Precinct event and activation ideas

Events and activations can help Brisbane precincts engage with the local community and new customers, while showcasing small business, local attractions and restauranteurs. Delivering small events frequently can create ongoing impact for precincts by motivating customers to return, as well as minimising the risks associated with large events.

Use this page to look for event and activation ideas for Brisbane precincts including in-store events, coupons, treasure/scavenger hunts, up late events and always-on initiatives. We've also included simple steps to help your precinct hold a successful event or activation.

Activation ideas

Coupon flyers

A flyer of coupons featuring offers for different businesses in your precinct can provide affordable and effective promotion for the precinct. It can build awareness of participating businesses and allow customers to discover new businesses. You could consider building a coupon flyer around a particular theme (e.g. dining deals).

Make sure coupons are valid for an agreed time period (e.g. one month) and that location and contact information (website, social media) for the precinct is included in the flyer. 

Flyers can be printed and distributed to the local area or further afield if you want to attract new visitors to the precinct.

Always on

Instead of organising specific events or activations, your precinct may offer always on activities. These activities are not arranged events, but suggestions for visitors on what to see and do in the precinct. Grouping businesses together around a theme/s can give potential customers ideas for celebrations and also encourage visitors to spend more time in the precinct.

Growing Precincts Together examples

The Things to do on Racecourse Road web content is a great example of an always on initiative and includes 10 themed options for precinct visitors.

The Rosalie Village Insider Guides web content is another example of an always on initiative to encourage visitors to linger longer in the precinct.

Event ideas

In-store events

In-store events are a way for businesses to connect with new customers, increase sales and grow customer loyalty through a more personalised, engaging experience. Raise the profile of your precinct and participating businesses by coordinating multiple retailers to host separate in-store events over a specific period (e.g. weekend, week or month).

Inspiration for in-store events and experiences include:

  • food businesses:
    • tasting menus
    • pop-up themed dinners 
    • cooking classes and/or demonstrations
  • boutiques:
    • styling session
    • sip 'n' shop
    • meet the designer
  • wellness and pampering:
    • workshops
    • come and try (e.g. fitness class)
    • guest speaker
  • gift store:
    • book signing
    • meet the artist/maker
    • new product launch
    • storytime.

Help build momentum for your individual in-store event by inviting followers on your social media channels to enter an online competition that is drawn at the event. As part of the terms and conditions, advise potential entrants that they must be at the event for a chance to win. You could also offer a coupon that is only redeemable in store during the event.

Growing Precincts Together example

With Council's support through the Growing Precincts Together program, the Racecourse Road precinct delivered 'Discover Racecourse Road' in September and October 2023. More than 20 businesses offered a range of in-store events across the themes of dining, wellness, fashion and beauty and kids.

Treasure or scavenger hunts

A treasure or scavenger hunt is an option to get potential customers to:

  • move about in your precinct
  • discover what there is to see and do in your precinct.

Participants visit businesses in your precinct to solve clues or locate hidden items, recording their answers and submitting them for a chance to win a prize (normally products and services from your precinct).

You might even consider staging an event for the hunt prize draw to get potential customers to return to the precinct.

Growing Precincts Together example

With Council sponsorship, the Rosalie Village precinct successfully delivered a treasure hunt activation (Hidden gems of Rosalie Village) in July 2023 as part of the Growing Precincts Together program.

Up-late events

Up-late events can be a great way to bring potential customers to your precinct after dark and to test your precinct's nighttime economy. You might even like to theme your up-late event (e.g. Christmas) with participating businesses offering one-night only discounts and promotions, as well as late night shopping and entertainment.

Brisbane precincts that regularly host up-late events include James Street and Wynnum Town Centre.

How to hold a successful precinct event or activation

Follow the steps below to help you host a successful precinct event or activation.

  1. Establish event goals and objectives at least 6 months in advance of the event or activation.
  2. Select an event date.
  3. Develop an event plan. Involve precinct businesses who have expertise in areas you need (e.g. marketing, insurance, legal matters).
  4. Contact Brisbane City Council's Business Hotline on 133 BNE (133 263) to see if any approvals are required. You can find out more on our Events and festivals page.
  5. Create an event budget.
  6. Apply for Council sponsorship at least 3 months in advance of the event or activation start date.
  7. Brand the event and begin publicity at least 2 months before the event or activation.
  8. Launch ticket sales (if applicable).
  9. Coordinate with any event suppliers.
  10. Manage the event/activation set-up and execution.
  11. Conduct an evaluation after the event to help with future event planning.

For more ideas on collaborating to promote your precinct, explore the placemaking and promotion modules of the Local retail and activation toolkit.

Submit your ideas and feedback

If you have used one of these ideas to help promote your precinct, or have other event or activation ideas that could be included on this page, email Council.

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