Top tips to achieve the perfect placemaking event
Hundreds of South West London families chose to mark Mother’s Day at a Battersea Power Station event that was amplified on social media, helping Battersea messages to reach an additional 500,000 people online.
This placemaking event was part of the pre-launch campaign for Circus West Village – the first phase of the Power Station’s rebirth that opens later this year as a bustling new neighbourhood with restaurants, cafes and shops.
Too often developer events for the community are only held during the public consultation pre-planning approval phase. Then, with planning secured, no further engagement takes place. This isn’t the case with Battersea which has worked hard to engage the local community about the development and the opportunities it will provide for the area.
At Kallaway we work with a number of high-profile retail and property brands such as The Crown Estate, Legal & General, Sellar Property's The Shard and Battersea Power Station to create innovative placemaking and footfall driving campaigns that will engage and excite the local community.
Here are a few top tips for how to amplify and run a successful post-planning approval placemaking event.
#1 Choose an inspiring location
Break out from the site marketing suite and provide local people with the opportunity to be the first to see some aspect of the development. This generates goodwill and increases positive conversations. Often the most appealing locations for nearby residents are buildings with a strong local connection - or new initiatives which are being revealed for the first time.
#2 Pick the perfect date
Maximise footfall by holding the event on a date that will help you attract your target audience. For Circus West Village, Mother’s Day was the perfect choice - a day when local families are spending time together and looking for somewhere to eat. The result was a bustling event that resonated with the local neighbours.
#3 Be there
It’s fine to outsource the event and bring external staff as required. But noone sells the vision of the place and its potential better than the people leading and building the development.
#4 Showcase the benefit
Placemaking events are not the place for annual reports and corporate literature. Help people tell the story you want to be shared by providing clear, motivating examples of the place’s plan and the benefits to local people. Be aspirational; support what you say with hints at what is to come. Competitions, giveaways and tastings are always welcome. For Mother’s Day at Circus West there were tastings from the cafes and restaurants due to open, with the pop-up pizza from new Danish venue Mother and hot refreshments – including babyccinos – from Black Cab Coffee being very popular.
#5 Engage digital influencers
Inviting the press is standard. But go further if you can and invite local and audience specific digital influencers. This not only helps you spread the word but engages young people living around the site. This age group will benefit the most from the development but they are the hardest to reach via traditional media. Engage them on social media channels through influencers they respect and follow. For Circus West, tours for public and digital influencers helped messages of the development reach 500,000 people online.
#6 Be a great online conversationalist
Your placemaking event should be part of your PR and social media activity. However the requirement to listen and lead social conversations on the day is often overlooked. Don’t just broadcast content but engage those people on the ground who are sharing information. This will help amplify and enhance your message penetration and take up.
#7 Stay in touch
Use opportunities like events to build a database and have a plan to engage those who have signed up with interesting and compelling information as you move through the development phases. A motivated and interested local public is highly valuable to the retailers and brands moving into a place. Retailers are likely to be able to offer your database exclusive offers and content when they open.
If we can help get in touch at hello@Kallaway.com or call the team on 020 7221 7883.