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Summer Christmas celebration at the Bedford Tavern in Brighton, East Sussex
Summer Christmas celebration at the Bedford Tavern in Brighton, East Sussex
Event and promotional ideas for your pub

Anniversary year of promotions

Where:​ Queens Arms, Corton Denham, Somerset

Website: ​

Twitter: ​@QueensArmsPub

The idea: ​A range of promotions, offered throughout the pub’s fifth anniversary year.

How it works:​ All promotions are based on the number five, to mark the pub’s fifth anniversary. They include: five drinks, changing each month, offered at £5 at 5pm on Friday (the fifth day); a monthly draw, from those who have interacted with the pub in one of five ways, to select five winners who each receive a book of vouchers for various offers at the pub and a £5 voucher, plus the chance to win a £250 pub voucher, for those posting a Queens Arms selfie, with four of their friends, on Facebook.

Marketing: ​The five promotions have been marketed via social media, on the pub’s website and in its newsletters and on A5 take-away cards.

Be prepared:​ Staff were involved in the idea process and have received training on the various promotions on offer. A fifth anniversary logo was designed and added to all promotional materials.

Pay-off:​ Reinforces the pub’s continued growth and permanence; support from staff who have been involved in the decision-making process.

Key benefits: ​Drives traffic through the pub’s Facebook and Twitter sites – the pub has enjoyed a substantial increase in followers; offers a point of difference; increased footfall and revenue.

Advice: ​Licensee of the freehold pub, Jeanette Reid, says: “Run anniversary promotions for the full year rather than just the anniversary month. This provides a greater opportunity for return on your investment, with interest in the promotions gaining momentum month on month.”

Best outcome:​ Takings are up by 7% in the first two months.

Summertime Christmas celebration

Where: ​Bedford Tavern, Brighton, East Sussex

The idea:​ The pub hosts a weekend of traditional Christmas celebrations at the end of June each year.

How it works:​ The unseasonal festivities kick-off with a Christmas carol karaoke event on the Friday evening, followed by a Saturday night Christmas Eve party, complete with festive cabaret, and a Sunday three course Christmas lunch with all the trimmings.

Marketing:​ The weekend is promoted largely through word of mouth, with a hard core of regular followers, but also on an A-board outside and via the pub’s Facebook page.

Be prepared:​ The pub was decorated with a Christmas tree and festive decorations whilst a snow machine tipped foam flakes over the pavement outside. A raffle, plus a Yuletide version of the pub’s piano bingo game, raised funds for local HIV charity, The Sussex Beacon, with £3 from every Christmas meal sold also donated to the cause. Party-goers entered into the spirit of the event by wearing festive costumes, hats and jumpers and even exchanging cards and gifts.

Pay-off:​ Offers regular customers something different whilst attracting new business; customers are able to enjoy the festivities without the stress that the usual Christmas entails; provides an antidote to the World Cup. 

Key benefits:​ The pub is fully booked months in advance, increasing footfall and takings. The event raises money for a local charity.

Advice:​ Manager of the Punch Taverns site, Adam Brooks, says: “Try to keep your event as true to the real festivities as possible. We also held a summertime New Year’s Eve celebration, for the first time this year, complete with a midnight countdown. The evening was a giggle but we found it much harder to recreate than our Christmas event, which has now become a pub tradition.”

Best outcome:​ Takings were at least tripled

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