How TechArk Reimagined the Annual Taste Of India Event
Taste of India is one of the largest Asian Indian Festivals in Virginia, celebrating the culture, cuisine and people of India.
It is the collaborative effort of hundreds of Indians living in Hampton Roads, who desire to share this unique heritage with our friends and neighbors, and it is one of the most popular cultural single-day events in the region. For the first time ever, a Marketing Committee was formed to highlight Taste of India.
The concept of bringing in a Marketing Team was put forth by Dr. Vinod Agarwal and Dr. Vishnu Lakdawala—both of them have volunteered selflessly over a decade to support this event. In February 2018, Dr. Agarwal reached out to TechArk and Seventh Point to help its existing team with marketing strategies to promote this event.
TechArk was excited to be a part of planning and executing an exceptional collaborative effort with two goals: 1) attract more attendees than any year previously and 2) break records for food sales.
In a series of in-person meetings over the next couple of weeks, our teams brainstormed various ideas on how to reimagine the marketing efforts.
- The 2017 attendance numbers for the event were around 7,000
- We were given a goal of 1,000 additional attendees for 2018
- Our total goal of attendees was 8,000
Once we defined the target audience, we had everything we needed to start planning.
An event of this magnitude needs the attention of a team—one individual alone cannot cut it.
The marketing team brainstormed, collaborated and created an extensive marketing plan. Mike Carosi and Jessica Favaron from Seventh Point pitched in early with campaign ideas while TechArk brought in the creative designers and marketing teams that would unleash the design assets needed for the digital presence. Steve Goad from ODU stepped in to champion the social media efforts.
In collaboration with Seventh Point and the rest of the team, our comprehensive plan included:
- Radio/TV Advertising: Radio spots on WHRO & television commercials on COX network
Special thanks to Dr. Agarwal
- Print Collateral: Pilot Online Event Flyer, Postcard, Booklet and Souvenir Book; Ad for Pilot Online
Special thanks to Dr. Lakdawala & Dr. Aleti
- Billboards: WTKR, Adams Outdoor
Special thanks to Mike & Ha
- Website: TechArk proudly designed the new Taste of India website & partnered with ODU to develop
Special thanks to Ajay Gupta & Mayank Jain
- Social Media: Heavy emphasis on Facebook using TechArk’s freshly-designed, compelling visuals
Special thanks to Steve Goad
- Email Marketing: New email newsletter template designs sent out e-blasts to create awareness
Special thanks to Jessica Favaron
- Sponsors: Tagging, engaging, & sharing content from corporate sponsors encouraged both the sponsors and vendors to promote Taste of India independently, increasing awareness
Narrowing our Focus
A few of the gems to emerge from our brainstorm:
- Online quiz to promote engagement
- Share the event details with various community calendars
- Leverage social media content at strategic times on specific platforms
- Involve sponsors and advertisers to expand reach
- Connect personally with supporters and audiences to spread the word
In the final weeks before the event we looked back to see what we had accomplished and the results were very promising:
- We surpassed 1,000 new likes on Facebook
- Email, TV, Radio, Online and Print Ads
- We monitored the traffic we were getting on the redesigned website
- Social channels lighting up with engaging comments, shares and likes
Finally, the day arrived. The twelfth annual Taste of India event opened at 11:00 am. It was a gorgeous day and we all knew that we had done our part, now it was time to learn how successful our efforts had been…
The Results Are In:
- 8,500 attendees
22% increase over the previous year
7% higher than our goal
- Record-breaking food sales
Mission Accomplished! Looking forward to another banner event in 2019 🙂
TechArk was proud to Reimagine the 12th Annual Taste of India event in Hampton Roads!