CASE STUDY: REGIONAL PR FOR MAGICAL LANTERN FESTIVAL
Following its first successful event in London, Weli Creative decided to bring the Magical Lantern Festival to Birmingham and sought an event PR specialist to deliver a campaign. Bringing a fusion of art, heritage and culture with giant Christmas themed lanterns, we could not wait to take our event PR expertise to the next level and help spread the word about this wonderful event taking place for the first time at Birmingham Botanical Gardens. After helping the team successfully light up the Midlands in 2016, the team then returned with Magical Lantern Festival again in 2018, where they asked #TeamEV. to help with the PR strategy once again.
After a successful event in London, the team wanted to replicate the same success in Birmingham; to do this we had to create a stellar event PR strategy that would reach the target audience and, in turn, translate into ticket sales. Securing column inches and launching competitions in the target publications would ensure that we reached the event’s core customers: families, couples and groups of friends.
Our initial task was to develop an extensive marketing plan that covered not only PR but above-the-line advertising, events and partnerships that would reach the wide-ranging customer base and establish the event as a must-attend event for a 60-minute drivetime.
The Weli Creative team, based in London, were so impressed with our extensive knowledge of regional media and our multi-channel approach, they appointed EAST VILLAGE. to deliver event PR and marketing support for the event for the two years it came to the city.
We worked alongside the internal marketing team to organise and deliver over £120,000 worth of advertising: from print ads and radio campaigns, to outdoor across the region and direct mail. We mapped out the different audiences; not just into families, couples and groups of friends, but also looking at pockets of communities within the target 60-minute drivetime radius. From this, we then identified the best routes to market to get Magical Lantern Festival in front of them and encourage them to buy.
Alongside the marketing activity, we also delivered a high-level PR strategy, which saw us release multiple press releases about Magical Lantern Festival and what guests could expect. A unique concept, with great visuals from the London event, we were able to hit the ground running and secure great launch coverage across hyperlocal sites, regional newspapers, magazines, websites and blogs. As well as local TV and radio outlets; including ITV Central covering the event live on launch night. We also managed national media coverage, specifically focusing on event PR and listings. We ran competitions in the media, as well as helped the team donate over 100 tickets to the local foster care services; ensuring that these families enjoyed a visit over the opening weekend.
Weli Creative also tasked us with delivering a press stunt and we sourced potential locations for a lantern they wanted to ‘gift’ to the city. Working with Birmingham City Council and the team at GVA, we secured Brindleyplace as the lucky location; with lots of great PR and promotion to tenants on site.
Leading up to the opening, we also organised a launch event for local VIPs, key corporates, local celebs, bloggers and journalists to come along for a special preview.
As a brand new event, ticket sales were the main KPI for us and through our multi-level marketing campaign, we were able to generate over 800,000 visitors to Botanical Gardens in 2016 and 2018. We also delivered a successful press preview, with over 120 guests.
We secured press coverage across all local and regional titles, including Birmingham Mail, Express & Star, Leamington Observer, Stoke Sentinel and Evesham Journal, to name a few. We had both features and listings in the likes of What’s On Magazine and Birmingham Living, and national coverage in the Independent and the Guardian. We also organised and secured broadcast coverage including BBC Midlands Today and ITV Central, as well as a host of websites and regional bloggers who attended and covered the event. Our event PR coverage had a reach of around 12 million, and the estimated value was £600,000.
On the back of the amazing success received by both events, Weli Creative contacted EAST VILLAGE again in 2019 to help with a new concept they had created: Ice Age: The Lost Kingdom, an animatronic display. We stepped up to the plate and delivered event PR and marketing support again for them.