One of ALTER’s latest clients is the award-winning Lightopia Festival, the Christmas winter wonderland of light that has been running in Manchester for three years and was debuting in Crystal Palace Park in 2021.
Our brief was simple; help them to sell tickets to their new festival in Crystal Palace Park, London.
The role included all event PR and marketing activity – a fully integrated communications plan.
We started our planning in mid-August and had just three weeks to prepare for ticket launch, meaning that social strategy, comms, email marketing and all that come with them was done on a short deadline.
At ALTER we pride ourselves on being a flexible, adaptable agency that responds well to challenges. We are here to help our clients regardless of lead times and for Lightopia we set our sights on generating PR coverage in every high-profile publication that talked to families, within 45 minutes travel time from Crystal Palace.
From August to November, we executed a high profile, fully integrated campaign! Through outdoor media in the proximity of Crystal Palace, social media boosting, Google search advertising, email marketing, as both an awareness generator and a sales driver, and much more, we raised the profile of Lightopia in South-East London as a highly desirable event.
Despite running a multi-faceted marketing campaign in the build to the event, we at ALTER also knew how important it was to have a true launching point for Lightopia London to arrive at Crystal Palace Park. We firmly believed that traditional event PR can and should still be used to raise awareness and drive sales.
To achieve that high profile PR coverage, an integral element was high-quality imagery. This led to us working closely with Getty, which we’d done before during BAFTA’s Life in Picture event with Daniel Craig. Creating detailed briefs and escorting the photographer around the site and assisting them with catching those essential, press-desired shots, was a crucial job on launch night.
Social amplification, we knew, was going to be a pivotal part of achieving the reach we intended this event to have.
A multi-pronged approach was required for this, focusing on the micro and macro-influencers. Firstly, to achieve a wide range of intent to coverage, we aimed to create deep engagement through social media with parental influencers looking for a great Christmas family night out. Here, the priority was a good mix of quality and quantity, ensuring that decision-makers in all families that had an interest in those social platforms could be reached.
Secondly, a strong macro influencer strategy was required, and here it was all about quality. Not only was social coverage integral, but also celebrities who would push the dial with the press, helping with that coverage push we already mentioned.
This was achieved by working with several high-profile celebrities that we knew would generate tabloid attention: Ollie Proudlock, Olivia and Alex Bowen, Ferne McCann and our host Myleene Klass. The singer and radio host has just the right energy and skills to host this event, and she did a phenomenal job of leading the crowd through the night.
With these priority focuses of social and comms outreach; next, it was about hosting an event worthy of the coverage. This step was all about aggregating all the work we’d done since Lightopia had been officially announced.
This took the shape of a light switch-on, hosting dignitaries, charities, media, and VIPs. ALTER were responsible for the guest list and event-night logistics. This included promotion, production schedules, event timeline and running order, as well as host scripting and customer journey.
ALTER is an incredible well-established events PR agency, with a huge catalogue of fantastically run events such as Bacardi, Victoria, Junk Kouture and I am JD. This meant we were always confident of leading a fantastic event and were prepared to tackle the issues that would arise.
Ultimately, the event was a huge success, leading to a huge swath of press coverage, and a spike in ticket sales and organic search content.
As Lightopia’s Event PR agency, as well as their primary London marketing agency, our attention now turns to make the rest of the event as big a success, which we’re happy to say is going very well so far!