So many ‘likes’ proof that the show must go on, backed by BID

Midweek Visiter - - Southport Bid -

WELL done, yes­ter­day you made me feel very proud of my home town”. Thir­teen words from a res­i­dent of our town that, to us at the BID, made all the work that went into or­gan­is­ing and stag­ing this year’s Christ­mas lights switch-on so worth­while.

We posted a pic­ture on our Face­book ac­count a few short hours af­ter the event had fin­ished and within min­utes the re­sponse was over­whelm­ingly pos­i­tive.

The power of so­cial me­dia: over 460 likes, 61 com­ments, 334 shares and 26,000 reached by 11pm that night showed just how well the show went down with ev­ery­one.

We cer­tainly needed to do some­thing spe­cial for this Christ­mas as last year’s event set a high bar for us to fol­low.

We pride our­selves at do­ing things a bit dif­fer­ently.

When the BID first started we de­cided to can­cel South­port’s tra­di­tional Christ­mas pa­rade and in­vest more in a new stage set-up and new Christ­mas lights.

Last year we took the de­ci­sion to switch from a Satur­day switch-on to Sun­day and bring the event start time for­ward to mid­day in or­der to en­cour­age peo­ple to come into town and stay there for the af­ter­noon.

This year we re­alised that some­thing dif­fer­ent needed to be done if we were to im­prove on pre­vi­ous switch-on events.

The big change was the tree. When we an­nounced that we had de­cided to switch from a tra­di­tional tree to a mod­ern struc­ture it’s fair to say that the ini­tial com­ments weren’t al­ways favourable.

It was a risk, but one that was worth tak­ing as we needed to do some­thing com­pletely dif­fer­ent.

The whole event gave us new op­por­tu­ni­ties in terms of man­ag­ing the space and in terms of de­liv­er­ing the en­ter­tain­ment.

Our thanks must go to Sefton Coun­cil’s tourism and op­er­a­tions team for their help in mak­ing the event work so well.

Thanks must also go to Nor­man and Neil at Plea­sure­land for their help in bring­ing in the fair­ground rides and food con­ces­sions.

It’s our last ma­jor event of this cur­rent BID term.

Next year’s event (in­clud­ing the lights them­selves) will de­pend on se­cur­ing a Yes vote in the bal­lot.

Christ­mas is, of course, just one part of what the BID does. But it is the most im­por­tant. A No vote in the bal­lot would mean that the fund­ing for the event (and ev­ery­thing else that the BID does) would need to come from else­where.

And the chances of that hap­pen­ing?

Un­til some­one comes up with a re­al­is­tic al­ter­na­tive, the an­swer must be zero.

The South­port Christ­mas Lights Switch-on on Novem­ber 18

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