To increase publicity, awareness and ticket sales across the Three Counties Showground’s three flagship events – RHS Malvern Spring Festival, Royal Three Counties Show and Malvern Autumn Show. Our remit also included improving pre-existing social media accounts, with stronger messaging, output and audience engagement for all three shows.
We always plan efficiently and strategically at the start of any project, campaign or relationship with a new client. We began by creating a dedicated ‘show’ team who would work on the account and then embedded ourselves with the many and various societies and stakeholders which made up the festival’s committee.
Each of the three shows is unique and threw up separate challenges: while we had run a number of large scale campaigns and events, we needed to upgrade our horticultural knowledge and we also had to build relationships with a section of the media who had never really been that interested in the events.
We also had to unite each of the three counties covered by each show – Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire – to ensure that the media and the residents from each county saw the show as their own, and that each county was well-represented. By creating strong relationships with regional media and by finding great stories from each of the counties, we were able to ensure a united Three Counties for each show.
Of course the one challenge that was out of our control but really drew on our strength was the weather, and we were at the mercy of it. Yet even though six of the nine main show days were subjected to the most horrendous storms (rain which caused widespread flooding and cancellations across the region) we grew ticket sales, provided on-site crisis management to help deal with an early show closure, and gained record amounts of coverage. We also provided each of the shows with a string of ‘firsts’, including national broadsheet coverage on Lorraine and breaking through the 100,000 people barrier for the first time at RHS Spring thanks to the spike in ticket sales.
Our journalistic approach to news-gathering provided us with a constant stream of stunning stories and human interest angles. Indeed, as the Malvern Autumn Show prepared to welcome the Guinness World Record judges for its annual giant veg spectacular, it was a relationship we’d fostered with one of the growers which brought coverage in from all around the world.
Yet it was a campaign we created ourselves for the Malvern Autumn Show to help organisers underline the message of harvest which shows the true value we can offer – a campaign for visitors to contribute to the world’s largest single foodbank donation.
We brought onboard national charity, The Trussell Trust, to oversee the collection and set about letting visitors to the event know about the appeal. The result was an incredible three tonnes of food and essentials being piled high on site. It was so successful and generated so much positive publicity and goodwill that the showground is now planning to make it an annual feature of the show.