Blog : events

Feeling GINspired at the Drinks Roadshow Edinburgh

Feeling GINspired at the Drinks Roadshow Edinburgh

The Drinks Roadshow hit Edinburgh last week – bringing a free trade tasting and networking event to Checkpoint, Bristo Place.

It was a great chance to mix with the industry and sample a neat range of wines, craft beers and premium spirits.  This included some of the newest Scottish gins making their mark in the market from Edinburgh’s Ian Macleod to Porter’s Gin in Aberdeen and Makar Glasgow Gin to Strathearn from Perthshire.

As a gin fan and a comms professional, I really enjoyed hearing about their products – all had an interesting story to share around how their gin was brought to life. And, clearly they all have a secret botanical recipe behind their unique flavours and character.

A gin masterclass with the Gin Foundry’s Olivier Ward on the day helped lift my knowledge in this area too. Thanks to his accomplished expertise on the Juniper based nectar and his innovative Tasting Wheel – he had my fellow Stripe and I tasting gin like a pro. Post-sesh we could decipher the nutty from the herbaceous and wax lyrical to all about locating the botanical notes.

It also opened my palate to the realisation that I don’t always have to drown my gin in Fever Tree or Fentimans – just a splash or on the rocks will often do nicely. Strathearn’s Oaked Highland Gin in particular stood out here – described as being ‘whisky meets gin’ it’s a great after dinner affair. While Makar Glasgow Gin’s simple serving suggestion of adding a slice of chilli with tonic was, for me, the perfect combination.

After a lot of debate, tasting and discussion, what I left feeling most excited about was the realisation that the ‘Gin revival’ is not showing any signs of slowing down. Gin now contributes £1.6bn to the UK economy – with seventy per cent of this being produced here in Scotland.  What’s more, it seems we’ve become a nation of gin drinkers – apparently we drank a million litres of gin in Scotland last year with Edinburgh drinking more than any other city!

A recent Mintel report has also shown that it’s younger consumers who are really starting to drive growth in this category.  More than two in five (42%) Brits aged 18-34 had drunk gin last year compared with 27% of over-45s.

The younger audience aren’t just drinking it either – some are having a go at crafting it too. It’s three friends from up North that are behind Porter’s Gin. The entrepreneurial trio became the first to start distilling gin in Aberdeen for 100 years, after collaborating with the UK’s oldest distillers G&J to bring their premium gin to the market.  While Luke Smith, a distiller for Poetic License – a Sunderland based gin –  told us how he started distilling gin in his kitchen before venturing into crafting it for a living.

With so much passion behind the craft, it’s easy to see why there are so many exciting gins being produced right across the country. While the gin bubble isn’t ready to pop, it seems like a week doesn’t go by without another new launch to market.

For gin fans everywhere, this makes for an exciting time.  But for the ever-growing range of artisan and craft brands it simply means more competition in an already busy marketplace. Working hard to achieve standout and gain an edge while staying true to their craft nature will therefore be key to maintaining growth and driving sales.  The versatility of this spirit and its appeal to a broad range of audiences presents a huge opportunity however, to drive even more ‘gin-novation’ and forge a strong brand image that really connects with consumers.

Check out this Scottish Ginfographic map from 5pm.co.uk too – a worthy road trip, I reckon.

5pm Gin Map of Scotland

 

 

 

 

Full Speed Ahead For Team Stripe at Mountain Bike World Cup 2016

Full Speed Ahead For Team Stripe at Mountain Bike World Cup 2016

The UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Fort William has legendary status amongst the global mountain bike community. Every year, thousands of fans, riders and media make the pilgrimage up to the Scottish Highlands to watch the sport’s elite stars battle it out on the slopes of Aonach Mor in the hope of winning a World Cup crown.

This year, organisers Rare Management, tasked Stripe with building pre-event awareness and engagement on and offline to help drive ticket sales and excitement.

It’s the eighth consecutive year Stripe has been responsible for delivering communications activity at one of Scotland’s major annual sporting events. Our role is multi-faceted and ranges from maximising opportunities to raise the profile of the event through media relations, social media activity and stakeholder engagement to managing UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) media accreditation and photographers from across the globe in the onsite press office.

