Executive summary

The City of Melbourne wanted to better understand the audience and impact of its annual Melbourne Spring Fashion Week (MSFW).

Melbourne is the capital city of Victoria, Australia, and is the business, administrative, cultural and recreational hub of the state and the financial center of the country. The second-most populous city in Australia, the Melbourne metropolitan area has a population of approximately 4.2 million. More than 800,000 people use the city on an average day. Founded in 1835, Melbourne is rated highly in education, entertainment, healthcare, research and development, tourism and sports.


The City of Melbourne in Australia wanted to draw stronger, more measurable linkages between its annual MSFW program and the effect the event has on local retail business.

The city wanted to take advantage of the abundance of social media data that is voluntarily shared by city residents and visitors about MSFW to understand its audience and create a better event experience.


The City of Melbourne worked with IBM Global Business Services to develop an interactive experience that analyzed social media during MSFW.

Melbourne used social media analytics technology to assess conversations about its fashion week on Twitter and Instagram. The solution, hosted on a cloud platform, features an interactive website to help drive social media traffic and uses mobile, high-volume analytics and psycholinguistics technology to give event planners a view of the social engagement, sentiment and reach of the fashion week show online.


Advanced social analytics from MSFW helped event planners identify potential improvements will enhance social engagement, sentiment, and overall event experience.

IBM is already working with the City of Melbourne to apply social sentiment insights from the 2014 experience to planning for 2015 and beyond. Melbourne can now understand exactly where, what, why and how consumers engaged digitally, how this will impact the next MSFW and what it means to participating retailers. The social media solution analyzed more than 15,000 Twitter and Instagram posts that mentioned MSFW during the event. More than 98 percent of the Twitter posts were positive or neutral, and nearly 9,000 Instagram posts generated more than 17,000 comments and nearly 400,000 likes. More than half of all users of the interactive website used mobile devices.

Solution components


  • IBM Global Business Services – Interactive Experience
  • IBM Research

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