Nestled between Elwood and Caulfield, just 9kms south of Melbourne CBD, Elsternwick Village is the perfect place for a daytime or evening adventure, combining old-world charm with modern indulgence. It offers a diverse range of bars, bakeries, restaurants, fashion boutiques, and plenty more. With more than 200 businesses, there’s something for everyone.
Assemblo has helped support Elsternwick Village, working to coordinate and market the vibrant precinct on behalf of the Elsternwick Mainstreet Committee since first coming on board in 2016. Our support ranges from marketing, events, running a rich online and social media presence to walking the streets, meeting with traders, and advocating for their needs.
👻The business challenge 👻
Creating a major annual event to attract shoppers to visit and explore Elsternwick Village
The Elsternwick Mainstreet Committee (EMC) is a group of traders that represent Elsternwick Village, the businesses that operate along Glen Huntly Rd and surrounding streets in Elsternwick.
The EMC wanted to create an opportunity to activate the entire street, while developing a signature event to raise the profile of the precinct. They sought to establish an event that would run annually, appeal to families, teenagers and adults, and attract people to experience Elsternwick Village at its best.
💀🕷 The insight 🕷💀
Marrying the day and the night trade
Elsternwick Village features two very distinct trading periods. The day offers shopping, services and casual dining. Then at night, visitors come along to experience great restaurants, bars, live entertainment and cinema. One challenge between these two periods is that they’re segmented from each other, with a relatively quiet trading period between them.
An event concept that can readily function as both a day and night affair is perfect for Elsternwick Village. Visitors can spend their day in the precinct experiencing the day trade, and then transition to a more entertainment-led night.
By having the daytime event focus on the retail and experiential offering, then a night session focused on food, drinks and entertainment, customers in the precinct can experience the full gamut of what Elsternwick Village has to offer.
🕸 The idea 🕸
Bringing Halloween to life in Elsternwick Village
While traditionally it has been less celebrated in Australia, in recent years Halloween has seen a massive surge in popularity. Retail spending hit $430 million for Halloween in 2022. Halloween themed merchandise sales were up 25 per cent in 2023 – a consistent trend over five years – and one in four Australians are said to celebrate Halloween.
In addition to the growing popularity of Halloween, there’s also no precinct or centre that owns a major Halloween event competing with Elsternwick Village. With vibrant costumes, high levels of engagement and all-ages appeal, Halloween offers the perfect vehicle for Elsternwick Village to demonstrate both its family-friendly day trade and entertaining night trade.
Held on the Saturday before Halloween, the ‘Halloween in Elsternwick Village’ event focused on two distinct parts:
Family Spooktacular, 11am – 4pm: In the daytime, families could bring their kids to collect a Halloween bucket from the HQ located near Party Bazaar and then visit participating stores in the street displaying a branded Halloween vinyl on their window.
Families could trick-or-treat at these businesses, getting lollies to fill their buckets while the parents explored everything Elsternwick Village had to offer. In addition to finding stores, stations were set up all around Elsternwick Village offering arts and crafts, face painting, a photo wall, balloon modelling, live entertainment, and more. Roving entertainers in Halloween themed costumes also performed along Glen Huntly Rd, delighting families as they explored.
Spooky Soirée, 5pm – 9pm: Following the day was a licenced night-time event. Visitors were invited to explore mystical marquees offering food, drinks and an enchanting atmosphere. There was a live band playing Halloween themed songs, drinks, food, entertainers, and lots of seating and entertainment. Many night-time traders also hosted special events and offers.
We worked closely with traders in the lead up to the event to generate engagement and buy-in. To help promote the event, we created a striking visual style with strong branding for the separate daytime and night-time events, as well as an overarching branded visual for the whole event. This was rolled out via out-of-home advertising, posters for traders, bin surrounds in the street, and flyers to local homes. We also created a vibrant, branded landing page for the event, and event pages on social media and Eventbrite. The campaign was also supported with digital ads and a comprehensive digital advertising campaign.
To support the day, we created vinyls, wayfinding signage, and checklist activity flyers. We arranged entertainers, arts and crafts, live musicians, performers, and promoters. For the night trade we set up marquees and furnishings, worked with exhibitors to handle licences, and arranged council permits, insurances, security and medical support.
🎃 The impact 🎃
With thousands of people flocking to the area for both the day and night, Halloween in Elsternwick Village was a massive success, and especially impressive for an event in its first year.
Visitors dressed in amazing costumes, and the street was buzzing with energy and excitement the whole day. We kept lollies stocked for the kids as the popularity of the trick-or-treat trail was impressive. All of the many activity stalls across the street were busy and the event maintained massive crowds for its full duration.
The weather was excellent and people bunkered down to experience the food, dining and entertainment in Elsternwick Village as the sun set.
Key highlights for the event and its promotion included:
- Estimated 2000-3000 people attended the event
- More than 154,000 impressions, reaching almost 50,000 unique users via social media
- More than 30,000 views of elsternwick.com between September and October, in the lead up to the event
- The event was featured across a range of local event websites and press, including Glen Eira City Council, Mainstreet Australia and Eventbrite
- We saw strong engagement on social media with lots of attendees sharing images to their grid and Stories, and tagging Elsternwick Village
- Positive feedback from traders and the general public who showed excitement for this event to become an annual fixture.
Halloween in Elsternwick Village was a huge success and will continue as an annual event, receiving high praise from the committee, traders and the general public.
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