Business Overview

Founded in 2009, this is a successful company that has a strong reputation within the ACT but as with all event companies, has been badly affected by Covid-19 with almost all bookings cancelling back in March 2020 when restrictions began. 

In late 2020, an opportunity to acquire 2 other event-related companies became available to the owners of SPE.  The first brand was an event hire company in Bowral NSW named Your Event Solution (YES).  This company provided marquees, pagodas, chairs, tables, lounge furniture, crockery, cutlery, glasses, decorative lighting and audio-visual equipment for hire in the Southern Highlands region.

The second brand was a bespoke marquee hire company in Sydney named White Umbrella Marquee (WUM).  This company had a large marquee range along with furniture and other event equipment for hire which services the Sydney & Hunter region. 

By acquiring both these brands, SPE could now offer not just event design and styling, they could also offer a range of marquees and an extensive list of equipment for event hire throughout the ACT, Southern Highlands, Sydney and Hunter regions.  And as restrictions are now easing, these brands are becoming very busy once again. 

The Challenge

As with any business acquisition, the challenge is how best to integrate the operations while minimising disruption to customers and reassuring them of our commitment to ongoing high-quality service.  In addition to this, we needed to produce an entirely new website that brought together the 3 brands in a cohesive way that catered to the various markets and geolocations.  

This was to showcase all 3 brands and their USPs within the one website and at the same time, not be seen as a company that appears to offer too many services which can potentially confuse the audience and be perceived as not specialising in any particular area.

Site Content Planning

The site persona needed to feel personal yet professional, creative and not generic. From a homepage perspective, we wanted to apply a level of cognitive ease when designing the user interface.  With a company like SPE that now provides so many services to so many buyer personas, it can be easy to feel that a brand is trying to do too much and to too many people which creates confusion.  

We wanted to inspire visitors to the website using social norms and showcasing ‘Style Guides’ of what others have done and how they might go about creating something similar (storytelling) – taking them on a journey of how an event can come together, like what we have shown is possible with previous events.  

It was equally as important that we created key landing pages for products and services that represent each of the 3 brands as follows:

  • wedding, party and event planning and styling which represents SPE current services
  • event hire representing YES products and services
  • and marquee hire which is the WUM current offering

With each landing page, we also want to be able to up-sell or cross-sell by using dynamic elements throughout the site.  For example, a customer looking to hire a marquee for a corporate event may also be interested in SPE fitting out the event with tables, chairs and could be interested in theming and styling ideas.  Likewise, someone planning a wedding or a party may consider a marquee, especially if the weather is bad on the day, which perhaps they hadn’t thought of before.

Style Guides & Hire Catalogue (eCommerce)

Creating an online user experience just like when a customer comes into the offices of SPEs to seek advice on planning and styling of their next event, we created Style Guides for various themes such as Industrial or Romantic.  This was to create ideas and inspiration for clients while at the same time they could add certain furniture and accessories seen in the Style Guides to their Wish List or proceed to hire items from the eCommerce platform.  This included the ability to hire various sizes and types of marquees. 

And as Covid 19 changed buyer behaviour toward online shopping, we introduced an online shop whereby customers could place orders for flowers and balloons with Contactless Deliveries.  We even added themed “Celebrations in a Box” during lockdown and for special occasions like Mothers Day and Fathers Day along with “Pop-up Picnics”.

The Pandemic

Before Covid-19, D&M would build their pipeline via existing clients and more traditional methods such as networking, face-to-face interactions, cold calling or chatting with prospects at conferences and tradeshows.

However due to the pandemic, over 70% of B2B decision makers now prefer remote human interactions or digital self-service which presents businesses with new challenges. How is a B2B seller supposed to find new customers, whose problems they can solve, when customers don’t want to go back to the old way of doing business?

The Results

Since the launch of the website in late 2021, business efficiencies have improved significantly with website enquires being transferred directly into the companys CRM system via an API.  The integrated eCommerce platform also provides a highly efficient sales and payments platform and is a preferred method for customers to purchase.  

And the results since the launch speak for themselves – visitors have increased tenfold as has online enquiries and conversions.

“Show Pony Events engaged TW9 Digital to manage the design and implementation of our new website as well as the development of a new marketing strategy focussed on engaging clients and elevating the profile of the business. The quality of their work has been exceptional and exceeded our original expectations. We have been so impressed with the outcomes of the new website and the marketing strategy that we will continue to engage their services and be guided by Michael and his team in the future.”

Jillian Hart – Director, Show Pony Events

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