2008 FESTIVAL SPONSORSHIP REVIEW The 24th annual Vancouver International Fringe Festival was an amazing success. Many new initiatives were wildly successful and we will continue to see them grow in 2009. 88 % of audience members surveyed said 2008 was “the best Fringe ever” and 99% said they would definitely be returning next year. This is the type of community support we set out to achieve and we were overwhelmed with the response. During the 12 days of the Festival, 68 groups gathered in Vancouver to compete for Vancouver’s attention. Our new ticketing policy of selling all available tickets in advance rather than holding a per-
centage for sale at the door sent panic through Vancouver audiences. The race for the most popular seats was on. We sold out a record 43 separate performances. This contributed to the general hive of activity on Granville Island as patrons buzzed around the festival site. Other hugely popular successes were changing the Pick of the Fringe into an audience choice award. The buzz built throughout this festival as audience members rated their favourite shows up until the final Saturday. This format allowed the audience to participate in choosing the 4 most popular shows. It was also a perfect fit for
our equal opportunity festival because everyone had a chance to win. The results of the change was doubled attendance for the hold over performances! Our marketing campaign “Find Yourself at the Fringe” was universally embraced because of its humour and connection with our belief that whoever you are and whatever you are looking for, the Fringe is for everyone. The campaign had many executions including a print campaign in the Georgia Straight, 35,000 program guides, facebook and myspace promotions as well as our website.
NEW ADDITIONS TO OUR TO OUR MARKETING CAMPAIGN IN 2008
Photograph by Zuzia Juszkiewicz
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a generously sponsored print campaign in Vancouver 24 hrs, program distribution in racks at 52 Blenz locations in BC (17,000 copies) program distribution through our Vancouver 24 hrs street ambassadors (6000 copies). a generously sponsored bus poster campaign through Lamar outdoor advertising placing a poster inside 500 Vancouver city buses. • Increased promotional emails sent to our member database (20,000 members) featuring cross promotional activities with Zipcar
Sponsors played a strong role in promoting the Fringe festival. Aside from essential cash contributions, sponsors strengthened our presence with promotions as mentioned above and in-kind product and service donations.
Returning sponsors, leading the way! CMHC Granville Island, Grolsch, Fido, CTV, Industry Images, Speedpro Imaging, and Aquabus lead the way by providing vital services and support to the Festival.
WELCOME TO OUR NEW SPONSORS Blenz came on in a big way, distributing programs, creating cross promotional activities for Blenz and Fringe customers, setting up and staffing a fully operational espresso bar for the duration of the festival and holding a latte art competition as a special event! Vancouver 24 hrs generously donated ad space and the use of their street “hawkers” for program distribution. Zipcar jumped in with a ZIP treatment promotional contest for our Opening Night Gala guests. They chauffeured 10 lucky guests to and from the gala. They also provided ZIpcars for staff to use for
festival operations. Penske trucks filled a true need with their donation of trucking! The Mark Anthony Group came on with Wildhorse Canyon Wine for the Grolsch Fringe Bar and Coffeehouse and other special events. At this year’s Festival, sponsors received added exposure to highlight their participation in and support of this year’s Festival. According to preliminary figures, the Festival attracted record numbers of media impressions and opportunities to see the Fringe in the media. Below are some the events where sponsors were recognized for their participation.
OPENING NIGHT GALA & AUCTION FUNDRAISER, SEPT. 3rd 2008 The Opening Night Gala is our signature fundraising event. It harnesses the excitement of the festival and launches artists and audience into an 11 day onslaught of performances.
opening night gala: silent auction
A wide-ranging collection of silent auction items tempted the sold out audience of artists, VIP guests and fringe enthusiasts. CTV news anchor Keri Adams then kicked off the show at the Granville Island Stage. Comedian Charlie Demers introduced 15 diverse acts presenting excerpts of their upcoming shows. After a break to make final auction bids and feast on fine catering from the Edge CafĂŠ, the live auction helped push the overall total of money received to almost $20,000, double last yearâ€™s figure. A take home bag including items from sponsors and local businesses was happily received as the audience headed over to the Grolsch Fringe Bar and Coffeehouse to celebrate.
Photograph by Jackie Dives
GROLSCH FRINGE BAR AND COFFEEHOUSE
For the second year in a row, Grolsch sponsored our popular social hub for the festival. A combo lounge with a collection of sofas for conversations and bar with live performances and dance floor, the Grolsch Fringe Bar and Coffeehouse became the place to visit for performers, Festival goers, sponsors, and visiting
dignitaries. The presence of a full scale espresso bar from Blenz made the experience complete this year. Sponsor signage and items were displayed and available for purchase. The space, a vacant woodworking studio was again generously donated by Granville Island.
The Grolsch Fringe Bar and Coffeehouse also featured promotional activities of some of our sponsors who demonstrated and sampled products and information.
VENUE NAMING Signature Partners had the opportunity this year to sponsor one of the six principal performance venues located on and near Granville Island. Outdoor signage prominently displayed a sponsorâ€™s relationship with
the venue throughout the Festival. All Festival goers and passersby had the opportunity to recognize the active role the sponsor was playing in the Festival.
WEBSITE Our website attracted a lot of attention this year from visitors around the world. Detailed information on the Festival, our sponsors, the shows, and the various activities happening was posted and regularly updated. In August September, there were over 40,000 visits to our site which sees almost 70,000 per year. Sponsors logos and descriptions are given their own page on the website.
Sponsor logos were also included across all print platforms this year. This included 35,000 Festival program guides, posters, our print media campaign, sponsor boards displayed at all principal venues, and for signature sponsors on the large bridge banner greeting all 400,000 visitors passing under the Granville Island entrance sign. This year’s added bonus was logo inclusion in 10 e-newsletters to our database of 20,000.
PROGRAM GUIDE We were very pleased with the launch of our newly formatted Program Guide. The newsprint format is a certified “Environmental Choice” and allowed us to distribute 35,000 with a reduced environmental impact. Patrons embraced the look and feel and usability of it.
Photograph by Jackie Dives
A marketing report will be published later this year further detailing impact of marketing activities.
COMING UP AT THE FRINGE
Plans for the 2009 Fringe Festival are underway with plans for expanded venue presence on Granville Island and new special events and promotions. The 25th Anniversary will be an exciting edition and will present new opportunities for the involvement of sponsors. As you have experienced, we aim to evolve each sponsor partnership so that you become an integral part of our burgeoning activity. We look forward to speaking to you in the coming months about continuing to create partnerships that build the profile of the Fringe Festival in Vancouver and help us deliver our mission: â€œTheatre for Everyone!â€?
Photography by Lawrence Lu (with a few exceptions)