The south’s innovators triumph over ‘The Beast from the East’

Carswell Gould partnered with Venturefest South to bring the South’s innovators, entrepreneurs and investors together for #VFS18. Venturefest South is a unique, privately-funded partnership of organisations, committed to supporting and growing the South’s innovation economy.

Carswell Gould is a founding partner of Venturefest South and has supported the partnership from the very beginning; planning and organising the events and shaping them to fully support the economy. For the last two years, Venturefest South has been supporting the South’s innovators, entrepreneurs and investors. This culminates each year in a one-day interactive conference that provides all those who are part of the innovation economy with the chance to get together, share ideas and technology, and nurture future ground-breaking innovations in the region.

Our Approach

Carswell Gould was tasked with the overall marketing activity for this year’s conference, #VFS18. This included event management, communication, PR, web, design, branding, social media, email campaigns, photography and videography. We also collaborated closely with the Venturefest South delivery team and its partners to create a schedule that was relevant and in-line with the needs of innovators, businesses, and entrepreneurs at the time.

As part of our approach, we developed a comprehensive marketing strategy that included various tactics such as brand development, content strategy, direct mail, events, email, web development, and stationery. In addition, we also focused on creating an engaging and interactive experience for attendees, using features such as Q&A sessions, breakout rooms, and live polls.

The Outcome

Despite the UK’s biggest snowstorm in eight years, it was bigger and better than last year with over 500 attendees. The event featured 35 entrepreneurs competing for over £10m worth of investment and 20 young entrepreneurs pitching in the Young Entrepreneurs Village. We also provided support to attendees through 40 support organisations offering free advice and support. Additionally, we had 17 expert speakers from across the UK hosting talks, providing valuable insights and information to the attendees.

We achieved a total PR reach of 462,073, which was significantly higher than the 253,200 from the previous year. The total PR value was £18,065, and we received a total of 30 pieces of press coverage. Our newsletter opening rate was also high, with an average of 39.73%. Our Twitter reach was 136,600. These results demonstrate the effectiveness of our media and communications strategies in promoting the event and reaching a wide audience.

Innovation Zone VR Venturefest South 2018
#VFS18 Young Best Innovator Award
#VFS18 Open Mic Innovation
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