The summer of 2022 saw Gray’s operate at its highest ever level. With 19 days’ worth of events packed into a seven-week window, it marked our busiest period to date while still observing regular office hours and duties for our vast portfolio of clients.
This period required huge elements of planning, delivery and teamwork with input across all of Gray’s departments. Together, we were able to successfully achieve our clients’ goals and position ourselves as one of Ireland’s leading event organisers.
Our biggest operation was in fact a series of events, with no fewer than seven family-friendly fun days taking place across June, July and August. This ‘roadshow’ took us to six towns across Northern Ireland, building key relationships within our client’s communities. A large focus was placed on sourcing local suppliers for these events, which included influencer chefs, ice cream vans, children’s entertainment, games and activities, as well as educational components to raise awareness on the importance of biodiversity.
Additional marketing and communications support for the fun days included digital, print and radio advertising, content creation and social media activity.
Foyle Maritime Festival
The return of the Foyle Maritime Festival, which included the famed Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, was among the highlights of the Northwest’s calendar this summer. With more than 150,000 visitors expected across the five-day festival, it was also a prime opportunity to service another one of our clients. We duly obliged by planning and staging a programme of interactive and educational activities, including a custom-built mobile trailer and an immersive VR experience.
We offered further support through press releases, media engagement, content creation, social media activity and the management of booking systems.
While the Foyle Maritime Festival was taking place, so too was the O’Neills Foyle Cup, an internationally recognised youth football tournament which returned for the first time since 2019 due to the pandemic. Gray’s was commissioned to support the Foyle Cup for all communications requirements in 2022.
This year marked the 30th edition of the tournament, with a record number of team entries and participating players. Our communications support included the writing and issuing of press releases pre, post and during the event, as well as producing a series of human-interest pieces covering a variety of angles such as female participation, international presence and disability sport. We also engaged directly with publications and broadcasters, ensuring placement for the Foyle Cup in both the local and national media.
Gray’s also assisted with the Foyle Cup’s press launch and the parade. The launch was held at University’s Magee campus with professional player Aaron McEneff attending as the guest of honour. A few weeks later the parade set off from the same location as over 450 teams marched through the streets of Derry. Having issued invites to local and national media, we were on hand on both occasions to manage the press and facilitate interviews with tournament organisers and participants.
Another major event of the summer saw Gray’s organise a two-day national conference, with an estimated 200 delegates attending from across the island of Ireland.
The management of this event involved the arrangement of guest speakers, running booking systems, seating plans, producing welcome packs and AV support. Further support included chaperoning VIP guests, PR activity, digital advertising and managing social media.
In the retail sector, Gray’s was responsible for organising two large events over the summer period, with one involving a collaboration with local side Derry City Football Club. Marketing and communications activity was involved in both events, particularly social media and content creation.
Summer of success at Gray’s
As an ‘eventful’ summer drew to a close, we were finally able to squeeze in a celebratory team lunch – as you’ll see from the photos! All of the activity mentioned above is just a glimpse of what Gray’s is capable of delivering throughout the year. Regardless of the size of the event, our dedicated team has the experience and expertise to plan out every detail and make it a success. If you’re planning an upcoming event and think you could benefit from some top-class support, get in touch with us today to take advantage of our complete suite of marketing and communications services, which can be tailored to suit your requirements.