Rhys Owen, Leasing Director, Orbit Developments, shares his thoughts on how Stockport can market its town centre events so it will appeal to local residents.
As Councillor Sid Lloyd commented in the Manchester Evening News last week ‘Stockport…needs selling better’. This is a sentiment I couldn’t agree more with. But what is our aim for the selling of Stockport?
Surely this is to spread the strong positives of our town centre to those living within the whole borough and then across Greater Manchester and ultimately the whole country.
Despite living in Stockport and having a vested interest in the town, I was unaware of recent family-focused events and activities taking place in the town centre over the weekend. If I’m missing the offers when I am actively reading and searching for the information, then who else are we missing and what effect does this have on footfall?
Talking with friends at the weekend at our local Cheadle Makers Market, they were unaware of Foodie Friday, unaware of two new hotels in the town centre, unaware of the full scale of changes taking place in our town centre. Suffice to say they are now fully informed and we look forward to a foray to July’s Foodie Friday.
As a business, Orbit has invested in event sponsorship across the town centre for many years and we have enjoyed successful collaborations with Foodie Friday and the Headlander Festival. However, we have found that most events struggle to make any impact outside the immediate area.
We have a number of new businesses in the town centre now in addition to two new hotels, so to help overcome some of the communication challenges it would be an easy win to target their visitors and flag up these great initiatives.
Can we advertise at their entry points eg railway stations, airports or on radio stations? Let’s work out why people are visiting the area in the first place and tap into all that information which may help us attract more visitors.
The free parking initiative is a great start to incentivise tourists and wider Borough residents to come into the town centre, but if people don’t know about the events in the first place, they won’t need any parking!