinds, the ones that would normally end up on someone’s couch. To find them Creators Inn by Elvine works first and foremost with local independent organisers offering their guests a place to stay. But everyone is welcome to register and explain why they should be granted a stay. Foreign visitors are prioritised. But you need what we call a “valid reason” to stay at our Inn. A valid reason is some sort of creative activity, preferably together with local creators or something that incorporates the city in some way. For instance, meeting up with an old Swedish friend to go clubbing is not a valid reason to be granted a free stay.

CR: What made you want to set up a project like this?
JL: I had a lot of creative friends visiting me in Gothenburg and I wanted to increase the hospitality level. At the same time we – my design and communication agency Next Century Modern – had to come up with a marketing idea for our client Elvine. And since they are very Gothenburg-oriented and have a tagline that goes “Elvine is your friend”, we figured they would make the perfect partner in this project. And so they did. We started the project together and the rest is history.

CR: What is the next step for Creators Inn?
JL: We want to try out the project as a hotel-in-hotel venture (like the shop-in-shop phenomena), where Creators Inn will occupy one room at The Scandic
Malmen Hotel in Stockholm, creating an original and creator friendly environment in the room. This edition will open August 1st. Creative people can apply for a free stay on our homepage: www.creatorsinn.com

CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) has been a buzzword in the corporate world for quite some time now. With Creators Inn by Elvine we tried to add some creativity to the equation, labelling what we do as CSR – Creative Social Responsibility. By offering visiting creators free accommodation, we hope to remind people of a lovely little thing called hospitality. And in addition to making the visiting creators happy and Gothenburg a more interesting city because of their presence, it’s actually a win-win-win-win-win-situation: The creators get free accommodation with a high standard and service level; the local independent event organisers don’t have to pay for their guest artists/creators; the city becomes more attractive for creators, and the visiting creators make the city more interesting for the inhabitants; the project creates natural meetings between local and visiting creators; and our partners get goodwill and great PR.


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