Your Artifact guest list
The big questions are 'who?' and 'how many?'
So, you've decided to purchase an Artifact. Now there are a few important things to consider, including how many people to invite to the interview.
Currently our website notes a maximum of two people per interview, but that isn't exactly true. If you want to include more folks, we charge $35 extra per person to cover the increased complexity of scheduling, hosting, and editing. Just let us know if you’d like to add people!
Our interviews feature anywhere from one to five guests. There’s no “right number.” But the number of people will have a huge impact on the end product. One-on-one conversations tend to be more intimate and in-depth. Larger groups tend to be looser and chattier — more like a dinner party than a deep conversation.
A general rule of thumb is that a freewheeling interview with multiple guests is ideal for lighter subjects like weddings and birthdays. Weightier or more delicate topics — family history, biography, love stories — call for smaller groups.
That is just a loose framework. When it comes to planning the number of people in an interview, Artifact relies on the customer to know their guests. Some groups of siblings are perfectly capable of going deep and exposing their vulnerabilities to each other. Some friends might clam up in group settings, always content to let another voice answer the question.
No matter how large the group, the interview won’t be a roundtable where everyone answers the same rote questions. Instead, we aim to spur a convivial conversation, with questions directed at specific participants (the pre-interview questionnaire helps with this).
In general, we've found that bigger is not always better. I recently had a conversation with a woman who wanted to order an Artifact for her mom's birthday. She rattled off a list of people she wanted to invite: sisters, aunts, uncles, friends, husband. I told her, "Don't think of this as a birthday card that everybody has to sign. Who are the two people who really know your mom best? Who would she really want to hear from?"
Another option provides the best of both worlds. We can do individual interviews followed by a communal chat. For example, I interviewed five siblings separately before bringing them together for a final group conversation. Thanks to the context of those previous chats, I was able to ask better questions and (I think) more effectively manage the different personalities. It also became an opportunity for them to ask each other questions.
Even with smaller, more intimate Artifacts, it’s important to assess your goals for the end product. For example, we often interview couples together — and that can be a beautiful way to capture an interpersonal dynamic or bring out certain stories — but for people who almost always interact as a duo, it can be a revelation to speak with them individually.
In the end, you get to decide how many people to include in your Artifact, and we're always happy to talk you through it. Just ask.