Three summary points on intervention and impact
- Delivered a strategic international influencer and content creation project – the #WorkerBeeWeekender – using recovery funding from VisitEngland’s Discover England Fund.
- Built on the foundations established with the first #WorkerBeeWeekender – which took place in July 2017 as means to establish positive images of Manchester following the Manchester Arena attack – to bring 40+ influencers and content creators to Manchester and London to promote twin-city visits to the UK.
- Worked in very close partnership with London & Partners to deliver the project, therefore aligning the two organisations and creating a blueprint for future collaboration.
Following a successful bid for additional Discover England Funding to support the recovery of Manchester and London after terrorist attacks in summer 2017, Marketing Manchester and London & Partners were asked to deliver a project together that built on the two organisation’s respective influencer and content creation events (Marketing Manchester’s #WorkerBeeWeekender which was delivered in July 2017 and London & Partner’s #LoveLondonWeekend which was delivered in October 2017, following the blueprint of the #WorkerBeeWeekender).
The project needed to be delivered wholly in partnership and by the end of the financial year.
The two organisations – under the leadership of Andy Parkinson at Marketing Manchester and Louise Maher at London & Partners – came together in November 2017, shortly after the funding was approved, to plan the project, set objectives and to establish a working initiative that would allow both cities a degree of autonomy in respect of their own plans, but that came together for key decisions such as target influencers, invitations, logistics such as travel and accommodation, and an evaluation and legacy framework.
Key markets were negotiated, primarily targeting US-based influencers (50%), supplemented by influencers from five key European markets: Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Scandinavia (10% each. A target of 40 international influencers was set as the base goal, with a reach goal of 50, to be supplemented by local influencers that would help to amplify the messaging.
A systematic approach to key tasks was outlined to ensure that targets and deadlines were hit and to ensure that the two organisations made the most of the opportunity in a creative way – something that was missed in the original iteration of both projects due to the huge logistical workload required to plan and organise arrangements for such a large group of people across the globe.
The project delivered at the end of March 2018 after four months of planning. A group of 45 international influencers arrived in Manchester on Wednesday 21 and Thursday 22 March and undertook activities in and around the city until the morning of Saturday 24 March when they transferred to London by train and continued until Monday 26 March. In Manchester there were an additional 15 local influencer participants involved with the net goal being to push as much positive content out to audiences across the globe, promoting Manchester and London as destinations of choice for a twin-city visit to the UK.
The hashtags #WorkerBeeWeekender and #LoveLondonWeekender were encouraged to be used on all posts in Manchester and London respectively, and for a third hashtag (#MCRxLDN) to be used where possible. These hashtags were chosen to build on the existing content delivered from the previous iterations of each city’s respective influencer weekends, and as a means of monitoring and evaluating the project after a sufficient period has passed to make meaningful analysis. At the time of writing the #WorkerBeeWeekender hashtag has 952 posts on Instagram (approximately 350 new posts since the first iteration) with new posts receiving up to 8,000 likes as well as hundreds of positive comments. It is expected that additional posts (supplemented by blog posts and video) will be added over the coming weeks and months. A full analysis of the project will be delivered by Meltwater monitoring service by the end of April 2018.
In addition, building on the learnings from the previous #WorkerBeeWeekender project Marketing Manchester was also able to make the most of the opportunity, for example, by implementing some bought media on Instagram over the delivery dates of the project, creating a microsite for the project on visitmanchester.com and creating a high quality piece of video content as a legacy piece.