PNC Winterfest 2016-2017 Executive Summary

Comparison to 2015- 2016

  1. Rink expanded from 60x80ft to 80x100ft
  2. Increase of over 600 paid skaters
  3. 2.37% increase in gross ticket sales
  4. Extensive site upgrades made in September/October of 2016
  5. Phase two of the site upgrade plan will begin in spring of 2017
  6. Streamlined layout improved guest experience
  7. $3,000 increase in marketing budget

Community Impact

"PNC Winterfest has added a family friendly dimension, the likes of which our downtown has never experienced... especially in the winter! From toddlers to senior citizens and every age in between, PNC Winterfest is an outstanding draw to our downtown and Civic Center. What better way to spend the holidays than skating outdoors with family and friends. This is fun economic development. Thank you PNC Bank!" - Peoria Mayor, Jim Ardis

“PNC Winterfest is a charming and wonderful event Peoria should be proud of. During the cold days of winter it has helped to increase traffic in my downtown restaurants. This is especially welcome during typically very slow times in our business, such as cold winter evenings.” - Travis Mohlenbrink, local restaurant owner, two of which are downtown: Thyme and Sugar.

“On behalf of the Downtown Development Corporation of Peoria’s Board of Directors, I want to thank the Peoria Civic Center and your major corporate sponsor PNC Bank for another successful season of PNC Winterfest. This event, although only in its second year, has proven to be an important attraction in downtown Peoria. PNC Winterfest has seen an increase in participation and provided a much-needed family focused winter attraction in the downtown.”– An excerpt from the February 10th letter of support presented to PNC Winterfest from Michael Freilinger, President/CEO of the Downtown Development Corporation of Peoria.

“PNC Winterfest continues to get better and better…The sight of families, couples and even groups of school kids enjoying our great downtown was wonderful. This past season exceeded the first one and we are looking forward to an even better season next year.” - Peoria City Manager , Patrick Urich

"The PNC Winterfest has been a fantastic addition to our Downtown. Peoria has talked for years about creating wintertime events that would continue to bring people Downtown throughout the year and not just during our busy summer and fall months. The PNC Winterfest has finally accomplished that goal! It is so exciting to see friends and families enjoying outdoor activity, celebrating special moments, and creating holiday memories in the heart of Downtown Peoria. Surrounding businesses appreciate the added exposure and fully support the event. The Peoria RiverFront Association is excited to help promote this family-friendly activity as part of our Visit Downtown Peoria campaign!" - Sharon Gramm, Executive Director of the Peoria RiverFront Association

"PNC Winterfest is a valuable attraction for the Peoria Area. It not only enhances our downtown and provides entertainment for locals, but also lures visitors from across the region. We are very fortunate to have another wonderful winter weather attraction that we are able to promote!"- Cara Allen, Director of Marketing and Communications for the Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau

PNC/Peoria Public Schools Foundation

" We are so thankful for the opportunity provided to more than 300 Peoria Public Schools Foundation Horizons Club students to experience WinterFest at the Peoria Civic Center. This field trip would be exciting for any child, but for many of the Horizons Club students this is the only opportunity they will have to take part in this exciting new Peoria tradition. The entrance/skate fees would be cost prohibitive to many of our students' families. In addition, without the support of PNC, the Peoria Public Schools Foundation would not have had the resources to provide this experience. We are also very thankful for the gloves and lunch provided by PNC for the student. Without the donation of gloves, many of our students would not have been able to participate in the skating, as they did not have gloves to bring. Similarly, most of our children rely on the school provided lunches, and would miss their lunch at school. The lunches PNC provided allowed us to have enough time to take the students skating and not have them miss eating lunch. Plus, the students thought it was very exciting to eat at the Civic Center.One of the lesson we hope the children take away from their time in Horizons Club is an understanding of their role in the Peoria community, and a dream for what their impact on Peoria can be in the future. However, many of our student rarely have experiences outside of their immediate neighborhood. Being able to take part in community activities like WinterFest help them see the greater community and develop goals for their place in Peoria's future. Thank you so much for the support." -Cindy R. Morris, President of the Peoria Public Schools Foundation

In addition to supporting the event overall, PNC sponsored 800 students from the Peoria Public School’s Horizons club to attend PNC Winterfest for a field trip. This trip included skating, sliding, lunch and gloves.
Photos from the Peoria Public School's Horizons Club visit to PNC Winterfest

Marketing Efforts

The Peoria Civic Center executed a $10,000 media buy supporting PNC Winterfest. This was supplemented by trade promotion on all major radio stations in Peoria and support from local news stations. PNC Winterfest was featured on all 4 network stations in market. Click here for a full breakdown.

Media mix on spend for PNC Winterfest Marketing. Note: Other includes flyers, posters, banners, drone footage and snapchat filters

PNC Winterfest was proud to host the ‘Christmas Price Index’ segments on Good Day Central Illinois. Click here to see the segment.

PNC Winterfest participated in the 129th annual Santa Claus Parade in downtown Peoria on opening day! The parade is the longest running holiday parade in the country and was broadcast live on CBS.

PNC Winterfest launched its own Facebook page this year with a goal of 1,000 followers by the end of the event. By the time the ice rink closed we had over 2,000 followers!

PNC Winterfest partnered with Festival of Lights East Peoria, promoting PNC Winterfest to nearly 100,000 attendees from all across the state.

PNC provided this PNC Winterfest Selfie Frame that was on site for the entire event

PNC Winterfest participated in the Peoria Convention and Visitors Bureau 'Winter Fun Ticket' featuring area winter attractions. Over 1,500 were distributed. Click here to see the Winter Fun Ticket.

Snapchat Filter at PNC Winterfest

Data Analysis

Based on Website traffic compared to attendance, there is a strong correlation between website traffic by day and attendance by day. Further analysis of website data shows that a majority of visitors clicked onto the website on weekend afternoon/evenings, which is also when we saw the most traffic at PNC Winterfest. This is encouraging from a marketing perspective because it tells us that people are getting our messaging both online and in person at the event. In addition to the website/attendance trends, it was also noted that attendance trends matched Facebook engagement rates.

Based on our data that shows that website traffic matches event attendance, we have pulled the demographic data from our website traffic as a reflection of event attendance.

Traffic map showing website traffic in the state of Illinois

Raw Data


PNC invited various physican’s groups from OSF Healthcare Center to attend a family-friendly event at PNC Winterfest on December 15, 2016. OSF Healthcare System is PNC’s largest healthcare client in Central Illinois. Around 100 guests, PNC employees and their families enjoyed a night on the ice. The evening kicked off with Regional President, Doug Stewart welcoming the group to PNC Winterfest followed by Dr. Mike Cruz, President of St. Francis Medical Center. The joint event provides a networking opportunity for PNC Wealth Management and C&IB employees to introduce themselves to some high level prospects. Included at the event were OSF’s Cardiovascular, Neurological and Women’s Services groups.

PNC Branch Manager/ABM Meetings

PNC Regional Managers, Jason Pals and Vickie Evans hosted a year-end wrap up meeting for both the Branch Managers and Assistant Branch Managers at PNC Winterfest. Employees started their day with a recap of 2016 and recognition for individual/team goals. Kim Herman, CCRD spoke to the team about PNC’s philanthropic mission and gave an overview of the PNC Grow Up Great program. Employees then enjoyed a couple hours of holiday fun with an Ugly Sweater contest, ice skating, and interesting contests on the ice.

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