With a shift towards a more clearly defined digital strategy, we used Facebook and Twitter as our key communication channels to connect and resonate with die-hard fans, as well as engaging with families looking for something different to capture their kids’ imaginations.

Mountain Bike World Cup 2016-Steve Peat and Legends of the future

Supported by strong media moments, including a high impact press launch with Fort William legend, Steve Peat, we achieved some great media cut through for a sport that continues to struggle for column inches in the British press. The results have so far been epic, and we’re not just talking about this year’s winning riders, Rachel Atherton and Greg Minnaar, who stole the show in the women’s and men’s elite downhill events.

Mountain Bike World Cup 2016-female winners-stripe

In the month leading up to the downhill action, our social media content reached more than 450,000 people – almost 7,000 Facebook page views and 44,000 post engagements took place during the event alone, where activity peaked.

We also secured a wide variety of earned media coverage in national print, broadcast and online media titles, as well as mountain bike trade magazines.

Early indications suggest it’s been a bumper year for ticket sales.

Thanks to the glorious Highland sunshine as well as some incredible sporting moments, there’s no doubt this year’s Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup has been one of the best yet.

Mountain Bike World Cup 2016-bowl-Stripe

Showtime for ScottishPower Energy Networks

Showtime for ScottishPower Energy Networks

We donned our wellies and raincoats and headed to Ingliston to help launch a new school travel funding scheme between SP Energy Networks and the Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET).

The scheme offered Scottish schools the chance to visit the UK’s largest agricultural event, the Royal Highland Show, to find out more about food, farming and staying safe around electricity with SP Energy Networks’ award-winning PowerWise education programme.

Through an interactive safety trail, over 300 kids learned all about electricity and got to witness an electrifying pyrotechnics display showing the devastating consequences of hitting a power line.

Sparky, the PowerWise crow, flew in to help out – and pose for this pic with Stripes Jen and Georgia.

Find out more about the PowerWise programme at www.powerwise.org.uk

Serving up Happier Mealtimes

Serving up Happier Mealtimes

Healthy, tasty food is something of a passion for us here at Stripe so we’re very proud to have helped launch the Scottish Government’s ‘Happier Mealtimes’ campaign.

It’s all about championing the sourcing and eating of fresh, in-season food which is nutritious, tastes delicious and also has environmental benefits.

We kicked it off with a taste test of delicious samples at a pop-up food kitchen in Edinburgh’s Festival Square.

The four-week campaign offers advice on how to find and use fresh, in-season foods as well as easy to make, tasty recipes from some of Scotland’s leading chefs and food organisations.

The pop-up food kitchen is also on the road to spread the ‘Happier Mealtimes’ message across the country so keep your eyes peeled!

Find out more at Greener Scotland.

Stripe launches new events division

Stripe launches new events division

Stripe Communications, today announced the creation of a new dedicated events division, Stripe Events.Stripe Events begins its tenure by taking over the franchise for the Taste of Edinburgh Festival from London-based company, Brand Events who have run the event for the past three years. The deal will see Stripe Events run the Taste of Edinburgh event until 2013 and will immediately double the company’s turnover.

The expansion comes hot on the heels of Stripe’s announcement as CIPR’s Outstanding PR Consultancy 2009 and its Gold award recognition for CIPR’s Best Integrated Campaign for Taste of Edinburgh 2009.

Stripe Managing Director Juliet Simpson comments, “This is an exciting new era for Stripe. The creation of Stripe Events builds on our experience of supporting events such as UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, E4 Udderbelly, Edinburgh’s Christmas and Hogmanay and Glasgow’s Christmas. It’s a natural move for our strong consumer PR division who over the last three years have worked successfully with Taste of Edinburgh as well as a number of high-profile food and drink clients.”

The Taste of Edinburgh event puts the spotlight on Scotland’s finest local producers and restaurants, offering event-goers the opportunity to sample taster dishes from Edinburgh’s top restaurants, combined with workshops, producers markets and tasting sessions, as leading chefs showcase their talent in the on-site demonstration kitchens. Set in Inverleith Park from 28th May – 30th May 2010, the team at Stripe are planning an even bigger and better line up this year, showcasing the very best of Scotland’s celebrated national larder.