How we organised the #IndieEaster Egg Hunt in Midhurst, by @Midhurst_Team

This guest blog was provided by Melanie Burgoyne, Rural Towns Coordinator, Economic Development (Partnership Projects) at Chichester District Council…

Having been contacted about ‘Indie Easter’, I suggested the scheme to the Midhurst Reward Card group as they were already committed to doing a promotion for Easter but yet to decide what. This way, we already had a committed group of 15 businesses and I was able to bring in others so that we had over 20 taking part. The Town Team has been able to lend support through both my time coordinating the hunt and has also by planning the publicity. The Town Team Chair, John Quilter, issued our Press Release to all local media and was able to get a piece on local radio. The Press Release went out to all local media in time to hit the editions in the week leading up to launch; we followed up the next week with another release and a picture of our first winners resulting in another story.

The Key to success – planning, face to face contact with retailer participants, and LOTS of local PR…

window poster imageThe week before launch, the businesses were hand-delivered a pack containing detailed guidelines along with their maps, posters and stickers. The businesses had been told in advance when to expect their packs and what they would be getting, which did help with preparation.

Hundreds of maps were distributed to the local primary schools and day nurseries – the latter were particularly keen to have the maps as they could plan in to do the hunt as an activity with the children.

We chose to have one central point where shoppers could take their completed maps to collect their eggs and certificates. To add value to the ‘hunt’ we included a Prize Draw to win £100 to spend in any of the participating businesses – to qualify, shoppers have to answer a set of questions about what is available to buy in Midhurst.

Feedback from the community… Success = Community engagement

Feedback has been very positive so far with lots of children collecting their certificates and eggs. We have also had adults keen to find out the answers to the questions to qualify for the prize draw. The hunt  has had the desired effect of encouraging people into businesses which they previously hadn’t visited and some businesses have got new customers as a result. Generally, though, it has been a positive awareness raising exercise so far. The cold weather has had an impact as many parents have rushed their children round – hopefully the expected milder weather to come will encourage people to spend more time out.

Being adaptable, responding to consumer reactions – lessons learned for the future that will benefit ALL towns!

bunny and eggWe have had to adapt along the way too – children love the sticker collecting element so much that they don’t want to relinquish their maps once completed. The collecting point is “signing off” their map (so it can’t be used again to claim an egg) and the children can then keep it. We are still able to collect the addresses for the prize draw as these are on the other side of the map.

We have enjoyed the opportunity to take part in this scheme and the national element has already resulted in a contact from the trade press – FE magazine wanting to feature what Midhurst did for Easter in their next edition.

Summing up our approach in Midhurst, John Quilter said ‘’ We have a town with its historic roots in the past but its eyes on the future.  We are very grateful for the help of schemes such as this and will strive to be active in any future similar opportunities’’

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About Clare Bailey

Clare Bailey, The Retail Champion (formerly Clare Rayner), is one of the most well-known and respected retail experts in the UK. With unrivalled knowledge in retail, high streets and consumer matters, she offers unbiased, independent content – whether engaged as a professional speaker, for broadcast media, or for a written feature. Clare is a business woman, entrepreneur and founder of several small businesses. Having been born into a family of successful business owners, it was inevitable that she’d eventually jump off the corporate treadmill and step out on her own! Today her brand portfolio includes The Retail Champion, The Retail Conference, the Future High Street Summit and the Support for Independent Retail campaign. In addition, she is co-founder of Mobaro Retail UK and a non-exec director of Beed Virtual Assistant Services. Having started her career as a fast-track store management trainee for McDonalds, she went on to work with leading retailers such as M&S, Dixons and Argos. She moved swiftly into management roles before being headhunted into senior consulting roles with global software giant SAP, and international management consulting brand, Accenture. Her corporate background in senior retail, consulting and technology roles, coupled with her experience of creating and running her own business, has enabled her to be equally capable whether consulting to global brands or micro businesses. This unique blend has not only positioned her as a leading expert in all things retail, but has enabled her to add meaningful commentary and insight to the debate around the future of the high street, and, how technology is driving fundamental change in the way consumers, and businesses, interact. Clare has become an influential voice in her field, which has resulted in her becoming a regular media contributor and sought-after conference speaker. Often seen on Good Morning Britain, BBC Breakfast, Sky News, and Chanel 5 (to name a few), Clare speaks on a myriad of retail, high street and consumer issues – but is particular adept when it comes to explaining the context behind retail trading results, newly released data, and government stats, in a palatable and informative manner. In addition to broadcast and conference speaking, Clare is the proud author of two best-selling business books published by Kogan Page - The Retail Champion: 10 Steps to Retail Success, published July 2012 and How to Sell to Retail: The Secrets of Getting Your Product to Market, published February 2013. She has provided contributions to various academic texts, including Retail Marketing Management (published by Pearson). With an engaging, conversational yet informative style, Clare writes for press and content agencies, providing features, articles, blogs and opinion pieces as well as contributions to white papers and reports. However, when the situation demands a more serious style, Clare can deliver - In 2016 she wrote an extensive report for a major insurance and risk law firm, as a retail expert witness, to support a public liability suit. She found that project particularly enjoyable as it played well to her strengths – assimilating large amounts of data and information, identifying the key points and articulating that in an understandable manner. When not on TV or speaking at conferences, Clare’s “day job” sees her supporting consumer-facing businesses through her consultancy services. When asked to describe what she most loves about retail consulting it is typically the opportunity to “dig deep”, getting “under the bonnet”, in order to leverage the business data to uncover the insights that lead to “lightbulb moments”. She also loves working on business change programmes that centre on improving the processes and systems to increase profitability by supporting more rapid, better informed decision making, improving the customer experience, or simply by become more efficient and streamlined. In this respect she considers herself a “business engineer” with a brain that works like a relational database! Due to her years of experience, her logical, objective approach, her quick, rational thinking, she is known for being able to cut through complexity, seeing right through to the crux of issues, finding creative solutions that others may have overlooked. As if all that wasn’t enough, Clare is a working mum, juggling a home life in rural Lincolnshire with her partner, their 5 kids, 4 cats, and geriatric Labrador! For all enquiries, contact Clare directly on 01727 238890 or email champion@retailchampion.co.uk.
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