Events are still a key communications channel for many brands because—no secret here—they really work. The trick, however, is hosting that exactly right event to help your company stand out from the crowd. The venue, spokespeople, activities and leave-behinds are just as important (if not more so) than the news the event is created to reveal.
With tons of firsthand experience managing everything from private media dinners and guerilla street teams to Times Square demonstrations and pop-up shops, our events team knows how to make it memorable. Whether creating compelling invitations, formulating VIP guest lists or anticipating contingency needs, successful events are all about the details—and that’s where we excel.
When Dave & Buster’s set their sights on a Madison location, they enlisted our support to maximize buzz for the grand opening. Our charge was two-fold: act as their marketing team’s local expert to secure comprehensive news coverage on all relevant media outlets and entice 1,000 young adults to attend a pre-opening VIP event.
We developed a media strategy with multiple story angles to ensure maximum coverage. From cooking demonstrations and speed-dating-inspired hiring events to live remotes and stories about the evolution of traditional mall space, we were able to offer each outlet a story tailor-made for its audience.
At the same time, we identified eight distinct sub-groups within our young adult target and strategically distributed two tiers of invitations to the VIP event. In just two weeks, we were able to secure the space’s maximum 1,500 RSVPs.
Through a mix of in-studio interviews, on-site tours and a media event, we coordinated 33 Dave & Buster’s placements in a six-week period, including 11 TV segments across Madison’s three local stations. As for the VIP event, 1,300+ people showed up to experience the brand’s Eat, Drink, Play, Watch brand promise—75 percent of whom were within the young adult demographic. According to Dave & Buster’s chief operating officer, it was “the best grand opening” she had ever attended.
To celebrate the more than 250 species of birds on their property and drive bookings during a historically slow pre-holiday season, Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa—in partnership with the adjacent 1,100-acre McKinney Roughs Nature Park—launched the Lost Pines Christmas Bird Count in 2011. A few years into the tradition, Hiebing was hired to lead ideation, coordination and execution of this annual event in collaboration with various partners and birding experts.
Created in 1900 by the National Audubon Society, the Christmas Bird Count is the longest-running citizen science survey in the world and is held across North America every year from Dec. 14 to Jan. 5. Like other circles, The Lost Pines Christmas Bird Count included a count circle spanning 15 miles in diameter and is potentially the only circle with a resort within its boundaries.
That said, we helped the Lost Pines Christmas Bird Count to distinguish itself from other counts in Texas and across the country by offering a series of birding programs hosted the days preceding the count. Led by local, regional and national ornithologists, scientists, nature artists and illustrators, ecotour guides and Master Naturalists, the complimentary workshops gave birders of all levels the chance to expand their knowledge and skills in advance of the census. The program lineup also included a special fee-based dinner with a presentation by a keynote speaker, which was open to bird count participants as well as nearby birders.
The unique aspects of the count worked. The local NBC affiliate, Austin American-Statesman, Corpus-Christi Caller Times, Texas Monthly and dozens of online event listings shared word of the event. It was spot-on for nature lovers too. About a quarter of participants returned year after year, with the count growing more popular over time—also generating thousands of dollars in revenue through bookings and food-and-beverage purchases.