The Christmas in July team created a collaborative event that enabled journalists and PRs to work efficiently together to launch the year’s Christmas gifts.
Campaign: The Christmas in July Festival
PR team: Christmas in July
Timing: July 2017
The Christmas in July Festival provided a forum for brands and retailers to showcase top trends and products to press in one central location, supporting retail’s most profitable time of year.
The inaugural 2017 event attracted 965 media attendees and journalists dubbed it the ‘London Fashion Week’ of Christmas press launches. The festival was billed as a ‘must attend’ due to the collective appeal of the 70+ brands and retailers in attendance – including Crabtree & Evelyn, Menkind, Emma Bridgewater, JoJo Maman Bébé, Moonpig and The East India Company.
Christmas In July wanted to create a collaborative platform that increased press exposure and reduced PR event budgets for brands and retailers, while saving time and resource versus hosting an individual Christmas press launch.
From a media perspective, the objective was to minimise journalists’ time out of the office, enabling them to meet leading retailers and emerging brands across all gift categories in one location. Simplicity and shared benefits through collaboration is what made the festival format so compelling.
Strategy and implementation
To achieve her aim of delivering greater ROI for press events, festival co-founder Courtney Rogers embarked on a research project with 314 journalists. The results revealed that the press attend less than 25% of the events they’re invited to.
Christmas in July Festival is designed as a responsive solution to this challenge. Just as being surrounded by other shops on the high street helps promote footfall and sales, the team surmised that launching products for Christmas alongside other brands would increase exposure and face-time with journalists.
The team’s media relations approach was to create a personalised and seamless experience for key journalists from all major publications to ensure their attendance.
It also took care to achieve the right balance of brands, journalists and experience partners to make it a win-win for all stakeholders. This included securing 17 experience partners providing complimentary transport, a goody bag home delivery service, cocktail bars, food offerings and pampering services. An area was also dedicated to new and emerging British brands, showcasing new trends and novel content.
The festival gave in-house PRs and agencies all-important face time with journalists to kick-start their campaigns in the lead up to Christmas.
- The festival received 965 media attendees over two days
- 68% of guests were journalists or freelance journalists and 32% were bloggers or influencers with an average follower level of 22,000
- 33% of attendees were from national publications
- 12% of guests attended on both days
Daily and Sunday Express reporter Maisha Frost said: “100% recommended. I was not the only one to think the whole event – how it was conceived and executed – was inspiring.”
JoJo Maman Bébé said: “It was a great two days meeting new and existing press and showing our gorgeous Christmas collection to those compiling Christmas gift guides.”
Prezzybox said: “The Christmas in July Festival worked really well for our brand this year. Speaking with journalists, their priority was to target a large amount of interesting brands all in one go – and this was exactly the place to achieve this kind of collaboration.”
The Art Fund said: “The whole two-day event was fantastic and it was so great to be able to tell people about the National Art Pass and we made so many great contacts over the course of the event. It was great exposure for us.”
- Picture credit: CPG Photography Ltd