The Festival of Imagination was a reimagining of the Ironbridge World Heritage Festival which traditionally only runs over a single weekend.
For 2019, thanks to Arts Council England funding, which was secured by Destination Shropshire & Telford, the festival was able to be extended across two weeks meaning organisers Telford & Wrekin Council was able to provide a wider programme of events with a lot of rich content from poetry to virtual reality, and arts to film and street festivals.
We were tasked with creating branding and key messaging while also generating publicity, awareness and driving ticket sales through PR and social media.
Our brief required a promotion of the event and get visitors from the immediately local area, but also the wider West Midlands area too.
The client wanted new branding to reflect the story of the Ironbridge Gorge. As the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in the West Midlands, the Gorge is often only associated with the Iron Bridge itself, however organisers were keen to show there was more to the area than that and wanted to take people on a journey through the whole site.
Our expert team of designers created incredible eye-catching branding, using unconventional styles. This made the festival stand out and highlighted what can happen when you let your imagination run wild.
This branding was used as part of marketing materials such as posters, banners, leaflets, the website and the festival programme itself.
Our journalistic approach to PR allowed us to unearth the best stories and give the festival maximum exposure across print, online and broadcast.
The interview we conducted with Kuli Kohli, a punjabi poet performing at the festival, got both regional and national attention. We took the time to speak with Kuli and learned she had gone through a large degree of personal turmoil after being born with cerebral palsy in India, which included nearly being thrown in the river as a baby due to a lack of understanding about her condition. Her story was one of inspiration as now she set up the only punjabi women writing groups in the country and that she was in fact performing at her first festival.
There was also the fight to save heritage crafts from extinction. Ironbridge is a hot bed for innovative crafts people, from bicycle makers to coracle makers, but these crafts are in danger of dying out. Our story highlighted this issue and got plenty of exposure for the festival and those practising the crafts.
Another great story came from government technology advisor Tim Luft, a businessman from Telford who called for Ironbridge to take a lead in innovating technology to help tackle climate change, something which the area is often attributed to starting thanks to its history as part of the first industrial revolution.
Through these stories we were able to attract both regional and national attention which pushed the scope of the festival far and wide.
Social media management
Our team of social media specialists also did a remarkable job of growing a sizable social media following in a short space of time. That growth allowed us to push out events which in hand helped boost ticket sales for the festival.