In its 20th year on 13th December 2015, it is estimated that the Beverley Festival of Christmas attracted 55,000 visitors generating in the region of £770,000.00 for the local economy.
While the Beverley Festival of Christmas was widely regarded as a success by visitors and rightly celebrated by its stakeholders and a variety of both interesting and important feedback has been gathered to help support the festival moving forward.
Our research shows that almost two-thirds of visitors emanated from outside of the East Riding and half from outside of Beverley itself. More than two-fifths traveled from Europe (7%) or parts of the UK outside of Hull and East Riding (35%) which shows a degree of success in terms of its attraction and the opportunities to increase both attendance and income.
The vast majority visited because of the festival and even more importantly 41% were first time visitors.
Both business and visitors rated the festival overall as either excellent or very good (95% and 96% respectively) and atmosphere, variety of stalls, volume of stalls and food and drink options all rated very highly.
Nearly all visitors (98%) and all businesses (100%) would recommend the festival to friends and family with 72% of visitors said this was extremely likely.
The vast majority said the festival had a positive impact on the town and its reputation.
There was strong support for extending the festival across more days and nights from all sample groups.
The consultation highlights the desire of the Beverley business community to support the events success, motivated not solely by commercial gain but equally, a commitment to the town’s prosperity and community cohesion. Visitors explicitly described the events success, signaled a clear intent to return and their proposed changes were in essence to make a good event great in the future.
There is evidence of much pride within the town and by extension the events it hosts and the challenge, if any remains is to refine the visitor experience, integrate the festival with local businesses further and build on the success of 2015. While the majority of those consulted see the Festival of Christmas as the ‘jewel’ in the events calendar it is prudent to highlight that with subtle changes the festival could be the blue-print that underpins other ERYC events, contributing to both their success and impact in the East Riding.
Areas that were rated less favorably were parking, toilets and signage.
Across all sample groups, awareness, promotion and engagement was rated as less effective, however the vast majority of businesses agreed the events team had delivered a successful festival.
1824 Research & Consultancy Ltd have also compiled an in depth report giving full evaluation of all the research findings at the Beverley Festival of Christmas. Please click on the link below to see the report.