tweeting godiva

Our friends from Coventry City Council always set high standards across their comms and digital activity. And they put on some pretty mean events too. The Godiva Fesitval 2013 gave them the chance to showcase all of these skills. What Coventry teach us is that Twitter might just be the festival platform of choice.

by Gareth Lewis

 The first weekend in July saw the fantastic three-day Coventry City Council-organised Godiva Festival take place in Coventry’s War Memorial Park.

If you were there you were one of around 125,000 who saw acts from Echo and the Bunnymen to Amelia Lily.

It is almost certainly Europe’s biggest free festival and despite the combination of sunshine and beer in equal measure only one arrest was made.

What a great story to tell – so how does a council going about telling it? Twitter of course.

Strategy

 The council set up and began operating the twitter handle @godivafestival some years ago to be able to communicate news about the festival. It now has 5,442 followers.

Followers receive updates throughout the year but largely in the run-up to the event and of course throughout the three-day festival.

While @coventrycc has more followers (11,500), the people who follow @godivafestival aren’t necessarily the same people who would want @coventrycc messages and we would risk alienating a specific audience if we tried to promote the festival only through the Council.

In the run up to the event we were able to tweet information about the line-up and about the Godiva Unsigned competition.

We also ‘followed’ any of the artists signed up to play at Godiva so we could ‘retweet’ any messages they put out about the festival in the lead-up. For example:

From Lucy Rose -Also @godivafestival is FREE! Can you believe it?!

And this from Saturday night headline act Maximo Park - Last rehearsal before the free (yes, free!) @godivafestival in Coventry tomorrow. Come along - headlining just after 9pm

Maximo Park have almost 28,000 dedicated twitter followers so this kind of endorsement clearly boosts our reputation and helps us to market the event.

During the festival

 Over the three days of the festival we sent out 230 tweets from the @godivafestival account.

These range from helpful information:

It's very hot out there, sunscreen would definitely be a festival goer’s best friend this weekend

If you're travelling to the festival tonight or tomorrow, please follow yellow signs for easiest way in

to answering questions:

matthewgaffney: @godivafestival you guys showing the tennis on the crane today?

godivafestival: @matthewgaffney nice idea but unfortunately not. Come down to the Festival and record the tennis!

Tweets to us

Over the course of the festival the @godivafestival account received around 1,500 messages. Twitter is clearly the method festival-goers choose to communicate.

Again this included fantastic pictures and questions to us as the organisers. It also provided us with excellent feedback on all aspects of the festival.

Here is a selection of the type of comments we have received:

Appreciate you guys can't win sometimes, but think it was a well organised, fab event

I wanted to tweet Leicester City council to ask if we could have a @godivafestival, but they're not even on Twitter. *moves to Coventry*

this is fab! Such a great festival and was very impressed with all the staff, good job

I think it was god awful this year! Drugs and drunk people everywhere and not child friendly in the slightest #disgust

@godivafestival Highlight of this year!

Feedback

We want to hear more feedback though to help us find out what went well and what could be improved so we’ve used the @godivafestival account one more time while we have a captive audience to promote this survey:

If you've got 5 minutes to spare we'd love to know what you thought of #godiva2013 by filling in this survey: coventry.gov.uk/godiva2013surv… #thanks

Gareth Lewis is Media Co-ordinator at Coventry City Council

Photo courtesy of Coventry City Council