Following a competitive tender, Mexia Communications was appointed in September 2013 to work with the venue’s marketing team on the concept of ‘Meet The Future’ – a campaign designed to explore event technologies. Mexia was to work closely with the venue’s in-house marketing team to develop an integrated campaign, providing ideas for creative events and to execute traditional trade media PR campaigns and social media content programmes.
The objectives were:
- To position CHW as a technologically capable venue
- To raise awareness of CHW as a conference venue and ultimately encourage more enquiries and bookings
Mexia was asked to create an inspirational campaign concept that would capture the imagination and interest of event organisers. Event tech was increasingly becoming a critical aspect of events and we wanted to get planners to think of the possibilities that new tech might give them in terms of future event formats.
We devised the theme of ‘Meet the Future’, playing on the ‘meetings’ industry link whilst inviting planners to see what future tech has in store. We realised that a phased approach would be required as CHW did not have strong tech credentials, with phase one looking at current tech issues. The action in phase one included a news release announcing CHW’s dedicated B2B mobile website, a first for London venues. This was used as a starting point for the new ‘tech’ positioning. Opportunities for comment on tech issues were also sought and secured.
A hybrid event on ‘wi-fi woes’ was organised in phase one to get planners talking to venues about issues. A physical round table at the venue was combined with an online audience of 100 planners. Rich content including case studies and a wi-fi guide was created. Two press releases were issued about this event.
Phase two of the campaign explored event tech of the future, with the big finale being an ‘un-conference’ featuring new and exciting tech, experience pods and keynotes to attract senior-level planners. The PR strategy for phase two covered news releases, social media and media relations, with two press releases issued ahead of the un-conference and another after. Mexia’s strong relationship with trade publications and journalists was important when inviting media to attend.
Digital content was a critical element of the campaign, so we devised the concept of a guest blog and online portal where technologies could be explored with input from various suppliers and experts and help to build interest in the campaign. This portal was used to fuel the social media content programme and assist with driving traffic to the CHW website. In addition to guest blogs, we created a series of videos and a unique futuristic graphic was created to support campaign branding.
The hashtag #FutureCHW was created, with the social media campaign focused on sharing relevant 3rd party content and stakeholder engagement via competitions and polls.
The objectives of the campaign were clear in terms of raising awareness of the venue in a new light and generating new business opportunities. CHW received new business enquiries with a combined value that was 41% higher than the same period in the previous year and in September 2014 announced a 53% year-on-year increase in turnover for its 2013/14 financial year. The increased enquiry value represents a potential 8,656% return on PR and communications investment. In summary, the following ROI was achieved:
- 122% increase in Twitter followers
- 42% increase in Facebook likes
- 58% increase in LinkedIn followers
- Estimated Twitter reach of over 119,000 for #FutureCHW
- 57% increase in web traffic compared to same period 2012/13
- 5,475 page hits on the MTF portal
- 41% Increase in direct venue enquiries
- 53% increase in turnover
- Over 600 registrations for MTF conference
- 48 press clippings with a potential reach of 1,275,198
About the Client
Central Hall Westminster (CHW) is a leading conference and events venue in Central London. CHW was looking to re-position itself as combining its rich heritage with its ultra-modern technology offering and super-fast broadband installed to enable interactive events. The venue was looking for a campaign to inspire professional event organisers and re-position the venue as technologically superior.