Well November definitely started with a bang for Sprechen! Saturday 9th saw the return of Winchester Round Table’s annual Bonfire and Fireworks, and if you’re familiar with Sprechen you’ll know that our CEO Steve plays a big part.
Steve has been involved with Winchester Round Table and the Bonfire and Fireworks for years, but this year it was a bit of a family affair for the majority of the Sprechen team!
This isn’t something that just bursts into action in November like a firework rocketing into the air. Team Sprechen have been busy throughout the year in various capacities in relation to the Bonfire and Fireworks event, but it starts to really gear up around August.
We are so proud to volunteer the many facets we’re great at here at Sprechen to go towards making Winchester’s biggest one-day charity event a success. This year the event raised in excess of £60K – A phenomenal community effort, and one everyone involved (including you if you attended!) should be immensely proud of. There are so many great causes and vital work that this money will go towards in our local community and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have volunteered our time and expertise to be a small part of that.
Anyway, it’s great and all when people blow their own trumpet a bit and tell the world what good they’re doing, but what did we actually do to help by volunteering? We’re so glad you asked!
Between us, we have a wealth of experience and expertise here at Sprechen that we were more than happy to volunteer to this great cause.
It all begins with the website which is designed, built and managed by us here at Sprechen. Recently upgraded to an e-commerce site, it provides a full Ticketing System, making it easier to manage online transactions and ticketing.
Early in the year, work goes into the design of all the Sponsor Materials. This event needs sponsors in order to be successful, so it’s important that all of the sponsor materials are up-to-date and sent out in a timely manner to ensure sponsors have time to sign up.
We mentioned that all the behind-the-scenes stuff starts to heat up around August. You might be wondering what on earth we were doing for the Bonfire way back then, but we were actually very busy coordinating the adverts from all of the amazing sponsors in order to design the 48-page programme and send it for printing. You might have seen one of these pop through your letterbox back in October, or received it along with your tickets in the post.
Events like this rely on getting the word out there through as many channels as possible. In September we write a Press Release which is sent out to all news outlets in the Hampshire area, announcing the date. We then built targeted Email Marketing and Social Media campaigns to bring this event the attention it deserves and ensure ticket sales were high. You might have also seen a Social Media advert or two pop up as well to gain as much exposure on social media across Hampshire as possible.
Social Media is a great place for advertising your event, but it also provides a wonderful opportunity to showcase the amazing charities that the money goes towards, as well as highlighting all of the amazing sponsors. #CharityTuesday and #ThankfulThursday was a key factor in this years marketing campaign that followers really got behind, with high levels of engagement. Whilst managing the event’s social media channels, Sprechen saw a rise in engagement, especially with Instagram this year, with a new key focus on plenty of behind the scenes action via stories.
But it’s not just about an online presence! We also designed marketing materials and signage that was put up around Winchester; some of them late at night by Steve himself!
As we approached the event itself, customer contact became an integral part of its success. The closer the date becomes, the more people need to get in contact with someone in regards to general enquiries and ticket queries. Sprechen managed the Contact Centre for those attending, by making sure that the hundreds of queries sent by email or social media were answered in a timely manner. Mrs Sprechen, Hannah, also joined the amazing volunteers from Winchester Ladies Circle in the Ticket Booth on the day of the event, making sure that attendees could pick up their tickets.
This Ticket Booth was made possible through our sister company Geekabit who provided Wi-Fi to enable access to live spreadsheets, order information and incoming emails and social messages throughout the day itself.
If you were there on the night you will have noticed that the big screen was back! Thanks to the Wi-Fi provided via Geekabit, the social media screen could share photos from the attendees live at the event. Who doesn’t like to see their face on the big screen? Reliable Wi-Fi was vital for production purposes.
And when the last firework does it’s final bang and the last wisps of smoke from the bonfire drift off in the wind, you’d think that would be it for another year. But no! We collate the professional photographs taken of the event and write a Press Release which is sent to the same news outlets announcing the amount of money raised, thanking all those who were apart. Because of all the behind the scenes work we do for the event, we are also able to provide Full Analytics afterwards to track successes and start the planning all over again ready for next year.
Working with Winchester Round Table Bonfire and Fireworks is a privilege and a pleasure. Each year we learn more and #DoMore. Through our charitable experiences, we are able here at Sprechen to design new and innovative ways for people to be able to donate to good causes using technology.
We’ll be launching something new along these lines very soon, so keep your eyes peeled for exciting new developments!
Thank you to Joe Lillywhite Photography for the amazing photos of this years event.
Instagram @joelillywhite.photography / Facebook @joelillywhitephotography