‘Ilex need to up their game on marketing’

Brenda Stevenson (SDLP)
Brenda Stevenson (SDLP)

More marketing is needed to promote public events in the city centre, local councillors have said.

The matter was raised at the monthly meeting of the Council’s development committee on Tuesday.

SDLP councillor Brenda Stevenson called on both Derry City Council and Ilex to put more effort into marketing events in order to increase numbers attending.

Colr. Stevenson said good events, particularly a number of recent events at Ebrington, did not attract large numbers because they were poorly marketed.

“We have a job of work to do in terms of our marketing and we must do that job in terms of the events we organise. Ilex also have a job to do in terms of the events they organise and I don’t think they are doing that in the best way. A number of good events that they have been involved in have been poorly attended because of that,” she said.

Colr. Stevenson also said she has been contacted by a number of people who expressed disappointment at missing events because they did not know they were happening. “It is Council that are getting the criticism for this but often it is not us who are running these events; it is Ilex.

“We should be saying to Ilex that they need to up their game in terms of marketing,” she said.

DUP councillor April Garfield Kidd also called for more to be done to promote local events. “We have just had a very successful jazz festival and we need to keep that ball rolling in terms of attracting visitors and the only way we can do that is through increased marketing.

“When people go to certain organisations and visitor sites in this city the information is not always there to catch them,” she said.

Sinn Féin colr. Maeve McLaughlin also said improved marketing would boost visitor numbers. “We need to be marketing our unique product, not just to an international audience, but also to people in our own city. Sometimes that is lacking and that is something that needs to be addressed,” she said.

Oonagh McGillian, temporary director of Development with Derry City Council said she would take the concerns of councillors on board.

“We are working closely with our marketing and communications department,” she said.

Colr. Stevenson also called for more provision to be made at Council organised events for children and young people with disabilities. “Often there is a need to queue at these events for activities like face painting and some children have difficulties waiting and we should be looking at making provision for these children to ensure they do not miss out,” she said.