Carnival Launches Gunwharf Quays

Overview: The aim was to launch Gunwharf Quays as a cosmopolitan, world-class, waterfront retail destination attracting firstly retailer confidence followed by visitors from a wide catchment area, changing people’s perception of Portsmouth as a city with a traditional naval heritage. We designed and executed a stunning launch event combining a Brazilian-style carnival with The Times Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.  

Results:  The centre received over 400,000 visitors in first weekend of opening, along with impressive national media coverage and multiple awards including an Arts and Business Award for Outstanding Partnership and Best Opening and Launch Campaign from The British Council of Shopping Centres. Carnival and international sailing events became a regular feature of the events programme helping to define Gunwharf Quays as a vibrant, cosmopolitan brand.

Volvo event Gunwharf Quays

 “Events were an integral part of the offer indeed; our events helped to define the brand of Gunwharf Quays as being ‘reassuringly different’. John delivered an exciting, imaginative and innovative event strategy focusing on two centres of gravity; commercial activity and community engagement. The event strategy delivered innovative events, which attracted significant partner support from organisations such as The Arts Council, and created customer loyalty which ensured visitors returned time and time again. They attracted high and targeted footfall and impressive returns on investment. Particular events to single out are the highly original and award winning Snow Festival with The UK's longest snow slide, the annual Food Festivals and Extreme Events, his highly original approach to delivering events and in particular The Fireworks events which took place in The Harbour.”

Peter Emery, Director, Gunwharf Quays