We’re taking some time during this unusual period to remember brighter times and reflect on some of the projects we’ve rolled-out for our clients.

Overview

2019’s Halloween celebrations took an interesting turn as our client, Maryculter House held its first ‘Drams in the Dark’ event. Hosted by whisky expert and founder of World Whisky Day, Blair Bowman, the dram specialist talked guests through five different whiskies and delivered an exciting, complete sensory experience.
Welcomed with a hot toddy on arrival, the whisky tasting took place after dark in the historic grounds of Maryculter House. Guests were then treated to a beautiful two course meal cooked by Head Chef Alan Clark and later, delved into a Q&A with Blair.
A lovely snippet of the event from two of our invited guests, Lost in Food and Foodie Quine:

 

 

 

 

The Brief
Bold St Media’s brief from Maryculter House was simple -raise awareness of the event and promote ticket opportunities to both locals looking for an event with a difference and whisky enthusiasts. This exciting project really allowed us to experiment with event promotion.

 

The Roll-out
Firstly, we dissected our target audience even further. Bearing in mind the event fell on one of the spookiest nights of the year meant a certain demographic would already have their social diary filled escorting young children on trick or treating , so we felt young couples and parents of older children would be most interested and available.
The first step on our project plan was to engage with the news outlets we felt would resonate most with a whisky tasting event and secure their support promoting the event by issuing them with a press release which included an inviting quote from Blair Bowman. This achieved coverage with both mainstream journalist as well as specialist food and drink writers. The timing of this was important – we needed the coverage to appear with enough time to raise awareness with people, for them to book out time in their diaries and make their ticket purchases.

 

 

 

When it comes to promoting an event, it’s important to always look at your supporting client or customer base as one of the initial steps. Over the years, Maryculter House has garnered a list of GDPR compliant customer emails who receive a monthly newsletter updating them on hotel news and events to look out for. We issued a special email to the about the event, with a discount offer on tickets to thank them for their loyalty. It’s always important to engage with your loyal customer base for wider brand purposes as effectively, they’re your ‘word of mouth’.
As always, social media played a significant part in our promotion efforts. We worked closely with Xana Creative on social media content about the event that would complement our media relations and newsletter efforts.
Blair Bowman who was the event host also promoted the event on his social media channels and kindly took part in a pre-event Q&A with us which was fantastic content and gave us an additional opportunity to highlight what to expect at the event itself as well as raising awareness of Blair and his expertise with a potential new following. The piece also provided more information about whisky, his preferences and how he drinks his. As well as allowing people who may be considering attending the event to get to know the host it positioned the event as accessible to people who may have otherwise felt intimidated by a whisky tasting experience. The Q&A was posted on the Maryculter website (go and have a read once you’ve finished here :)) and promoted on social media.

One of the most effective and enjoyable aspects was engaging with some North-East bloggers and influencers. With any influencer marketing campaign, we firstly needed to establish the influencers that would be visible and have strong engagement with the target market we were trying to reach, as well as ensuring the Maryculter brand would be a great fit for their channel’s content. For influencer marketing to have the most impact it should feel like a genuine fit for both parties and be a seamless extension of their brand. Once we’d established a select list of influencers that matched our brief our next step was to invite them to the event. We created an invite with a difference – a boxed invite with a whisky miniature – very instragrammable, creative and intriguing, which worked well as they all posted the invite to their respective social media pages. This was great as it equated to more pre-event promotion:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lost in Food, Julia Bryce and Foodie Quine attended the event as invited guests and were fantastic in posting about their experience throughout the night and also posted follow-up reviews. The beauty of social media and in particular, ephemeral content, allowing guests to live stream their experience, created genuine excitement and noise around the event.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The whole Bold St team loved working on this project. Engaging with our client, as well as the media, Blair Bowman and our invited guests to ensure the event was a success was a great experience. Working cohesively together and with the help of Xana Creative, means we now have the right channels and plans in place that we can analyse and build on for future ‘Drams in the Dark’ events.

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