Building a community and maintaining momentum with a biennial event

Building a community and maintaining momentum with a biennial event

By Katie Moffat


The Manchester International Festival (MIF) is a biennial international arts and culture festival with a focus on original new work. In this case study, Katie Moffat, social media and digital communications consultant, speaks to Robert Martin, digital marketing manager at MIF about the Festival's digital marketing strategy. To level off the peaks and troughs of audience engagement associated with biennial events, the MIF engages with its online communities - its blog, Twitter account and Facebook page - all year round, not just immediately before or during the festival.

KM: What was your biggest challenge?

RM: Without a doubt I’d say that the biggest challenge initially was the fact that many of the producers wanted to keep the detail of the commissions and performances completely secret until the first night. This was understandable but also presented a challenge when we were trying to feed our online communities with background information about the different shows and events, beyond the official announcement. I worked hard to build relationships with the producers and took the time to explain the value of our approach.

As you draw near to the event, the obvious challenge is one of time, you have to be very organised, we had a social media planner outlining both key events and also which member of staff was managing the social accounts, on each day and evening.

Resource type: Case studies | Published: 2013