The Festival of Ingenuity was launched in 2015 to showcase the very best of Darlington, from its engineering heritage and role in the birth of the railways to its innovative industries and burgeoning creative sector.
To boost the profile of the 2018 event across the Tees Valley, increase attendance from the previous year and position it as one of the go-to events in the region’s calendar.
The first day of the two-day event was solely targeted at schools, which were encouraged to attend events and demonstrations by local businesses.
The second day was split into three sections, with demonstrations from ingenious local businesses in a marquee in the Market Square, stalls and entertainment at Feethams Podium, and music and street food at Riverside Park.
The first two elements were targeted largely at families with young children from across the Tees Valley. The Riverside Park music events were targeted at an older audience, encouraging them to continue enjoying the event into the evening for a night of live music and drinks.
The Pack was tasked with using social media and PR services to increase awareness and encourage attendance across the Tees Valley.
Members of the local press were invited to the event, and a press release was distributed to newspapers and media outlets across the Tees Valley. A two-page feature was also secured in The Northern Echo two weeks prior to the event itself.
The Festival already had Facebook and Twitter accounts from previous years, and we resumed regular posting from both accounts. We also set up a dedicated Instagram page for the event.
As well as regular posting on social media, we also used Facebook to run a series of competitions, with prizes donated by local businesses, to boost engagement.
We also used Facebook advertising to boost posts to the target audience and showcase the variety of activity taking place at the event.
Engaging with participating companies
We used social media to engage with the companies involved in the Festival, such as main sponsor Darlington Building Society, engine maker Cummins and the fire station.
This was to both highlight the range of exhibitors attending the festival and what they would be doing, as well as increase reach to other audiences.
The results across all platforms were remarkable.
Twitter: Almost 100 additional followers were gained in the six weeks of the campaign, with a total of 69,100 impressions
Facebook: Page likes rose from 535 to 883, with a total reach of 347,604. The six competitions alone generated reach of 74,358 and 2,307 pieces of engagement.
Instagram: The page generated 168 followers in the six weeks of its creation – an impressive start.
Across all accounts, the campaign generated a total of 11,193 pieces of engagement.
The release received excellent coverage in The Northern Echo, with a double-page spread two weeks prior to the event, followed by a prewrite a few days before. It also received pre-event coverage in the Darlington & Stockton Times.
A reporter from The Northern Echo attended the Festival and wrote a two-page feature for the next day’s edition.
“It was a joy to work with Harvey & Hugo to make the Festival of Ingenuity even bigger and better for 2018.
“The team really took the time to listen to what we needed, then put a massive amount of thought and effort into what became a fantastically fun and creative campaign.
“The Pack had so much energy and excitement, quickly becoming an extended part of our team which helped us all to work so well together.
“We were really pleased with the results we gained across press, social media and with visitors on the day and cannot thank them enough for what they did.” – Seth Pearson, director of One Darlington Partnership, organiser of the Festival of Ingenuity.