Joining our podcast host, James Dickson, on this week’s episode was ICC Belfast’s head of digital, Charlie McCloskey. During his time with us, he discussed how the venue utilises digital marketing to drive revenue and increase exposure.
Charlie is the first head of digital at the ICC Belfast, having joined in April 2018. He designs and delivers the digital strategy for the venue, using its website and digital marketing channels (such as email marketing and social media) to accomplish his goals.
In the past 18 months, Charlie and the team reviewed all their “customer touchpoints” to work towards improving them, create a more targeted approach and enhancing the customer experience.
Some of the changes they made involved removing steps from their website’s booking forms, improved the seating map and added more information. Within a short space of time after doing this, Charlie found the basket abandonment rate dropped by 30%.
Not only did Charlie dive into the site’s analytics to learn how consumers were using the site, but he conducted surveys to learn customers’ opinions. “The data and the information we got from those responses were, in my mind, the real change in how we developed our website.”
The ICC Belfast has the Ulster Hall and the Waterfront Hall which, not too long ago, all had duel-branding and the same website. This created confusion among consumers who would search for the Ulster Hall and be subsequently presented with the Waterfront Hall logo and vice versa. Moreover, there was limited information on offer about which events were hosted in which hall.
Additionally, creating a brand specifically for the conference side of the business allowed the venue to attract the relevant attention. “It’s had a massive impact on conferencing because it’s made it very clear a) our capability and b) what we represent.” This also diminished any confusion caused by mixing the conference and entertainment aspects of the venue together.
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