CASE STUDY: PR FOR LIVING FOR THE WEEKEND’S ANNUAL FESTIVALS
After a successful first festival back in 2015, Living For The Weekend was looking for a dynamic event PR specialist to deliver a targeted marketing strategy that could take Birmingham Cocktail Weekend up a gear. With an ethos entirely centred around getting people to venture further than their local, the festival encourages wristband-wearers to explore what the second city’s thriving hospitality scene has to offer. As some of Brum’s biggest cheerleaders and cocktail connoisseurs, #TeamEV couldn’t wait to get to work to deliver some stellar festival PR support.
Ready to drive Birmingham Cocktail Weekend forward for its second year, Living For The Weekend first instructed #TeamEV in 2016, to raise the profile of the festival across the region, in turn reaching a larger audience and driving forward wristband sales.
At a time when event hosts faced fierce competition due to the scope of entertainment options available, Living For The Weekend was looking for a festival PR agency that could implement a carefully tailored marketing strategy. The aim was to target a festival-goer that would quickly convert into a fan, growing a loyal customer base of people in Birmingham and beyond that would sign up year after year. This meant securing column inches in target publications, engaging with local influencers and launching competitions with cherry-picked affiliates to ensure we reached the festival’s target consumer.
Initially, our first task was to create an extensive marketing plan that outlined how we were going to tackle approaching regional, trade and national media to start positioning this local festival as *the* date for the calendar.
Setting out a clear timeframe for press stories to tease out the festival information and tie into significant business milestones, each press release was planned to raise brand awareness, driving traffic to the website, and seeing ticket sales soar. From the press release declaring the festival’s return, to the exclusive event schedule announcement and venue line-up reveal, our strategy ensured that in the six months leading up to the festival, there was a consistently a steady trickle of information being fed to potential consumers.
As the campaign progressed, it gave #TeamEV the opportunity to build on the foundations the festival had created from its opening year, creating a real local presence as well as tapping into festival-goers from further afield. As excitement gathered through carefully crafted copy, press releases and competitions, Birmingham Cocktail Weekend was beginning to capture the attention of huge international brands, and journalists from the national magazines. We also worked closely with the festival team to create beautifully presented physical press packages to engage a handpicked list of our target journalist. Our high-level PR strategy saw us achieve coverage hyperlocal sites, regional newspapers, magazines, websites and blogs as well as national broadsheet newspapers, weekend supplements, glossy magazines and radio outlets.
Following on from the success of working on Birmingham Cocktail Weekend, in 2018 we supported Living For The Weekend on the launch of a brand new festival: Birmingham Wine Weekend. Directed at a totally different audience, EAST VILLAGE. was assigned to not only create a dynamic multi-channel marketing strategy but also in the development of the Birmingham Wine Weekend brand. The new sister festival to the established and acclaimed Birmingham Cocktail Weekend needed a separate brand but still remaining cohesive with the Living For The Weekend look. We created an extensive brand guide, as well as creating, building and managing the festivals social media channels.
Back in 2016 and #TeamEV’s first festival working as an extension of the Living For The Weekend team, the main KPI for us was delivering ticket sales. Birmingham Cocktail Weekend 2016 was a sell out success, doubling wristband sales on the previous year. Our PR coverage saw the festival regularly feature across regional consumer titles like Style Birmingham, Birmingham Living, Birmingham Mail, Express & Star, What’s On – as well as securing national coverage in The Guardian, Waitrose Weekend and Stella Magazine; with a total reach if over 2 million.
Surpassing expectations, #TeamEV was then appointed Living For The Weekend’s official PR agency across all events. Birmingham Cocktail Weekend continued to grow year on year with the support of our multi-level event marketing strategy. With the latest festival (#BCW2019) boasting involvement from world renowned brands, a line-up of 50 of the city’s very best venues and over 5,000 cocktail-revellers taking part; the festival even had to add an extra day to accommodate demand for tickets. Birmingham Cocktail Weekend is now firmly cemented as one of best drinks festivals in the UK.
Following this success, EAST VILLAGE. continues to work with Living For The Weekend on festival PR across its growing repertoire of events and festivals, which now includes Birmingham Wine Weekend and soon-to-launch Birmingham Restaurant Festival.