Business Start up’s

Bath on Ice

 Project Brief

Bath on Ice, Bath’s brand new festive ice rink was a new product that needed to be developed and taken to market.  I was brought in to ‘Make it Happen’. Bath on Ice completed its first season in 2012 and has since gone on to become one of Bath’s leading festive attractions

 Key Performance Indicators

My client had four key objectives in order to ensure its return in 2013. All of these were met

  • To provide a well-managed and operated ice rink – to receive no serious complaints or injury claims – Achieved
  • To obtain national press coverage and be listed as one of the top ten festive ice rinks in the UK – Listed by Daily Mail, DailyTelegraph and appeared in the Christmas edition of BBC1 Countryfile TV programme
  • To attract at least 20,000 visitors in year one – In 2016 it attracted over 35,000 visitors
  • To breakeven within first year – It made a profit

Challenges faced

It was a race against time to get everything ready – Planning consent was delayed which meant Bath on Ice only had a few months to get the project off the ground. First of all we had to produce a very detailed event plan in order to ensure that the ice rink complied with all the complex health and safety requirements. We had to ensure that the rink itself and all the operational procedures would meet extremely high standards in order to avoid any serious injuries or complaints.

Appalling weather – their opening night was deluged in torrential rain.  Other rinks in the area including Cardiff had to delay their opening but Bath on Ice managed to open as scheduled on the Friday. In fact an excellent real ice skating surface was sustained throughout the 6-week period. No slush just glistening ice.

The final big challenge was to promote a rink that hadn’t yet opened. I managed to obtain national media coverage and get it listed in the UK’s top ten festive ice rinks using images and describing the beautiful park setting beneath the Royal Crescent in the centre of Bath before it had even opened.

The Result

Bath on Ice proved to be so successful in year one that it has now become one of Bath’s most popular activity attractions. It met all four of its objectives and was a finalist in the Bath Life Business Awards under Best Event in Bath 2012 category.

Since then we have also set up the UK’s first outdoor ‘Glow in the Dark’ mini golf to run alongside the rink. Bath City Council was delighted with the outcome.  They received no complaints and have raised no concerns.  Any risk of serious injury was avoided.

Extensive local and national PR coverage was obtained including the Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph, Independent, Guardian and Sun newspapers.  It also featured on the front cover of the Bath Magazine. Bath on Ice was ranked in the top ten lists of attractions by Readers Digest and Visit England. ITV weather filmed their weather forecast live from the ice rink plus they got mentioned on Steve Wright in the Afternoon on BBC Radio 2 as the place to go ice skating.

Bath on Ice was driven by a very successful social media campaign.  This was achieved through the use of face book and twitter. Within the space of three weeks Bath on Ice attracted 914 face book likes and 700 twitter followers and this resulted in Bath on Ice being ranked number one in the Google ratings for festive ice rinks

 Client comment

The way in which Elaine got to grips with managing us and this project was outstanding. Everything was delivered to the highest standard and on time within very short timescales. We never expected to meet all four objectives in year one. We’ve no idea how she managed to obtain such extensive national PR coverage, get us listed as one of the top 10 UK festive ice rinks and achieve such amazing success using social media. We asked her to make it happen and she exceeded our expectations.  Elaine is still working with us five years on.

Colin Smith, Managing Director, Excel Leisure