OTTAWA, June 10, 2011 /CNW/ - The number of festivals in Ottawa has
exploded over the past decade. With so many great events to choose
from, getting the message out about your festival is critical to its
success. That's why the Preston Street BIA is connecting with
festival-goers through the use of social media. "We have noted a real
shift in how our patrons get the information they need to plan their
social lives", notes Mario Giannetti, Chairman of the Preston Street
BIA. " We have set the goal to provide the information in any format
Using web sites, Facebook and a YouTube video channel, the Preston
Street BIA is making the news about what is happening in Little Italy
accessible in multiple formats.
Building upon Little Italy's already-established online presence, the
BIA has hired Dean Emerick of OnlineMarketing711.com, to leverage the power of Social Media. "People still like to read, to
listen and to watch, but now they do it online," Mr. Emerick states.
"With 90% of consumers going online to find local businesses, keywords
are like highways. If you put your billboards next to highways, there
is just that much more traffic that is going to see it." As well the
BIA's in-house web expert analyses the number of "hits" to the websites
including how many of those are unique visitors, where they are
referred from, and what keywords got them there. By staying on top of
these "traffic reports" the BIA is able to fine-tune their strategy and
expand their reach.
The BIA recently adopted QR—or Quick Response—codes for their signage,
posters and Facebook site. This technology is relatively new to North
America. A QR code is a barcode that points to a website. Users of
Smartphones with an installed reader simply have to point the camera in
their phone at the QR code for the website to upload directly into the
phone's browser. QR codes provide a faster response because they point
to the precise page eliminating the requirement to go to a website and
search for the appropriate link. This allows the BIA to route patrons
directly to the information they want.
Ottawa Little Italy Festival, the finale weekend of Italian Week, will
be the first of the BIA's festivals to tap into this new technology.
The QR code has gone up on signage and posters and traffic to the prestonstreet.com website has grown by 200,000 visits in the first week of June alone.
Fully 25% of those visitors are coming through Blackberries. The new
website developed for Little Italy Festival, olifest.com has seen
better than anticipated traffic.
"Our next step is to develop a smartphone-friendly website that is
easily viewed through the smaller screens of these devices," says Sean
Martin, the BIA's in-house electronic media expert.
The final weekend of Italian Week is being branded as Ottawa Little
Italy Festival, to better distinguish the two weekends of Italian Week.
Attracting upwards of 125,000 attendees the Ottawa Little Italy
Festival boasts that its street party is arguably the best AND
longest-running street party in Ottawa. The weekends' events include
the Ottawa Ferrari Festival, Italian Car Parade and Show and the
Preston Criterium Bike Race, fireworks, music and amusement rides. The
festival runs June 17 - 19, and the full program can be found at olifest.com.
SOURCE Preston Street BIA
For further information:
Preston Street Business Improvement Association