Victorian Governor learns of success of Ballarat's Virtual Winter Festival

Ballarat Winter Fest

The Ballarat Virtual Winter Festival has caught the attention of many Victorians, including the Governor of Victoria the Hon. Linda Dessau AC. 

 Ballarat Mayor, Cr Ben Taylor and Janet Dore CEO sat down over Teams with the Governor, who requested an update on the success of the extended online initiative in attracting visitors to the website, and engaging Ballarat businesses and tourist attractions at such a crucial time. 

The Ballarat Virtual Winter Fest was scheduled to run from 27 June –19 July but due to an overwhelming number of users, the website was extended to run until 31 August. 

The Winter event aims to provide a unique and innovative experience that showcases the best of Ballarat with an interactive journey of our key offerings and experiences; to arouse the curiosity of those who can’t travel here, and to attract a local audience to shop and buy local when and how they can (due to COVID-19).   

“Outside of COVID, we want to attract visitors to Ballarat in what has traditionally been a low yield period, to make Ballarat a must visit Winter destination,” Cr Taylor informed the Governor. 

“It is a credit to all those involved that the Governor was so genuinely interested in this unique, creative event to be born out of Ballarat, and the CEO and I were thrilled to have the opportunity to speak with her about the successful transition to online. 

Cr Taylor said the Governor also inquired about how Ballarat residents and the business community are coping with changing restrictions and wished our community well during these challenging times. 

 The statistics for Ballarat Winter Fest 2020: 

The festival, which this year introduced a family of colourful Yarrowee Characters, has attracted more than 10,000 unique users since its launch on June 18 and returned a satisfaction level 88% for overall content and website experience. Metro Victoria accounted for more than 43% of Victorians visiting the site, with 32% from Ballarat & Surroundings and 24% from Regional Victoria. 

The 2020 version of the festival highlights the creative strengths of Ballarat delivering outcomes of Ballarat’s Creative City Strategy. Local companies Made for 2 developed the Yarrowees and Tech Studio built and designed the online web platform. The online delivery and continuation of the Winter Festival allowed the event to maintain brand positioning and market awareness of Ballarat.   



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