Gelato in July

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ISIS Waterside Regeneration (now Waterside Places) asked us to take on Islington Wharf in Manchester where sales and lettings had stalled 2 years after completion.

Launching a new scheme is relatively easy – maintaining momentum and interest 2-3 years on is harder. With a view to raising awareness of Islington Wharf and driving footfall into the area, we devised and managed several events, specifically designed to further enhance the reputation and raise the media profile of the scheme.  In less than a month we created the first ‘Gelato in July’, an ice cream festival which celebrated the Italian heritage of the area, Ancoats.

Working with local historian Tony Rea, whose family made ice cream locally in the 1930s, we developed a multi faceted event for prospective and existing residents, prospective commercial tenants, locals and passers by.  The Rea family ice cream van was accompanied by traditional live music, an exhibition of original photographs and ice cream paraphernalia and a fascinating

slideshow and talk from Tony. Fresh coffee and Italian deli food also went down very well.

The event was a great success with over 500 people attending throughout the day, many visiting Islington Wharf for the first time. Several hot sales leads were generated which resulted in a record number of sales for the month, the best performing month that year. The event generated regional media coverage across print and online, including the front page of the North East Manchester Advertiser and featured in CityCo’s summer promotion of Manchester city centre.

The following year we held a second, bigger Gelato in July. The 5-hour event attracted 1,400 people to the site. 45 prospective buyers requested viewings of the apartments. Two existing business operators visited the site on the day and within 6 months, the Manchester scheme was fully occupied. The event won Silver in the Best Event category at the CIPR Pride Awards 2011.