Create Media-Worthy Events and Grab the Limelight
Thursday, May 31, 2018
By Blair Farrington
Tired of pitching the same old boring events using the same tried-and-true formulas? Excite your clients with events that capture the story of their brand and spread it across all marketing channels. Sounds easy enough, right? Wrong! It’s not easy, but it can be done. With the right focus, strategy and intention, anything is possible. Let me show you how.
Not all events or clients are created equal. The goals, objectives and metrics for success are unique to each event platform, and not every condition is conducive to an “event marketing blitz.” However, the trend is moving toward experiential corporate and public events that tell a story and activate the client’s audience to attend, engage and create an immediate buzz. It’s all about the “photo op,” translating into new engagement on social media, the website and press releases that ultimately result in increased ROI.
Case Study: Gwen Stefani’s Las Vegas Residency Announcement
I was creative director and event producer with FarringtonEntertainment.com for a marketing event with The Publicity Lab, announcing Gwen Stefani’s Las Vegas residency, “Just a Girl” at Planet Hollywood. We created an over-the-top media stunt on Las Vegas Boulevard by paying homage to female empowerment featuring more than 50 performers, including an all-girl drum corps, dancers, skaters and cheerleaders performing an anthology of Stefani’s hits.
Staged within a scenic topiary environment straight out of her “What You Waiting For?” music video, Stefani literally stopped traffic when a full-sized semi-truck wrapped in Gwen Stefani — Just a Girl art drove onto the Las Vegas Strip with pyrotechnics blazing. A black-and white-striped staircase rolled out, truck doors opened and dozens of opulent Alice in Wonderland characters spilled out. Classic showgirls with feather fans revealed Stefani at the doorway, posed rock-goddess style. She ascended a grand topiary staircase to sign autographs, thank her fans and pose for photos.
The video was streamed via Facebook Live, along with strategic media sharing. This could have been just another standard on-sale event, but we went big with the right event campaign, generating a combined 1,388,911,065 media impressions. We secured international headlines for over 1,111 media outlets, resulting in one of the highest grossing one-day on-sale campaigns ever.
How You Can Make Your Events Media-Worthy
So, if you’re planning or pitching an event — and it’s either public or private with approval to launch an event marketing campaign — make it media-worthy, and consider the following as you design your event platform:
- Identify and leverage relevant cultural and commercial trends: Look to current events in music, technology, fashion, art or social causes, and think of ways to transform that into a compelling brand opportunity.
- Brainstorm interactive environments to support customer engagement.
- Assess additional brand experiences: Engage a celebrity or public figure, invite social influencers, bloggers and podcasters, develop partnerships that will increase your customer exposure and increase ROI potential.
- Create an experience that drives traffic to your marketing platform by encouraging social media engagement and photo opportunities.
- Think big, and think bold.
Blair Farrington is the owner of Farrington Entertainment & Productions, BAZ Theatrical and Imagination Costume. He has a career that spans 40 years as a creative producer, director, designer, consultant and choreographer. Blair’s credits include creation and management of the award winning, $25,000,000 entertainment attraction Show in the Sky at the Rio Hotel and Casino, the gondola attraction at the Venetian, and the design of the multi-use state of the art entertainment complex Club Rio/award winning Copacabana Dinner Show.