Sponsored by the Vegetarian Butcher
The Seren Collection is a privately owned group of hospitality venues located in Pembrokeshire, that includes the four-red-AA-star Grove of Narberth hotel and restaurant, Coast restaurant, the Kiosk Cafe and the Michelin-starred Beach House restaurant. The company's aim is to create unique hospitality experiences and to contribute in putting south-west Wales on the map as a high-quality choice for great food experiences.
The annual marketing budget across the group stands at £20,000, with events being core to business growth. One of the company's strategic objectives for 2019 was to soften the impact of seasonality on the business and to grow revenues across the group by 15%.
To achieve this, head of marketing and communications Hannah Bewhay spearheaded a campaign called Seren Collection Events, which focused on delivering a well-supported events calendar to build a more meaningful relationship with customers and encourage them to visit throughout the year. The stories and personalities behind the events set their narrative and positioning to entice customers and build interest levels.
The campaign had two parts: selecting a cross-section of events that would resonate with the company's target customer base; and a marketing strategy and implementation plan to support the events programme. The goal was for all events to have upwards of 80% covers take-up versus capacity.
The business established a sense of place and made the most of its locality through events, including inviting Welsh rugby legends to host special evenings and special celebration dinners on St David's Day.
A wide audience was appealed to through a diverse range of events, from jazz and other musical evenings to garden tours and flower-arranging classes. Highlights from the last year included guest chef nights with Mark Sargeant at Coast and Adam Reid at Beach House, and a Billecart Salmon Champagne Dinner with the Three Welsh Tenors at the Grove of Narberth.
The campaign was promoted via an events brochure that is distributed in-room and in the hotel reception, a members' Privilege Club, advertising in local newspapers and magazines, PR, gift vouchers (of which sales increased by 83% across the group), affiliation marketing and in-house recommendations. Digital communications also included a successful email marketing campaign to a growing database, which had an average open rate of 35%, and on social platforms, which saw a 15% growth in followers over the 12-month period.
The marketing support for the annual events programme extended across its entire lifecycle, from the very start of the process of developing the programme and brochures to designing, preparing and managing all pre- and post-event marketing materials to push out across media platforms. It also managed the PR effort around external participants. The campaign was a resounding success and exceeded the original objective by growing revenues for the company by 16.9%.
What the judges said
"A really considered collection of brilliant events. It's clear a lot of love has gone into this campaign." – Jeremy Gibson
"Hannah Bewhay single-handedly created a really high-quality and creative events campaign to boost sales throughout the Seren Collection. She set clear objectives and achieved great results. Impressive." – Andrew Merrett
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