The Brief

To bring an events and tourism marketing perspective to a visual arts festival, broadening consumer engagement and awareness.

My Role

We were brought in to review the Biennial’s marketing and communications strategy in 2014, applying best practice in event and tourism marketing to the festival. My analysis began with the evaluation prepared by the Local Enterprise Partnership, before working with the festival’s curators, designers and director to clarify the vision and design direction.

Using that review to guide our planning, we grew the north west-based audience for the Biennial, helping it communicate in a way that non-arts people would understand. And we made sure that the Biennial was featured as a key part of the city’s narrative about culture and events here.

The 2014 Biennial saw an increase in visitor numbers of approximately 100,000; a growth in the north west audience from 6% to 13%, and a 496% increase in referrals from local tourism agency Visit Liverpool. Subsequent Biennials in 2016 and 2018 have continued this trend.

RBA’s role also involved mentoring the Biennial’s in-house marketing executive. She has gained successive promotions and now leads the team as Head of Marketing and Communications, with complete responsibility for the marketing of the Biennial festival and its year-round programme.

It can be hard for visual arts organisations to market and promote themselves to a non-arts audience. Rachael's expertise and ability to champion the event through all tourism channels has made a massive difference. Her determination to follow best practice means delivered on all of their key objectives.