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Property placemaking is one of the best ways for commercial property owners to maximise the value of their assets. By using their spaces to host community outreach projects, events, pop-up retailers and much more besides, they can nurture new business relationships as well as breathe life into otherwise quiet or underused properties.
At Crowd UK, we’ve been helping our clients create and build on their own placemaking strategies not only to help them fulfil the potential of their commercial spaces, but to also help them raise awareness amongst local communities that they exist, and build stronger relationships with potential partners, customers and others.
Some of our favourite placemaking opportunities have come in the city of Manchester, where we’ve helped clients of all shapes and sizes to discover the best spaces possible for them to network, create events, build retail presences and much more besides.
Our approach to property placemaking in Manchester
Retail placemaking: Pop-up shops are fast becoming an integral part of the UK economy, with the UK’s pop-up industry worth over £2 billion, accounting for approximately 0.76% of total retail turnover. Retail placemaking is something that can help boost those companies who don’t want to take over an empty high-street unit; something we helped to arrange when Forever Unique set up on the ground floor of Barton Arcade during the run up to Christmas. The victorian arcade faces directly onto Deansgate, resting a minute’s walk between House of Fraser on one side, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols on the other. What better location for a glamorous clothing boutique!
Promotional services: When we talk about property placemaking, it goes far beyond just giving people a space to work with for their needs. Great property placemaking is all about creating the right environments for people to flourish and properly complement their own services, whether on a one-time basis or for regular events. Want an example of this strategy in action? Our Barton Arcade blogger day invited a number of popular lifestyle bloggers to interact with local businesses, try out their offerings and provide valuable social media reach.
Charity events: You’d be surprised at how hard it can be for charities to find the right venue for their events. The right strategy can not only help them find somewhere to host a crowd, but also offer something different that gives them a great PR boost, too, for greater awareness. Last Halloween, for instance, we opened up our hidden ‘spooky’ basement under Barton Arcade to much-loved charity Forever Manchester. The huge victorian basement was the perfect setting for their annual lock-in event, which put a number of local celebrities to the test in a battle of nerves.
Media events: Manchester offers some of the most stunning scenery around, complemented by creative businesses who add their own visual touch to their surroundings. None more so than awarding-winning coffee shop Pot Kettle Black, located in Barton Arcade. Last year PKB was kind enough to open itself up to media events, hosting the filming of Money Bite for Natwest. On top of providing a magnificent backdrop for the informative programme, this helped to attract attention to the beautiful Barton Arcade, as well as show the true value and versatility of the property.
Business marketing: Finding the right venue is essential to business marketing. Not only do businesses need to find an appropriate venue, but it needs to be easily accessible and open to the exact people they’re trying to attract to their business. Busy and bustling, Manchester city centre can be the perfect place for this, as Barclays discovered when they set up the cashback coffee van on the ground floor of Barton Arcade. Attracting professional footfall from both Deansgate and St Anns Square, Barclays was perfectly positioned to engage with potential customers.
Crowded is Crowd UK’s dedicated placemaking arm, helping create footfall strategies and find environments to help attract the people who matter to you most. Contact us today to find out more.