Following the successful launch in 2017 of The Handmade Fair outside of London, the event returned to Ragley Hall in Warwickshire with the addition of a brand new show at Bowood House & Gardens in Wiltshire with Rewired appointed on events PR across both locations.
When we first started supporting the event in 2017, the Handmade Fair had already enjoyed three successful years at Hampton Court Palace (where it continues) so the main challenge was launching the brand and event at Ragley Hall, Warwickshire for the first time.
We were pleased to have been successful in building awareness and interest in the event in Warwickshire, grabbing attention with creative experiential activity. For 2018, could we replicate our success and establish this renowned event to the Handmade Fair’s newest location at Bowood House & Gardens?
How could we attract the widest possible consumer outreach for the event in Wiltshire and maintain and increase interest for the Warwickshire show?
As well as driving awareness through press coverage, we were tasked with producing new creative activity to attract visitors in both target areas.
The main message of our campaign activity was the importance of being creative. So, we focussed on combining trending crafts and regional successes to best engage our desired audience.
We maximised press and media interest through creative workshop events in both regions where we collaborated with exhibitors to provide a taster of The Handmade Fair.
Following on from 2017’s activity which involved a specially commissioned willow bear, we looked to create something new to drive awareness and interest for both shows.
This became ‘The Handmade Tour’ and involved a branded caravan which toured six locations in the two regions.
At each location, members of the public could join free drop-in workshops with exhibitors which ranged from needle felting, decoupage, paper flower making and glass fusing workshops.
We also collaborated with children’s charity, Together for Short Lives whose emblem is a butterfly. Local schools were invited to create origami butterflies to raise awareness for the charity. Origami workshops continued to take place on The Handmade Tour and on site at The Fairs, where butterfly garlands were displayed in the Press Office.
With a strong focus on securing interview opportunities for Kirstie Allsopp and key event personnel, the week running up to the fair was significant for national and regional broadcast.
Held at Ragley Hall, Warwickshire and Bowood House & Gardens, Wiltshire, both shows were a huge success and exceeded target visitor and revenue number expectations.
PR activity in 2018 generated 182 pieces of national and regional coverage in total, with a combined online readership of over 4.8 million. Highlights included broadcast interviews on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, The Times, Daily Express, Daily Mail, Woman & Home, BBC Radio Warwickshire and Wiltshire, plus coverage in women’s lifestyle titles through competitions and interviews, including Sainsbury’s magazine, Prima, Good Housekeeping, Woman’s Own, Woman’s Weekly and Female First.