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  • Writer's pictureSouthend BID

The Essex Big Weekend

The Essex Big Weekend will return on 6th - 8th October 2023.

The Big Weekend is open to all Essex tourism businesses to participate, so join in to help celebrate all that is great about the county on this special weekend in October.

Why should I get involved this year?

The Big Weekend is all about giving Essex residents the chance to discover – or rediscover – the array of fantastic things to see and do on their doorstep and encouraging them to spread the word about their county.

Attractions and businesses are invited to give away FREE tickets to Essex residents to use on the Big Weekend. Previous Big Weekends generated invaluable word of mouth and repeat visits with 100% of Essex Big Weekend survey participants stated that they would visit the attraction again and 84% would recommend the attraction to family and friends.

This word-of-mouth recommendation is priceless, particularly at a time when consumers are making trade-offs on where their discretionary spend is used for best value.

Benefit from promotional activity for your business

All businesses involved in this year’s campaign will benefit from free campaign marketing and promotions from Visit Essex, including:

  • You will be able to download an opt-in database of residents who have entered the ballot to win your tickets which you can use for your marketing.

  • Promotional posters and smaller postcards that will be shared with you to display in your business.

  • Paid and organic social media promotion across a range of Visit Essex channels.

  • Updated Big Weekend website with individual participating businesses listed, and where residents can browse the various offers and apply for tickets.

  • PR activity to focus on launch of ballot and remaining tickets.

  • Liaison with key media partners in the county for exposure on leading channels including Local IQ, Primary Times, Heart Radio and Radio Essex.

  • Dedicated and regular e-comms to Essex residents.

Next Steps… Attractions and businesses are invited to offer complimentary tickets exclusively to Essex residents to use on the Big Weekend only*. All tickets should be valid for two adults or a family ticket. You can offer as many pairs of tickets as you wish and for either or all days of the weekend - full details of how many tickets should be offered, redemption rates and ways for free attractions to take part are included in our FAQs below. We are also more than happy to give ideas and suggestions for how best to take part.

*If this weekend is not suitable you are able to specify alternative dates.

How to upload your tickets Businesses can upload tickets directly to the Essex Big Weekend website and amend them when needed. If your business has taken part in previous years, simply login using the link below and add your offer for this year’s Big Weekend. If your business hasn’t taken part before, register your attraction using the link below:


  • Check the spam or junk folders for your registration confirmation email!

  • Please sign up and add your attraction details and ticket offers to the website no later than 12noon on Friday 18th August 2023. It is very important that you upload your offers by this deadline so the full website can be tested before it goes live to the public.

  • The public ballot will open from Friday 25th August, and will close on Monday 25th Sep 2023.

If you have any questions, concerns or issues, please contact


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