Founded in 2009, Hudson Square is a Not for Profit, Business Improvement District (HSBID) in Lower Manhattan. It sits below the West Village, above Tribeca and to the west of Soho. What sets HSBID apart from other New York City neighborhoods is its vibrant emerging community of creative, media and technology companies and many of the leading advertising, digital and PR agencies.
Added to this there is an abundance of exciting, independent retailers, coffee shops and restaurants sitting alongside redeveloped streetscapes, art murals, newly planted treelines and communal parks. In the past ten years the HSBID has been responsible for a radical transformation of the area, winning numerous awards.
As a Non Profit organization, funded by a mix of public and private investment, the Annual Meeting along with the publishing of the Annual Report are key milestones on the calendar. It represents a chance to report progress, present a summary of accounts, highlight success and bring leaders, business owners and community stakeholders together and collectively build a sense of pride and belonging.
Six+One was tasked to produce a long-form video (and design the Annual Report) that would be shared at the AM to both chart progress but also to engage, educate, and entertain the attendees and inspire members of the Hudson Square community for the year to come. In addition, the Agency produced a short form video mailer to act as an attendance-driving invitation and connect to the larger brand campaign that was being rolled out across the neighborhood.
The BIDs remit is to inspire the Hudson Square community to connect, collaborate, and flourish by building awareness around the boundless opportunities in HS and fostering a deeper sense of connection through its programs and activations. The AM Video needed to really capture and embrace this spirit and make the community proud.
For HSBID the word “Community” (our target) reflects a very particular set of innovative and progressive people and companies for whom the notion of “creativity” is central to what they do on a daily basis. Therefore, our ambition was to make a step change in how the brand engaged and communicated with this audience for 2023. We wanted to have more fun, show greater personality and attitude, to empathize with them, and acknowledge that while we all take the work seriously, we don’t take ourselves too seriously. The aim was to try to motivate and inspire the diverse members of the neighborhood community to unite behind the BIDs initiatives and encourage their employees and colleagues to actively participate in future events and feel a sense of pride in their changing environment.
In previous years the AM Video had been a simple magazine edit of selected initiatives, but for 2023, we wanted to create something more memorable and entertaining to really differentiate Hudson Square’s unique personality. We also saw the AM video as one part of a new, larger integrated campaign that would feature the Annual Report and various elements of street media to connect with people daily beyond the AM.
This year’s Annual Meeting had the highest in-person attendance in over five years and was 35% higher than in 2022.
From our email marketing campaign, the Eventbrite ticket conversion rate of 19% (clicked to RSVP) was way above previous years.
The video invitation to promote the event via our Instagram account was watched over 2500 times in some form (various time lengths were produced). This is over half of all our total followers. YouTube views were up 325% in 2023 vs 2022 on the finished video uploaded after the event.
Finally, anecdotal feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with one quote from a local public space company:
“Big props to the creative talents just exploding out of Hudson Square BID in NYC. Not only was their 2023 Annual Report an eye-catching piece of district storytelling, but the real star of the show is their hilarious, tongue-in-cheek Annual Report Video, which literally had us in stitches for days.”