Forging the pathway for DESIGN Canberra to be a highlight on the Australian design scene by cutting through event fatigue and increasing attendees by 36%.

SERVICES

Strategy
Public Relations
Advertising
Content Creation

 
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Canberra offers a generous number of free public events, each vying for the attendance of our educated, diverse, engaged and active residents. But despite Canberra’s growing population, media, consumers, partners and participants in the ACT are increasingly experiencing event fatigue.

 
 
 

With a bold month-long festival of over 100 events planned, DESIGN Canberra identified a need to get more out of their marketing budget for 2017 if they were going to hit their attendance number targets.

With no national media partners, an ever-competitive local events market and limited awareness or take-up outside of the design community, the festival faced a public relations and behaviour change challenge.

The success of the festival required people across Australia to pay attention. This called for a strategic approach to events within the festival to ensure they were interesting to mainstream audiences, attracted design industry and media interest and were located in high foot traffic areas along with high digital visibility.

DESIGN Canberra 2017 needed to maintain relevance through differentiation. It was necessary to ensure that the festival solidified its local audience and talent, at the same time as grabbing the attention of the national audience.

 
 
Sell Out: Design Auction | Photo by  5 Foot photography

Sell Out: Design Auction | Photo by 5 Foot photography

 
A goal for this year was to expand interest in DESIGN Canberra beyond local audiences and increase the number of interstate tourists attending.
— Rachel Coghlan, CEO & Artistic Director, Craft ACT.
 
 
 

Nerio assisted in developing the festival’s strategy for 2017 and executed a 9-month campaign across multiple platforms and functions. The main focus of work was to ensure that the positioning elevated the brand, to partner with high-value media organisations and to create local and national exposure for the festival.

Nerio developed messaging designed to represent Canberra as a global city of design, and DESIGN Canberra as a festival set to become a highlight of the national design scene. Through the creation of personas, Nerio was then able to direct and specifically target the campaign to reach the right audiences through a combination of traditional and digital channels.

 
To begin to attract a national and even international audience, it was important for us to reframe Canberra’s long-held stereotype as being a boring, beige, city. Canberra is not necessarily a place where you’d expect to discover an exciting and unique culture of architecture and design, so it was important for us to focus the messaging around the makers and creators who are helping lead the way in revealing Canberra as an unexpected mecca for design lovers as well as Canberra’s heritage of mid-century architecture. This was a true passion project.
— Team Nerio
 
 
 
 
 

A national PR campaign, social media advertising and organic social media content were developed to increase brand awareness, with specific pushes for highlight, and ticketed events. Monthly social media campaigns were developed in the festival lead up to generate awareness and spike engagement around the festival.

With over 100 events it was important not to overload the audience, so a foundation content calendar was curated to ensure sponsors, highlight events and designers were featured as priority. Additional posts were added as necessary, and the Instagram story featured curated event pushes as well as timely content. Nerio produced over 500 pieces of content, and delivered over 100 press placements across digital and traditional media.

2017 has been an amazing year of growth, inspiration, excellence and engagement – a result of creative collaborations and strategic partnerships in and around Canberra’s craft and design community. Thank you to everyone who helped to achieve these outstanding results: record attendance numbers, record visibility, record artist income, record media and social media coverage, and deepened engagement with the broader community.
— Rachel Coghlan, CEO and Artistic Director, Craft ACT

The 2017 DESIGN Canberra Festival attracted 94,000 + attendees (an increase from 69,000 in 2016), a new media partnership category was introduced with three highly reputable national outlets joining the festival, and the festival gained a new interstate audience.

20,000+ people visited the festival website, an increase of 64% from the previous year. 58.3% of these were new visitors to the site and 44.3% of web traffic was from interstate. 135,758 users were reached through social media advertising, and the festival’s social following increased by 162%.

With the 2017 festival paving the way to the international scene the future of DESIGN Canberra is destined to be an exciting one.

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Results

  • 94,000 + attendees, an increase of 36% from the previous year

  • 20,000+ people visited the festival website, an increase of 64% from the previous year

  • 44.3% of web traffic was from interstate

  • 135,758 users were reached via social media advertising

  • 162% increase in the social media following

 

 
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