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.
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.
- I think it was a tribute to how Venturefest South gets bigger and better every year that so many people attended despite the weather. The quality of the businesses pitching, taking part in the Open Mic sessions, exhibiting and even in the Young Entrepreneurs Village this year was exceptionally high and represented the diversity of the south’s innovation economy.Chris Allington, Chair of Venturefest South
- Venturefest South is all about bringing people together to share ideas and showcase their businesses and products, so introducing the Open Mic Arena was a no brainer. It’s great to be able to give start-ups, young entrepreneurs and individuals the opportunity to pitch their idea to a panel of judges and audience of like-minded innovators, and the feedback and exposure they receive is invaluable.Ed Gould, Creative Director, Carswell Gould
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