I've been helping to distribute the posters, brochures and programmes for this year's London Vegfest and of course have been on the website. In fact, I've been going to Bristol, Brighton and London for several years. The time has come for me to speak up about something that Tim et al. need to hear. The Vegfest marketing is extremely poor. I know you have your reasons for working for the media companies you work with, but they are not good enough reasons.
Your print and online marketing has to be effective, both for commercial reasons and for the sake of saving the animals. When I look at the practically impenetrable brochure and the website that isn't even mobile responsive much less attractive, I realise that this stubborn use of certain designers and web developers is a serious barrier to vegan outreach. The animals and the planet urgently need people to convert to veganism in their millions. This requires effort on all fronts using the most effective means. Please Tim, part ways with these media companies immediately. Stop wasting the efforts of your team by advertising them so poorly.
NB. It gives me no pleasure to write this. I'm sure the people in the media companies are very good people and doing their best. I even believe they can become effective at their work if they get some training in up to date knowledge and skills around design, marketing and digital. I hope they stop working until they do.
Ok, I'm going to break down some of the most glaring problems with your marketing into single items. 1. There is zero thought about user journey on any of the Vegfest websites. The fact that you want people to do something (usually buy a ticket) is not remotely clear on the overall Vegfest page or individual festival pages. You have to really seek it out, the phrasing is counter-intuitive and then you have to do two clicks and visit 3 pages to get to the one that actually sells tickets. Every click is losing you participants. And it's shoddy and looks like you don't know what you're doing. This of course is a crap advertisement for veganism.
2. Your websites are not mobile responsive. Have you ever looked at your sites on a phone? Most of your web visitors have - more than 60% of online traffic is now via mobile or tablet. You don't have a mobile site and your digital media team should know that in 2015 this is not acceptable, particularly if you are trying to get people along to your event. Google started downranking non-responsive sites in April. That site you're so proud of is getting harder to find. Again, it's shoddy and looks like you don't know what you're doing. Again, this is a crap advertisement for veganism.
3. Your sites are a cluttered mess. Maybe you like it aesthetically, but it is objectively poor web design, screws up user journeys, looks shoddy etc. You don't just throw everything on the front page and expect people to be able to find what they are looking for. Has your design team never explained this to you? Do they not know this themselves?
4. You have no brand identity. It's good you've stopped changing the event's name every year - but you don't even have a logo (the awful looking 'VEGFESTUK' mirror thing on the website doesn't count as a logo or brand) and even the brochure and little A6 flyer this year had different designs and colours. Shoddy. Don't know what you're doing etc.
5. The printed matter was all terrible this year, but that brochure was unreadable. I don't know where to start with it. There is nothing about the concept, design or layout that is salvageable. Excellart or whoever made it should stop doing design for print immediately. Your team worked so hard to bring together the stuff that's in it and it's being advertised incompetently. It makes me angry for the Vegfest team members.