Over the past four years, Ybor City Museum Society has turned to B2 to promote its Buildings Alive! Ybor City Architecture Hop, a behind-the-scenes tour of historic buildings in Ybor City that only happens once a year.
For this architecture tour, the buildings are the story. So we made them the stars.
The messaging is focused on the rarely-seen renovation details and little-known historical facts about the buildings, many of which are privately owned and not regularly open to the public.
The messaging also focused on the new elements for this year’s event. It was the first time that Buildings Alive featured a building that was still under construction – the Tampa Baseball Museum at the Al Lopez House. It was a unique opportunity for event attendees to step inside the childhood home of Al Lopez, Tampa’s first Major League Baseball player and National Baseball Hall of Fame, before the conversion to a museum is complete.
Highlighting the new elements of this year’s hop helped us generate media coverage, including segments on two popular local TV shows, “Good Day Tampa Bay” and “Studio 10.” But we didn’t just rely on media coverage to drive event attendance. A strategic and targeted email marketing campaign was developed and implemented.
A series of emails to the Ybor City Museum Society’s robust contact database was sent in the weeks leading up to the event. Each email previewed a few of the buildings on the tour and gave a digital preview of the event with pre- and post-rehabilitation photos and tidbits about the buildings. Two emails were specially developed for the segment of Ybor City Museum Society’s contacts interested in their progress toward opening the Tampa Baseball Museum. These emails highlighted the exclusivity of being one of the first people to see inside the future museum.
With a strong database, good messaging and carefully selected send times, the email open rates were about 45 percent, which is well above industry average.
In addition, we led efforts to contact local groups and associations that could be a conduit to attendees. We contacted architecture and construction industry associations, preservation and historical groups, and university professors teaching architecture and history on behalf of Ybor City Museum Society.
This multi-pronged approach to media relations, email marketing, and community relations proved to be successful. This year’s Buildings Alive had more than 300 attendees – the highest attendance in the event’s history.