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15% increase in bookings – helping Lichfield Festival meet the needs of a digital audience

There’s no denying that the technological and digital advances of recent years have opened up a whole new world of opportunities all round.

But it’s also another area in which businesses and organisations are having to compete. Let’s face it, people now expect to be able to do everything online – and not only that, they want to do it in a matter of minutes. If you can’t keep up, the chances are you’re losing out.

This was the situation being faced by the Lichfield Festival organisers when we were recommended to the charity through our links with the Chamber of Commerce.

Website no longer fit for purpose?

The nine-day festival hosts a jam-packed programme of world-class music, art and entertainment in venues across Lichfield every year. It has become an important date in the West Midlands calendar and brings some top names to the area.

However, the old website was no longer fit for purpose and was not in line with what people expected from such a popular and well put-together event.

A good website should be helping you to grow and achieve bigger and better things all the time. As soon as it’s become a hindrance, it’s time to call in the experts.

This is where we stepped in. We are proud to have become an official partner of the Lichfield Festival and, as creative bods ourselves, are happy to support initiatives which encourage creativity and innovation.

Identifying goals to rapidly boost business

Although it’s a charity, we approached this project as we approach any web design and web development brief. And the first step is always taking time to understand a business or organisation’s goals and objectives.

It’s no good creating a shiny new all-singing, all-dancing website if it doesn’t help you achieve your current and long-term objectives.

The Lichfield Festival website needed to better meet the needs of an increasingly digital audience, provide a better service for those accessing the site from their mobile phones, attract new and younger audiences and capture the data of users to help shape future festivals.

What we did:

Improved booking – The Lichfield Festival is made up of dozens of events at a variety of venues. Previously, people booking online were immediately diverted to the Lichfield Garrick website and had to do everything in triplicate. Festival organisers had no way of monitoring sales without contacting the Garrick directly. It was unhelpful and time consuming.

There is now a seamless transition for people booking events and organisers can manage and monitor bookings at all times.

Improved flexibility – The previous system used an older style CMS and didn’t have any real flexibility. Now content can be added quicker, galleries are better and events can be managed much more easily.

Mobile phone friendly – Most people now use their smart phones to access the internet so making sure your website is mobile friendly is a fundamental aspect of web design. The Lichfield Festival site is now much more responsive to mobile phone users and information can be easily shared via social media.

Mapped user journey – Festival organisers now have access to invaluable knowledge and data about who is visiting their website and where they are coming from. This information will be used to help shape future festivals to ensure events appeal to those who are attending.

Meeting objectives – Encouraging participation in the arts and inspiring people to volunteer with the event is a key objective for the Lichfield Festival Association. The new website helps to meet these objectives through the new design and layout.

Fresh new design and layout – The previous site was old and tired. The new website has been redesigned and rebranded so it looks fresh and modern, as well as being much easier to use.

Results

Helen Wiser, Chair of Lichfield Festival, said: “We are absolutely delighted with the new website that Cocoonfxmedia has built for the Lichfield Festival. The company has been a pleasure to work with, offering advice and support throughout the project and accurately translating our ideas into reality.”

Since the new website went live in April, ticket sales have increased against last year and some events have already sold out. Traffic to the website is improved and it is now being visited by a better spread of people from around the country, including increased web traffic from London.”

To find out how your website could be helping you achieve your business goals, contact the Cocoonfxmedia team for more information.