It's just a little over twelve months since Miles Leonard asked me if Toucan would like to support the orchestra - and what a year it's been!
I must start with the music! Such a wonderful mix of the old and the new - from lyrical melodies to rousing fanfares, and virtuosic solo performances to full symphonic works - a simply stunning variety of repertoire. And as a supporter we get front row seats at each performance!
So how have Toucan supported the orchestra?
The design and creation of the new website must be the most obvious and significant development. Designed with the concert goer in mind, it's now much easier to find out what's on, when and where, and with a straight-forward link to buy tickets online. And this seems to be working with the last two concerts selling out! There's also a members area, where musicians can find details of the rehearsals and a post and view notices of upcoming musical events.
But we've also completely redesigned the orchestra's logo, retaining the distinctive red colouring, but creating a new emblem, loosely inspired by the shape of a treble clef - if you look carefully it does actually say e s o. We've paired this with a modernist typeface which we've used across the digital and printed material.
And talking of print, we've redesigned the programmes, now A4 in size and a real momento of the concerts, and publicity leaflets and fliers. We've also created a number of pop-up banners which sit at the front of the house on concert days promoting the upcoming performances. So all-in-all, it's been a very busy and exciting year.
And has it been worth it?
As a sponsor we have seen enormous benefits. Our own brand is reaching new audiences and the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) benefits have definitely helped us to open conversations with new and prospective clients. And, let's not forget that we also get to attend wonderful musical performances given by a talented and passionate group of local musicians.
And looking to the future?
We are definitely 'signed up' for the next twelve months, and have plans to develop the website still further and keep innovating with the various promotional items - so look out for a new design for the promotional posters for the 2016 concert series.