Hedgehog Hall of Fame: Wirehive - The Wirehive100 Awards and League Table
30th August 2013
The Wirehive100 Awards and League Table
Event of the Year, South, Shortlisted
Wirehive is a website hosting company with a specialist focus on digital agencies. The event they created was the first ever digital agency awards and league table specifically recognising digital agencies in the South/South East which are based outside of London.
Their primary objective for holding the event was to raise Wirehive’s profile amongst their target audience within the South of England, and thus make them the definitive hosting choice for digital agencies in the region and beyond.
The secondary objective was to make use of the publicity and gravitas generated from the awards and league table title, to develop relationships with potential new partners and foster leads with new clients. To be able to recoup some of the investment put into this event, they wanted to win at least two new clients as a result of it. By organising and holding this event, communications were opened with the target audience, facilitating conversations that enabled Wirehive to increase understanding of their business, and generate trust amongst their target clients.
Without an actual conversation, many agencies don’t fully understand the differences between Wirehive’s specialist, targeted offering and the ‘pile ‘em high, sell ‘em cheap’ packages offered by the ‘big players’ in the market. They wanted to position themselves as a credible, managed, hosting authority who understands the intricacies and challenges of the technical projects which these agencies work on.
- Potential new clients within the digital sphere, including web design & development, digital marketing, e-commerce, mobile and app development and social media.
- Potential partner organisations, such as specialist digital service providers.
By introducing this awards event, Wirehive wanted to leverage the insight they’d garnered from their existing agency clients, into the difficulties of winning industry recognition when up against particularly large London based agencies.
In targeting their awards and league table to those based in the South but specifically outside
of London, Wirehive hoped to attract the attention of would-be clients, existing clients and possible partner businesses in a positive way, in order to highlight their position as a digital agency specialist.
In addition by carefully selecting the category titles for the awards, Wirehive wanted to create an optimum selection of relevant opportunities for the target agencies to have their ‘moment of awards glory’.
As an awards event for tech industry leaders used to attending big awards events in London, Wirehive wanted a venue with the wow factor - Mercedes-Benz world in Surrey met the brief. They needed a five star production but on ‘first year’ budgets, so they negotiated creatively with partners and sold an impressive £10k of sponsorship to ensure they created a night to be proud of. Wirehive hired a well-known balloon artist and table magician to entertain guests. They also created a strong website (100.wirehive.net) and some key, excellently produced mailers to spread the word. Business cards and postcards were given out at digital networking events in the region and Wirehive also spoke at relevant industry events to promote the awards.
Expert negotiations secured them the services of Russell Kane as compere for the night - they knew a well-known compere was essential as additional leverage in selling the event. To promote the awards, they created an integrated campaign of print communications and social media support to engage with their targets and build momentum for the event. All collateral, from table centres, to print media, to the video backdrop and electronic communications were heavily Wirehive branded and coordinated. On the night they presented 11 category awards, as well as the Top 100 No.1 itself, which was the finale of the ceremony, to a sell-out audience of 160 key agency figures from across the South of England.
- During the event itself, Wirehive scheduled numerous meetings with potential new clients, two of which ended up becoming customers.
- Wirehive are still seeing new business leads from those that attended the awards and those who have heard of them through word-of-mouth about the awards. In fact, in the last week of this being written, two new business meetings have been set up.
- Wirehive were mentioned in 5 blog posts prior to the event, and then in 10 more following the night – excellent for a first year event
- Satisfaction surveys were sent out to all attendees following the night, of which 25% completed it; Wirehive received a net promoter score of 60.
- They also received written feedback in each survey, for which aspects such as entertainment, venue and organisation were mentioned the highest in a positive light.
By using all of the written feedback from the post-event survey, Wirehive have identified the key points to build on for the 2013 awards including further upgrades to food and drink and additional after-party entertainment. There will also be more use of social media during the build-up, on the night itself and following the 2013 awards.
They are planning to almost double capacity - there was a large waiting list for the 2012 event, and are also going to add some new categories for next year, whilst at the same time keeping in mind the optimal duration for the ceremony (i.e not too long, as people want to party!)
PR support has increased, with the employment of a full-time marketing & PR manager to help with the organisation and implementation of the 2013 event.
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