Corporate and Business Communications Campaign

Gold winner: RNN Serves up Success for IFEX

Food and drink enthusiasts from across Northern Ireland and even further afield were delighted to see the return of IFEX in March 2022 after a two-year absence, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

RNN Communications was briefed to create a comprehensive corporate and business communications campaign that would attract visitors and help return the exhibition to pre-pandemic levels.

What we delivered:

  • Development of overall trade partnerships including editorials, online presence and social media amplification
  • Developed a media map to outline all possible opportunities within Northern Ireland media, which was matched to the relevant IFEX stories
  • Consistent monthly delivery of ‘show news'
  • Exhibitor one-to-one roadshow and stakeholder engagement. This included meetings with all industry bodies to agree on partnerships and access to communication channels to reach members
  • All show news was streamed to the organisations for syndication to members
  • Appointed show ambassadors such as restauranteur, Michael Deane, CEO of Hospitality Ulster, Colin Neill and John Farrand from the Guild of Fine Food
  • Q&As with ambassadors ran bi-weekly on the IFEX website and were shared on social media
  • Launch photocall organised and national news release distributed
  • Specific features were set up prior to the event with national media
  • Ministerial engagement – RNN Communications invited a number of Ministers to attend IFEX, creating briefing documents and coordinating official visits
  • Hosted multiple journalists and radio broadcasts during IFEX and throughout the three days. We also issued a variety of news releases to the national press
  • With very active social media accounts, RNN Communications supported IFEX’s ongoing engagement by planning and implementing content during the campaign

The Results

  • Over 6,000 visitors attended IFEX – on par with pre-pandemic levels – the target was 5,000
  • Exhibitor space sold out pre-event
  • 88 pieces of national coverage were generated throughout the campaign
  • 100% national media coverage in Northern Ireland including two broadcasts from the event, interviews on BBC Radio Ulster and IFEX featured in all daily newspapers.
  • Regional coverage exceeded 20 pieces including a front page
  • Facebook and Instagram reach = 47,758 (1.2K increase).

What the CIPR PRide Awards’ judges said:

RNN Communications had a challenging brief against the backdrop of Covid’s impact on the events and hospitality industries. The campaign had clear targets, a sound strategy that leveraged influential stakeholders and their networks, and a blend of integrated tactics. Results were impressive with visitor and exhibitor numbers exceeding targets, sales figures growing and a high proportion of new stakeholders attracted to the event.