Ensuring that an event is successful is down to a lot of factors but making sure that people know about it – and decide to attend – is all about getting the marketing right.
There’s lots to think about and do, so having a marketing plan is vital. For Timber, the first step we took was to get our communications strategy sorted. After research and discussions, we put together a document outlining our approach. This covered:
- SMART Objectives
- Target Audiences and Segmentation
- Key Messages – split by audience segment
- Stages of Engagement – priorities by audience segment
- Methods and Tools – including digital and social, print collateral, press engagement, partnerships
- Key Challenges and Solutions
- Monitoring and Evaluation
We then developed a detailed plan taking each promotional channel in turn and itemising specific tactics and timings. This plan is very much a working document that we refer to on a regular basis to check what needs doing and when, and update as things evolve.
With Timber being a brand new event, we were starting from scratch so a name, logo, look and feel, image and graphics library were all needed along with a website and social media accounts. These were prepared ready for launch in autumn 2017 when we first announced the festival and introduced the strands/themes.
We also needed to decide on our approach to ticketing and pricing. For Timber, we evaluated various ticketing systems and opted for Eventbrite. The platform enables us to promote and sell tickets, collect payments, track sales and purchasing trends as well as a whole host of other useful stuff. In terms of pricing, we wanted to make sure that the festival is as accessible as possible for people living within the National Forest so we introduced a discount for residents as well as options for day tickets in addition to standard weekend camping tickets.
We’re now ramping up to get ready for our big first programme announcement later this month. There’s lots to get ready – website updates, e-newsletters, press releases, social media posts, competitions, advertising, partnerships and more – so we better get cracking!
By Olivia Kehoe, Wild Rumpus
Our Woodland Culture blog is supported by Making Local Woods Work, an exciting pilot project working to help support and grow woodland social enterprises across the UK.