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Sony Stunt @ Grand Central Station, NYC

Sony created some hype for its latest product at New York’s Grand Central Station.

They posed, 8 chic mannequins each holding their new Vaio P ultra portable laptop on the station’s staircase, perfectly targeting the city’s fast paced commuters.

Sony's Stylish Mannequins

A simple and cost-efficient experiential stunt! Its time to apply some creativity in these times. Sometimes the best ideas that can create great impact don’t need to have all the bells and whistles

I like it…

Welcome to My Blog

Hi and welcome to my blog,

I am going to be giving you my insight into the wonderful world of events. I will be featuring some of the latest and greatest pieces of entertainment technology, comment on event design and everything else that makes working in this dynamic industry so exciting.

I invite you to comment on my posts and look forward to writing to you all.

JAMIE

In these troubled economic times, is the minimalist theme the way forward for events? Does the back-to-basics approach work? Is it cool north of the river?

If the answer is yes to the first question, then Sony is leading the way. Last night it launched three Sony Bravia televisions, including a wireless model, at the Tramshed in Shoreditch. Taking full advantage of the minimalist, warehouse-style settings, the event organiser literally showcased all three televisions by hanging them from the ceiling and projecting moving lights underneath, reminding me of an old-school acid house rave, circa 1989. However, instead of glow sticks and white gloves, guests at this event were happy to clutch bottles of Tuborg and try shots of Tuaca, while checking out the televisions.

As I left this event, I bumped into Revolution magazine’s deputy editor Andy Mccormick, who persuaded me to head to another event that was allegedly 30 seconds away. (Note to self – journalists do words not figures.) After 30 minutes of looking at his map, and walking up and down Great Easten Street talking to taxi drivers, bouncers and shopkeepers, then entering the wrong venue, we finally found our destination. It was next to a massage parlour, which on such a cold night at 11pm had a certain appeal as we trekked up and down the street, but this did not deter from Village Underground actually being a cool venue. Again, it was another instance of a minimalist space being used to great effect, this time for a Tomorrow’s World-style party for digital agency Glue London.

I may not be a native to the Old Street/Shoreditch thing, but for events it really does have that back-to-basics feel. Maybe it’s not so bad north of the river after all.

There are a lot of good things happening in the industry today

To silence those whispers in the industry that Event magazine has become the grim reaper of industry news, this morning’s bulletin proves we report the good things too.

A new agency wins contracts with Red Bull and the Discovery Channel , while another agency bagged a deal with a large pharmaceutical firm.

Combine that with exhibition All-Energy expanding and this must be the year’s first Super Tuesday for the event industry.

Is there any more good news out there?

St Pancras Grand

For anyone who still hasn’t visited the new St Pancras International station you have to head down there as it is a fabulous area to visit.

Searcys 1847 St Pancras Grand restaurant serves an amazing afternoon tea, and if alcohol is more of interest it also has an oyster/champagne bar and a whiskey bar.

The venue is also a good destination if you are entertaining
international clients as the station provides an atmosphere of the
grandness of the old style quintessentially British stations and even
has a small Hamley’s store (One of the UK’s oldest toy shops).

My point is that it it isn’t just an in-between stop for travellers but a great meeting area, as well as a unique event space. The champagne bar is nearly 100m long!

Whether it gets used or not is another thing, I know a lot of Londoners south of the river who would rather not travel that far north. It’s only a couple of tube stops away from central London, but do you think event spaces in St Pancras will be a success? And will it ever get away from the stigma of, no matter how spectacular it looks, that at the end of the day it’s just a train station?

What we have learned…

Barack Obama is left-handed.

Living in Milan on a massive wage is preferable to living in Manchester on an even more massive wage.

The Event Show was full of toilets and trakway. How much can the industry really need?

Companies are having a seriously hard time, even the ones you wouldn’t expect to suffer are getting fallout from companies unable to pay their debts. But we’re getting a little bit tired here of the doom and gloom – has anyone got some good news for Friday?

Queuing

No matter who you are, the idea of queuing in the rain for a networking event after a hard day at work is the last thing you need. Imagine the team’s horror when we turned up to one such event last night and were faced with a queue of at least 200 people. For many years event planners have been working out how to avoid the issue of queuing, but to no avail. Does anyone know of any solutions?

Also, I know times are hard, which means cut-backs are inevitable, but if you advertise a champagne reception surely it should be the real thing, as opposed to cava mixed with mead. That said, the Science Museum is still an excellent choice of venue for events.

Experiential marketing at its best

I would be lying if I said that the editorial team doesn’t get to attend its fair share of events, and last night I was fortunate enough to be invited to caterer The Recipe’s showcase evening at One Marylebone Road.

Going against traditional forms of live marketing, the caterer invited 100 of its top clients to a champagne-and-canape reception – and a sumptuous dinner – that showcased not only its innovative menu but also its five-star dining experience.

Everything on the night really was a fantastic try-before-you-buy experience: a new venue, quality champagne that flowed all night from the reception to the end of the dinner, amazing cocktails, great entertainment, a targeted audience and, above all, delicious food.

If caterers are looking for ways to spend what little marketing budgets they have this year, then this has to be one of the most effective ways.