Encouraging trade partnerships between the UK and Asia

GREAT Festival of Innovation for the Department for International Trade
Challenges

Positioning UK innovation in Asia

The GREAT Festival of Innovation was an event organised by the UK Government’s Department for International Trade (DIT). Held in Hong Kong from 21 to 24 March 2018 at Asia Society Hong Kong Center, the Festival was to be the biggest UK-overseas joint trade event that UK Government has ever delivered. Welcoming 1,600 attendees, nearly 300 UK businesses and 180 high profile speakers, the Festival brought together the brightest minds from across Asia and the UK in a series of talks, workshops and performances. With Brexit in 2016, the UK faced international skepticism over its global economic position and trade relations. Sinclair was appointed as PR partner to demonstrate the UK’s strength in global trade and position them as a leader in creative ingenuity and innovation. Changing perception was critical.

Approach

Insight
Research conducted in 2016 indicated that the majority of Hong Kong SAR and mainland China respondents did not view the UK as an ‘innovative’ country.

Strategy
Used influence of speakers and UK senior government ministers to deliver key messages to the target audience via strategic earned media placements across the APAC region, and amplify messaging via social media channels such as WeChat and LinkedIn.

Monitoring
Research and daily monitoring was implemented to aid with tailored pitching with relevance to current market topics and trends. This also ensured full preparedness for any possible issues.

Engage
Target media were invited to the pre-event launches and four-day festival to meet with speakers and engage directly with government officials.

Advocates
Engaged and prepared organisers, speakers and stakeholders to take part in media interviews on behalf of the festival from different perspectives.

Partnerships
Briefing packs ensured consistent messaging across stakeholder communications, while media partnerships guaranteed impactful editorial features.

GREAT Festival of Innovation - featured image
Outcomes
+1,030
stories across sectors including business, technology, trade, lifestyle, and more
+3.15 billion
reached across local, regional and international publications
+100
media at events organised
  • Solidified UK’s position as a country open for business, international collaboration and prime with investment opportunities with +90% key message hit rate in all coverage
  • Created lasting legacy of the Festival with 939 digital articles, 60 print articles and 84 opinion piece and interview features which showcase the UK as a driver of innovation
  • Successfully spread awareness of the Festival in target Asia regions with 422 articles secured in mainland China, 43 in Singapore and 7 in Japan
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